Thinking Small for Loved Ones in Assisted Living
Suppose your loved one needs more assistance than can be provided in the home environment. Would assisted living best suit your loved one’s needs and personality?
There are many choices in assisted living, and they come in large and small sizes.
Large communities offer a wide array of activities and lots of other residents with whom to socialize. They offer bus transportation to doctor appointments and places of interest. There is a nurse on staff who supervises the caregivers and keeps an eye on the health status of residents. Large communities are decorated, light and airy and are very attractive to the visitor’s eyes. Large is good for many, but not for everyone.
Looking beyond the glittery exterior of large communities, there is a more frequent staff turnover and fewer caregivers compared to the number of residents. Ownership and management are corporate and uniform. If your loved one can function with minimal supervision, make friends and interact easily with new people, then a large assisted living community will suit them well.
If, on the other hand, your loved one needs a quiet, more intimate environment, then a residential care home might be just right. Residential care homes (sometimes called “group homes”) are nestled in your neighborhood in a home environment, closely resembling the home from which your loved one may be moving.
There will be no more than 16 residents (on average, 6-10), with caregivers readily available around the clock, and all the comforts of home, including home-cooked meals and a back yard. They are normally owned and managed by a local resident who either lives in the home itself or close by. Smaller assisted living facilities, or residential care homes, with more than three non-family residents will be licensed by the state of Texas, the same as the large communities. Many are also certified for dementia care.
Care can be more personalized in a residential care home because there are more caregivers per resident. These caregivers prepare the meals, participate in activities throughout the day and pay close attention to your loved one.
If the family is on a budget, residential care homes usually offer a cost advantage compared to large communities. Your choice depends on the kind of environment in which your loved one will thrive. If they are able to function independently, then a large community will be a glorious experience; if they cannot manage the activity, then a small home might be better, and there are many homes to choose from in a neighborhood near you.
By: Barbara Glass, Guest Contributor