Aging parents and their adult children often face a difficult decision: have the parent age in the family home, or move the parent into an assisted living facility. Most adult children don't have the resources or time required to provide the care-giving services an aging parent needs.
Assisted living facilities can help an aging parent maintain a sense of independence while giving adult children the peace of mind that comes from knowing their loved one is being protected. Getting to know the staff members in your parent's assisted living facility is a great way to enhance your loved one's experience and ensure the safety of your parent over time.
1. Show Interest in Staff Members
Too many family members of aging individuals make the mistake of only communicating with staff members on a professional level. Don't limit conversations with staff to the topic of your loved one.
Ask about staff members' personal lives and take an interest in their lives outside of the assisted living facility. Forming a personal connection with staff members can help your loved one feel more accepted in a new assisted living facility. This will help ease the transition from the family home to a monitored facility.
2. Get Involved in the Community
Modern assisted living facilities try to maintain a sense of community for their residents. Special events are planned and group outings are orchestrated to help break up the monotony of the average day. Staff members participate in these events, but they welcome family involvement as well.
The more you show up for special events at your loved one's assisted living facility, the more you are able to create a loving and supportive environment for your loved one. Staff members will appreciate the interest you take in making the facility great, and you will receive greater respect as a result.
3. Bridge the Gap With Your Loved One
In the days after moving into the assisted living facility, your loved one could feel very alone. It's important that you work to build bonds with staff members during this period of time so that you can bridge the gap between staff and your loved one. Help staff members get to know your loved one by encouraging open communication between the two parties.
Staff members who have a personal relationship with their residents are better equipped to spot changes in behavior that might indicate serious health problems. Building a bond between staff and your loved one can help you rest assured knowing that your loved one will receive the greatest care possible.