Home is the most comfortable place for anyone, but often, it’s not the safest possible environment for seniors. If you or a family member are no longer able to remain safely on your own or in their house, it doesn’t have to mean giving up the comforts of home. The right caregivers can help make a nursing home, personal care home or assisted living feel as comfortable as a home environment.
Here are some things to look for when choosing expert caregivers in order to ensure you find the right one:
Experience – Experience matters when it comes to senior care. Not only do experienced caregivers have more knowledge, but they also have shown that they are well suited for work with older people, as they have stuck with jobs in the field for an extended period of time. Ask what the average length of employment is common among the staff and ask how long the most senior member of the team has been with the facility.
Training – Training is another important aspect of expertise in caregiving. Facilities should be able to tell you about their training programs. Was everyone on the staff trained by the nursing home or assisted living or have they had outside training of any kind? How often is the staff trained? What are they trained on?
Certifications and Education – Professional credentials and post-secondary schooling are a sign of expertise. In a nursing home, you should expect that the majority of the staff has medical training with certifications or licenses as nursing assistants and nurses. In an assisted living, there may be fewer people with certifications and licenses; however, you should still inquire.
References – A reputable long-term care facility should be able and willing to provide you with references. Although facilities need to protect resident privacy, satisfied families will often offer to serve as references. Not only should you ask for a list of people that you can contact, but you should also actually take the time to call and email them all. Compile a list of questions to ask, so that you’re well prepared.
Specific Services – Find out exactly what the caregivers do for residents. What types of assistance are provided? What services are not included? Asking questions up front can help you to avoid problems later if you or your loved one requires some type of assistance that the caregivers cannot provide.
The decision of where to live when you can no longer remain at home or where to place your loved one who can longer care for himself or herself is an important one. Any reputable senior care facility should understand this and be willing to answer your questions about their staff with patience and professionalism. Don’t be afraid to conduct a thorough interview. After all, you only get one opportunity to learn as much as you can, and so much is at stake. You want to be as comfortable as possible in your new home or your loved one to feel at their best.