If you have decided to move your loved one into assisted living, know that this is in their best interest. The right assisted living home will provide your loved one with a safe and secure environment, great care and comfort, and a vibrant life full of companionship and activities.
With the decision to move into an assisted living facility made, several choices will now confront you. You may have decided that Tampa, FL is most appropriate for you based on where you currently live or where close family is based, however, much else remains to be decided. One of the major questions to answer is whether a large, corporatized setup is better for you or whether a smaller facility is preferable. Experts suggest that a small setup of between 8 and 12 residents is ideal for a number of reasons:
The risk of falls is dramatically lower.
CDC figures show that the residents of smaller assisted living facilities (between 4 and 25 residents) experience far fewer falls than do residents of larger communities. The percentage of falls was about 12% in the smaller communities, but it increased to 24% in communities with more than 50 residents. Accidents and injuries resulting from falls are a constant danger for seniors and preventing these is one of the main determinants of healthy aging.
The needs of residents are prioritized.
While larger establishments tend to prioritize operational efficiency and standard operating procedures over residents’ needs, smaller houses tend to be more flexible in the way that they operate. Smaller set-ups tend to be more resident focused and are better positioned to respond to the needs of elders.
Communication is direct.
Since the physical area of larger establishment is bigger, the staff may need walkie-talkies or paging devices and may remain disconnected from large areas of the facility. It may take time and effort to get in touch with them. On the other hand, residents can communicate easily and directly with the staff in a smaller facility and get quicker responses.
Better quality of life.
There is a greater sense of community in a smaller setup where everyone knows everyone else and all the residents meet frequently. The atmosphere tends to be more like that of one’s family at home, which improves quality of life and makes it more fulfilling. Larger setups tend to be more clinical in nature; providing a service in return for a fixed amount. They tend to be more impersonal and faceless.
Intimate, non-bureaucratic structure.
Since large setups have to have structure and hierarchies for the operational efficiency, they also tend to be bureaucratic; governed by rules and regulations. In a smaller setup with fewer residents and staff members, the setup can be flexible and there is closer contact between residents and the staff. Such a setup creates valuable bonds and genuine friendships among the residents as well as between residents and their caregivers.
Residents’ wishes and inputs are given due importance.
In a large facility the wishes and feedback of individual residents are obviously more difficult to put into practice. The people in charge have to take a larger view and create activities based on the general requirement. It may be impractical and even impossible to incorporate the suggestions of one individual or a few. This is much easier to do in a smaller setup. Residents can have more of a say in the way the place functions, the activities, menus and house routines.
Area is easier to get around.
Smaller buildings are obviously easier to get around. A compact, secure, shaded outdoor space is accessible for all residents and acts as a community space for everyone to congregate and interact. Larger structures tend to be more challenging, limiting and difficult to get around.
The kitchen becomes a focal point of the house.
Smaller setups typically have a common kitchen; often an open setting close to the dining area and to the individual rooms of the residents. Though meals are provided, residents can bring their own vessels and cook or help with meal prep when inclined to do so. The kitchen can become a space for lively conversations and socialization for the group; something that is difficult in a large structured setup.
Direct care and companionship.
Though both large and small setups may provide housekeeping, meals and laundry services, the level of care is more direct and intimate with smaller setups. Staff members are less like servers and more like companions. In larger establishments where staff may work in shifts or a rotation basis, this is typically less likely.
Homelike setting makes family visitation casual and more enjoyable.
Large establishments may have rules about visitation, whereas a small intimate setup is more flexible and welcoming of visitors. Residents in a smaller facility can enjoy informal visits from friends and family much as they would have at home.
Now it is true that a large setup may offer more in terms of structured activities and sports facilities. But how important is that for you or a loved one vis-à-vis the other benefits of a smaller setup? Another question to ask is; is it worth the extra amount you would be spending?
Your loved ones have always lived in a home. In a home surrounded by people who love and care for them. In a home full of joy and positivity. Help them live their golden years in the same kind of set up. In a home that feels like, well, home. Still have questions? Give us a call at (813) 543 – VITA (8482) to get more information.