The Importance of Selecting a Stimulating Retirement Environment
If you find yourself in the difficult position of choosing an assisted living or long term care facility for a loved one, make sure you select a well-managed establishment that provides a stimulating environment for residents. Often, the stress associated with helping someone suffering from serious health conditions causes decision-makers to overlook this vital element of care. Yet obtaining daily mental and social engagement often proves critical in enhancing well being.
The Elements of Care
Retirement homes provide care for many patients suffering from dementia and other debilitating physical conditions. This fact sometimes makes positive social interactions among these residents difficult to achieve. Since most people prefer to live independently, residents of nursing homes frequently would choose different living environments, if possible. Their declining health simply makes this option unavailable.
Compassionate care givers in these types of residences understand that patients frequently experience depression, a sense of loss or alienation, and loneliness. They offer stimulating opportunities for social interaction and engagement whenever possible. By actively seeking to involve patients in group activities, such as shared meals, hobby classes, exercise and, if possible, group excursions, the managers of residences for people requiring long term care seek to help them enjoy a higher quality of daily life. This effort sometimes makes a positive difference in patient outcomes.
Research Facilities Carefully
Even patients with little hope of recovery obtain greater enjoyment from the time they spend in an assisted living environment when the facility and its staff make an ongoing effort to provide opportunities for social engagement. If you've considered placing a loved one in a nursing home, for instance, you might want to meet with a facility representative and inquiring about the types of available social activities. Questions to ask include:
- Do residents dine alone, or with other people?
- Does the facility offer any arts and crafts or computer classes, or other engaging group events?
- Can residents obtain library access?
- Can family members attend social events at the facility?
- Does the facility evaluate mental status and group residents to encourage social interaction?
- Can residents attend religious services regularly?
- What exercise options exist?
Today, many highly-rated long term care facilities employ Social Directors, staff members who focus primarily upon offering stimulating activities for the residents. By working closely with these individuals, family members can often help develop ways to enhance the daily social interactions of their loved ones.