The philosophy of assisted living care is to provide personalized, resident centered care in order to meet individual desires and needs and promote quality of life. Assisted living treats all residents with dignity, while encouraging independence and freedom of choice. Residents’ family members and friends are encouraged to get involved in the assisted living community, and engage with them about their community’s philosophy of care.
As you begin to research assisted living facilities, you likely have a list of questions you want to ask. Be sure that the list includes questions about their philosophy of assisted living care. The Assisted Living Federation of America has established four core principles that represent the foundation of quality assisted living: choice, independence, dignity and quality of life.
Asking about a philosophy can be a bit more challenging than determining how well the food tastes or the variety of activities offered. However, the answers will give important insight as to how well the facility honors an individual. In addition to asking the operators and staff, be sure to speak with residents about how these principles are supported. Because we care about the well-being of each resident we place, advisors at Priority Placement Services keep attuned to how well assisted living facilities in the Greater Phoenix area are executing on these values.
You’ve been an adult for a long time, making decisions each day about what time to get up and go to bed, where to go, what to buy, how to pay for it, what and how much to eat, and much more. A quality assisted living facility will allow you as much decision making as possible within the context of your individual situation. Having choice honors your experiences, wisdom and knowledge about yourself, your desires and your interests.
· How do you ensure residents have the most choice possible?
· What kinds of choices are available to me daily?
· What is the process when others need to start making some choices on my behalf?
Let’s face it, Americans are bred independent. We are the land of explorers, pioneers, inventors and entrepreneurs. Independence in our lives gives us a sense of control and well-being. A facility that encourages and supports seniors to do as much as possible for themselves honors the sense of autonomy and fulfillment that it brings. A reputable assisted living home will reinforce independence at every opportunity and maintain it for an individual as long as possible.
· How do you ensure independence for residents?
· What are some of the levels of independence experienced by residents?
· What is the process when I or a loved one becomes less independent and needs more assistance in a particular activity?
Defined as a sign or token of respect, dignity is a right afforded to every individual. Treating all people with dignity honors their experiences and opinions and recognizes each person as an individual. A facility with staff who demean or patronize residents or visitors, demonstrate ageism or bias against the aging, or whose residents are made to feel incompetent is one that needs to get scratched from your list.
· How do you ensure dignity for residents?
· Are there any guidelines for employees on treating residents with respect? If so, may I have a copy?
· What are the procedures if I or a loved one experiences being disrespected or treated poorly?
Quality of Life
Quality of life is the standard of health, comfort, and happiness you experienced in your life. Your surroundings, relationships and beliefs help define your quality of life. It includes both little things like smiles, a helping hand and a listening ear as well as big ideas such as staying healthy, making personal decisions and being independent. Maintaining quality of life for seniors as well as their families is the sum total when the three principles above are executed well by an assisted living facility.
· How do you maintain quality of life for residents?
· What happens when a staff member notices that a resident’s quality of life is diminishing?
We hope by providing the four key components of the Assisted Living Federation of America’s philosophy of assisted living care will help inform and guide you in your search for the facility right for you or your loved one.