The move to assisted living is often a difficult one. Typically, you move your loved one to an assisted living community because they're no longer able to care for themselves at home--often because they're experiencing increased health problems. If you're looking at an assisted living community for your loved one, make sure they're providing these necessary health services so that your loved one will get the best possible care.
1. Medication Administration
One of the reasons many seniors need to move to assisted living is simple medication management. Every assisted living community should administer the medications that your senior loved one takes on a regular basis, including any pills, injections, and inhaled medications. This should include both daily medications and those medications that are taken as needed.
2. Exercise Programs
Exercise is a critical part of living a long, healthy life. It's important that the assisted living community you choose for your loved one provide exercise programs that will help keep residents active and moving. These exercise programs can help keep your loved one spry and their mind as sharp as possible, enabling them to better enjoy those senior years.
3. Physical Therapy Assistance
Some assisted living communities may provide physical therapy on the premises--especially those communities that are designed for short-term care and rehabilitation. Any assisted living community, however, should provide the help your loved one needs to complete daily exercises for physical therapy. This will help them make better progress toward recovery following an injury and ultimately make a big difference in their quality of life.
4. Emergency First Aid
As your loved one gets older, the odds that they'll need emergency care rise. It's impossible to completely eliminate the potential for falls, heart problems, and other emergencies that could require immediate care. At an assisted living community, that care will be available immediately, increasing your loved one's odds of an excellent outcome. Emergency first aid may extend to minor medical care on the premises or it may require your loved one to be transported to a hospital, depending on the community that you've chosen.
5. Memory Care
For individuals with Alzheimer's or dementia, a memory care community is a necessity. While those in the early stages of these diseases can typically live in the general population of their assisted living communities, those that have more severe cases will need memory care communities with nurses who are dedicated to their care. This may include careful monitoring or special measures designed to help individuals with Alzheimer's or dementia function more normally.
6. Diet Management
At an assisted living community, your loved one should receive care dedicated to meeting their specific dietary needs. From diabetes to high blood pressure, there are plenty of conditions that make it necessary for your loved one to follow a specific diet. A good assisted living community will ensure that your loved one gets the food they need in order to remain healthy.
Not all assisted living communities offer the same level of medical care. In general, assisted living communities are not designed to offer the same level of care as nursing homes, which can provide many of the services that your loved one could expect to find in a traditional hospital. Assisted living communities are typically designed for individuals who are still mobile, but who may need a higher level of care than they're able to receive at home. Before selecting an assisted living community for your loved one, take stock of their medical needs--both the ones they have now and the ones that they're likely to have in the future. Then, make sure you're selecting an assisted living community that will cover your loved one's specific needs.