It can be a trying task for adult children to care for their aging parents, especially when dementia is a factor. Sometimes circumstances and the severity of an elder’s condition necessitates placing them in an assisted living facility. It can be a heartbreaking and difficult decision, especially in assessing the quality of care. Putting the health and wellbeing of a loved one in the hands of strangers is a big and important decision. But there are ways to find a trusting facility when you need to care for a parent suffering from dementia.
Distance From Family and Home
Just because an adult child can no longer care for their parent without professional help or accommodate them in their home, it does not mean the parent has to be out of sight, out of mind. It can be comforting for the chosen faculty to be a short drive away, whether for regular visitation or in case of emergency. If there are other siblings involved, it is beneficial for them all to agree on a location that will be possible for them to each visit. Make sure the new housing is close enough that driving there won’t become a chore. You want this possibly difficult transition to be easy on everyone involved.
Reputation and Referrals
There are so many resources to rate the quality of a senior living facility, from magazine articles to consumer review sites. But anecdotal evidence can be powerful as well - it can help to talk to trusted friends and co-workers who found themselves in a similar situation, but found a provider they could trust. Make sure to google any potential facilities before making a final decision, and check in with your local government to see if they keep a list of possible violations. As always, go with your gut. If it doesn’t seem like the right place for your parent, it probably isn’t.
Ambience and Attitude
How polite are the staff? How willing are they to field questions and how long and detailed are the answers that are subsequently offered? Are prospective clients permitted to meet everyone employed at the facility, all the people who will be in charge with the parent’s care? Do the residents seem cheerful? Occupied? Active? Simply put… do they look like they’re being well taken care of? And do their surroundings reflect that satisfaction? You can tell a lot about a care facility from a simple scheduled visit, but also try popping in unannounced. If that isn’t encouraged or allowed, you might want to think twice about that particular home.