There’s no doubt that when it comes to selecting the right residential assisted living facility in Arizona, some of the features seniors and their families look for are timeless. For example, factors like compassionate care, a focus on health and safety, and ample on-site opportunities to socialize and stay active have always been valued, and likely always will.
But in 2021, new priorities are emerging. With the senior living operating on the frontline in the battle against COVID-19, families need that extra bit of reassurance that their loved one will be safe. As a result, the new age of residential assisted living should provide an equal balance between the things that have always mattered, and these newfound (yet equally as vital) priorities.
Let’s examine how assisted living communities can offer the ideal setup in the mid to post-pandemic world we live in today.
What has Always Mattered in Residential Assisted Living?
As we’ve already touched upon, some of the most valued features of residential assisted living communities remain steadfast. Perhaps the most important of these is compassionate care. Patient, kind teams with a genuine passion for senior care sit right at the heart of any great residential assisted living facility. It’s common for seniors to struggle with the prospect of losing independence and requiring assistance with activities of daily living. The quality of care available can easily dictate how well a senior adjusts to this new way of life, potentially even shaping their experience of assisted living as a whole.
Of course, a focus on safety comes hand in hand with quality caregiving, and staff to resident ratios are key. Smaller assisted living facilities with limited occupancies and greater staff to resident ratios can not only offer more personalized care, but also have more time to spend protecting the safety of residents. After all, caregivers who are able to enjoy ample time with each senior resident don’t need to cut corners or rush safety procedures.
When it comes to resident safety, adequate numbers of highly trained, diligent staff who genuinely care is paramount, but safety-focused infrastructure is a must, too. Families need the reassurance that their loved one is well protected from falls and able to easily access all areas, regardless of their individual mobility needs. Residential assisted living facilities should also have medically trained staff and excellent links with local hospitals and healthcare services, allowing them to deal swiftly and effectively with accidents or other health emergencies.
Another key priority for seniors and their loved ones centers around independent living. It’s rarely easy for aging seniors to accept that they can no longer do some of the things they used to be able to. For this reason, a focus on empowering residents to remain as independent as possible is highly sought after by residents and their families. Again, limited occupancies and greater staff to resident ratios are useful here. With fewer residents to assist, caregivers truly have the time to help seniors complete personal care tasks as independently as possible. Communities offering a rich calendar of recreational, physical and social activities, flexible daily routines, carefully personalized care plans and on-site services and amenities are also favored by the highly independent seniors of today.
Going Forward: Post-Pandemic Priorities
Infection control has always had a place within senior living – after all, viruses like the flu are nothing new. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has truly brought home the devastating consequences infections can have when allowed to spread through an elderly population, reinforcing the importance of sound infection control procedures.
And though infection control has always been a key concern within the industry itself, the events of recent years have understandably shifted it to the forefront of all our minds. Seniors and family members looking for residential assisted living in 2021 place high value upon effective infection control procedures like never before.
The best assisted living facilities in Tucson will have learned, evolved, and adapted throughout the course of the pandemic, striving to constantly improve those vital infection control procedures.
The pandemic hasn’t only highlighted the importance of excellent infection control, though. An overall need to prioritize holistic healthcare within senior living has undoubtedly emerged. It’s long been debated whether residential assisted living belongs within the hospitality or healthcare sector. The truth is, it belongs in both, but the pandemic has certainly facilitated a shift further toward the healthcare end of the spectrum. Put simply, families need the reassurance that their loved one is safe and healthy in their new home. Though this has always been the case, the link between living happily and living healthily has never been so clear.
Finding the Balance
Going forward, senior living communities should be willing to adapt, constantly striving to make the experience of residential assisted living safer, healthier and even more fulfilling. Striking a balance between healthcare and hospitality is key, as is recognizing and addressing both new and timeless priorities of seniors and their loved ones. To learn more about how Saguaro Ranch Assisted Living provides for the healthcare needs of our residents while also offering the supportive services they need, contact us today!