Making the right choice for your loved one

How do you know if Via Elegante is the right place for your loved one?

It is not uncommon to hear stories of less-than-desirable living conditions in inferior senior living facilities. At Via Elegante, we strive to set a very high standard of professionalism in the way those entrusted to our care are treated.

But don’t just take our word for it. Come in and have a look around. It is only natural to be concerned about the care your loved one will receive.

There are many ways to verify that Via Elegante is a good fit for your family.

How Much Care

When choosing an assisted living care facility for your loved one, it is important to make sure the facility is adapted to the needs of the person. Start with evaluating the level of care that will be needed.

The best way to determine this is to discuss your loved one’s daily routine with a professional caregiver. Figure out how many hours a day or week of assistance will be required and how sophisticated this assistance will need to be.

You can then determine if an assisted living facility is the best option. If the time required to assist the person fits the parameters offered by the assisted living facilities you visit, you will now need to decide which facility offers the best care.

A good first step to decide if Via Elegante is the right place for you is to come down and meet our staff and tour our facility. Seeing the staff interact with our current residents can be a good way to envision what kind of experience your loved one can look forward to.

Resident and staff relationships

A common complaint about inferior assisted living facilities relates to the treatment of residents by staff members. Witnessing a care team interacting with the residents is a simple way to see if mistreatment does or does not take place there.

During your visit try to tour the whole place. See the manner in which caregivers interact with residents, if they know each other by name, and if the residents seem to be generally happy.

Back into a community

Another obstacle families often face when looking for an assisted living facility is whether or not their loved one fits into the community. Try to discuss with residents how they are generally encouraged to interact with their peers.

Sometimes when people enter an assisted living facility after having lived on their own for an extended period of time, they have difficulties adjusting to being part of a group again. A good assisted living community will ease the transition.

As an “assisted living” community we give your loved one an opportunity to maintain a certain level of independence while still providing the assistance they need on a daily basis. Our nurse will create a specific care plan for your loved one based on personal needs for assistance.

Communication

Consider the volume of communication that is maintained between you and the facility. Try to stay in frequent contact with the staff and your loved one to remain on top of their health and well-being.

Regular phone calls and visits will not only show your loved one you are looking out for them, it will also let the staff know there is someone around to complain if things are not going well. Communication is one of the biggest factors in ensuring a successful transition into an assisted living facility.

Regulatory compliance

Assisted living facilities are not regulated at a national level. Check your state laws before choosing a facility to verify that you don’t observe glaring departures from major rules and regulations.

Appearance and environment

Once you have narrowed down your search, assess the condition of the communities you like. A community designed with the physical disabilities of their residents in mind will have an easy-to-follow floor plan, will be accommodating for wheelchairs and walkers, and will have handrails available near stairs or long hallways.

Other important aspects to look for: Is the facility floored with non-skid material and firm carpeting to help ease walking? Does it offer good natural and artificial lighting? Does it appear neat and free of odors? Is it appropriately heated or cooled?

Security

Unfortunately, elderly people are often seen as easy targets for burglary and theft. Ask the facility what their security plan entails. For instance, at what times do the main doors lock and what measures are taken to make sure all residents are where they are supposed to be?

Fire and natural disasters are also threats that can be complicated for the elderly to respond to. Is the facility equipped with sprinklers, smoke detectors and clearly marked exits? Do they have a clear evacuation plan posted in critical places if something would happen?

Apartment features

Assisted Living Centers typically have apartments of varying size with private bedroom and living spaces. Assisted Living Homes typically have private or shared bedrooms and offer larger shared living spaces in a traditional home environment. Become familiar with the various assisted living models available in your area to ensure your loved one will enjoy the best environment for their needs.

Residents in a home will usually have the advantage of a shorter walk to the common areas and amenities as homes will not have the long hallways and multiple floors that larger facilities tend to have. Additionally, many residents thrive in home environments where they are less likely to become isolated in private apartments as they spend more time during the day interacting with caregivers and other residents in common living areas.

In some cases, rooms are partially or fully furnished and linens may be provided. Make sure to ask if you need to bring your own furniture and linens. See if your loved one is provided telephone service, cable television service and internet access, and whether or not these services are included or will be an additional charge.

Family photos and personal decorations are very important to most residents. Sentimental and familiar items they have treasured over the years will help them feel more at home in a new environment. Inquire about guidelines for decorating and personalizing your loved one’s new home.

Recreational activities

A big part of moving into an assisted living center is joining a community. Most facilities encourage this through social and recreational organized activities. Postings of daily and ongoing events are often found in common areas, so you can see what kinds of things are taking place.

For some residents, comforts like religious outings and having their pets with them are key factors in choosing the place they want to live. Make a list of what is important for your loved one’s social well-being and ask if those wishes would be accommodated and how.

Dining

Serving three nutritious meals a day is the norm throughout assisted living centers, but it is important to make sure your loved one also feels the food tastes good! Sampling meals during your visit is a good way to check out what the food will be like.

In most cases meals are served in common areas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Find out if residents can eat in their room if they would like to and if it has to be at a certain time. If they miss a meal, would they still be able to get something to eat?

Facilities sometimes provide alternate courses if a resident doesn’t like a certain meal and snacks are usually offered throughout the day. If your loved one has special dietary needs, ask if they will be met by the kitchen staff and if this will come at an extra cost to you.