The staff is one of the most important components of a senior living facility. They are the ones who are in constant contact with the elderly. The staff attends to the needs of your loved ones and make sure that they are safe. Make sure that your loved one and your family is comfortable with the staff and or that they know that they can approach the staff if the need arises. During your visit or phone call to the facility, make sure you ask these questions.
What is your staff to resident ratio?
Staff that is overwhelmed with residents may not be able to provide sufficient care to seniors. When there are too many residents per staff, problems arise because one staff may not be able to handle all of their needs.
What type of training programs does your staff undergo?
To uphold the health and safety of residents is the goal of senior assisted living facilities. The training the staff has in terms of basic health care and safety precautions are some of the things to be discussed during you inquiry. If your loved one has special requirements in this area, make sure to as if the facility has trained staff to accommodate them.
Can staff administer medications?
There are a number of seniors who need medications on a day to day or on a per need basis. The type of medications and the ways to administer them vary. Make sure the staff at the senior living facility you are placing your loved one at has the proper knowledge and capability of administering medications. This means that they are experienced in administering these medications and are aware of the proper precautions such as frequency, dosage and contraindications. They should also be well versed in the adverse reactions of medications to be able to determine them if they are present and what to do in these instances. All these things are important because they ensure the safety of seniors needing medication.
Do you have a geriatric nurse on staff at all times?
Every respite care facility needs to have a geriatric nurse present at all times. A geriatric nurse is one who specializes on health and caring for seniors. They are the ones who can best facilitate care and has most experience in recognizing the needs of seniors in the facility. While not all staff of an assisted living facility needs to be nurses, a nurse must be present in the vicinity 24/7. This is because health related emergencies may occur at any time and the nurse is responsible for connecting with other health care practitioners during these events.
How many of the staff is on duty during the evening?
The needs of the elderly during the day time and during the night vary. This is why staffing in these facilities also vary. Nonetheless, there should still be adequate staff inside the facilities during the evening. Evening shift staff should be experienced in administering medications that are scheduled at night, knowledgeable about emergency care and responsive when it comes to the safety and security of the elders.