Table of Contents
An assisted living facility is a place that takes care of those who are the most vulnerable in our society. Because of this, it’s very important that people are able to feel safe and cared for, and that they’re in a place where they can enjoy living out the rest of their years.
It can be easy to spot where certain facilities are lacking, and for some people, this could be a drive to create something that’s more up to standard. If you think about what your dream care home would be, then you can start to think about what you would prefer to put in place.
What makes the perfect assisted living facility will vary a little, but the core values shouldn’t, so this piece is going to take a look at what the essential features are that make a perfect assisted living facility and why they are so important.
A Clean and Safe Environment
First and foremost, you’ll want all environments that are related to care to be clean and safe for the people who are living there. It’s a safe assumption to make that those who are being cared for at an assisted living facility are relying on others to ensure that acceptable standards are maintained, which means that it’s an utmost important duty of care to ensure that this is enforced consistently.
Strict hygienic protocols need to be put in place for cleaning, living spaces, medical equipment, and communal areas to maintain immaculate hygiene standards—this helps to keep people in care and those who work in the facility healthy and safe.
Other services that can contribute toward a clean and safe environment include laundry services for those who need it, and also adequate ventilation to keep any bugs at bay.
Take a look at how to start an assisted living facility for some tips, and be sure to prioritize hygiene in your plan.
It’s essential that a care home recognizes that everyone has different needs, will communicate in different ways, and need to be treated as individuals. This directly ties in with care.
It’s therefore essential that an assisted living facility is able to provide individualized care for those who will need it in order to provide them with the quality of life they deserve.
So, what exactly should individualized care plans look like? All plans should involve personalized physical health, mental health, and social well-being to be in tune with the residents and make sure everything’s covered.
Regular assessments and reviews should be made a priority to make sure that everyone’s care plan is adapted to their changing needs. Tailored care plans are essential for care homes, so they’re able to offer the best possible support for each resident and improve their quality of life.
Social and Recreational Activities
It’s also essential that a care home doesn’t just become a place for medical care. While this is extremely important, and does need to be at the forefront, it’s very important that an assisted living facility is also a place for social interaction and engagement, too.
Social and recreational activities are fundamental for the mental and emotional well-being of all residents, and this is non-negotiable. There are many activities that are suitable for assisted living, which include games, exercise classes, art and music therapy, group outings, and more.
Encouraging residents to participate in such activities will not only keep them mentally and physically active, but it can also contribute to helping them feel a sense of community and belonging. The more options you can offer, the better, as residents will enjoy different activities and will also have varying levels of energy and mobility.
Top tip – Consider offering moderated versions of any activities, where it can work, so those with different levels of capability aren’t excluded from being able to be social.
Adequate Staff-to-Resident Ratio
When assisted living facilities don’t have enough staff to look after the residents properly, this is where problems start happening—and fast. Not only can a care home open itself up to a lawsuit if neglect is present, but more importantly, injuries and accidents can happen to residents that could have been preventable—some of which could be devastating.
Adequate staffing is crucial to ensure that all residents receive the attention and care they need and deserve, and to get adequate staffing, you need to be a good employer. Offer excellent rates of pay, benefits, and good quality working conditions to make sure that both your staff and residents are content.
Overburdening staff can lead to lapses in care, and residents may not receive the necessary assistance when they need it—even in an emergency. A good care home always maintains a proper staff-to-resident ratio to guarantee that residents get the attention and support they need, 24/7. Having this as a crucial focus will also help families to have extra peace of mind when their loved ones are in someone else’s care.
Excellent and Open Communication with Families
Having your loved one go into a care home isn’t easy for many families—usually, it’s a last resort when their family member isn’t able to look after themselves and they’ve exhausted all other options. However, some of this fear can come from not knowing how their loved one is doing, that they’re being taken care of properly, and that they can trust they’ll get essential updates in a timely fashion.
This is why another essential trait of a good care home is on point, open, communication with the families of residents. Families should be kept up to date about their loved one’s well-being, any changes in their care plan, along with any significant events or developments. This important level of transparency builds trust and ensures that families are actively involved in the resident’s care, making them feel more secure about their loved one’s welfare.
High-quality End-of-Life Care
For some residents, a care home may be their final place of residence and this is why all assisted living facilities should make sure they have a high-quality end-of-life care plan in place for everyone. This should provide comfort and support to residents and their families for if and when that difficult time arises.
An end-of-life plan should include pain management, consistent monitoring for comfort, emotional support, and respecting the resident’s wishes regarding their end-of-life care. This is the time when a care home should be ready to go the extra mile for their residents to make sure their final moments are as peaceful as possible.
Setting up a care home will take a great deal of time, consideration, and money, and making sure yours is set apart from the rest will take plenty of research and commitment. Any care home worth being open needs to be clean and safe, have plenty of social and recreational activities, individualized care to take care of every resident, an adequate ratio of staff to residents for optimum care, consistent and open communication with families, and high-quality end of life care.
Without any one of these, a care home is subpar, and will not be functioning to a standard that residents and families deserve.
Whether you are looking to set up your own assisted living facility for those who need it the most, or you are browsing potential places as a safe home for a family member, these elements listed are some of the most important traits you can look for in the ideal assisted living facility and shouldn’t be ignored.