Evaluating Quality of Care in Assisted Living Communities
At Vibrant Life Senior Living, we understand that finding the right care for your loved one can be a stressful experience. You may not know what to look for or the questions to ask, and each person has their own unique needs and challenges that can influence your priorities. When weighing your options, we recommend starting with the most basic and essential factor: quality of care.
Whether you’re looking for home care, assisted living, or a nursing home, quality of care is critical. It has a significant impact on both physical and mental health, and inadequate care can quickly become dangerous to your loved one’s wellbeing. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to evaluate the quality of care.
What is Quality of Care?
The World Health Organization defines the quality of care as “the extent to which health care services provided to individuals and patient populations improve desired health outcomes. In order to achieve this, health care must be safe, effective, timely, efficient, equitable and people-centered.”
How Can I Assess the Quality of Care in Assisted Living?
There are several ways you can evaluate the quality of care in assisted living communities:
Compare Your Care Needs to the Care Provided
Fully understanding your loved one’s care needs will help you better evaluate the quality of care in each community. For example, do they “just need a hand” or require more comprehensive care? Is memory care needed? Will they need access to support services like physical therapy?
Although these questions may seem daunting, having a clearly defined list of what care you need will help narrow down your options. If mom has progressive memory loss, but the community you’re considering doesn’t offer late-stage support, it may not be a viable long-term solution, and it’s good to know this before you commit!
To begin this process, we recommend talking to your loved one’s doctors and anyone else involved in their care to get a better understanding of how they are doing physically, mentally, and emotionally. Once you have a picture of your loved one’s needs, you can begin ruling out (or factoring in) your assisted living communities based on the care they provide.
Check Assisted Living Records and Reports
Assisted living communities must meet specific criteria, but violations do happen. Although the frequency of inspections and amounts of public data can vary from state to state, in many cases, you can look online to see an individual community’s performance. This directory lists assisted living licensing websites by state, “where you can find regulation standards in your state, as well as individual, assisted living facility inspection summaries and violation histories.”
Look Past the Obvious When Touring
An assisted living community may have a beautiful building and five-star amenities, but that does not necessarily translate to quality of care. When touring, ask questions of your guide, passing staff, and current residents. Interacting with the community will help you get a better “feel” for the environmental elements that matter and the care you will receive. You will also uncover useful insights about response times, staff credentials, and resident safety.
Quality of Care: The Vibrant Life Difference
The Vibrant Life Senior Living Communities have a simple but unique mission: help the seniors who live in our communities continue to have truly meaningful lives. Regardless of cognitive or physical needs, we are committed to helping each person have a vibrant life while we deliver quality care quietly and respectfully in the background.
We do this by training each one of our “CareFriends” to implement personalized care plans that emphasize relationship building and meaningful activities. Each one of our communities has a full event calendar of activities so residents, family, and friends can continue to connect over shared interests.
We tailor the level of care we provide to each resident’s individual needs, and our professional care services range from the activities of daily living (ADLs) to support services like physical therapy.
For more information about Vibrant Life Senior Living, contact us today.