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Are assisted living homes safe for the elderly?

Are Assisted Living Homes Safe for the Elderly?

When you are responsible for the care of an elderly family member, making decisions about care can feel overwhelming. Sometimes, when older people need more care than their families can provide, assisted living facilities are the perfect solution to keep them safe and healthy. For many people trying to make decisions about elderly care services, the COVID-19 pandemic heightened their level of anxiety, as older people in nursing homes fell ill and many died. Add to that the concerns raised every time a news story breaks about elder abuse in a retirement community, and people trying to find care for older loved ones may feel paralyzed and unable to make a decision. Are assisted living homes safe places for their relatives?

To address this question, we first need to clarify the difference between a nursing home and a senior assisted living facility. Nursing homes provide extensive care around the clock for people who have extensive care needs. When it comes to an illness like COVID-19, the people who are in nursing homes are at a very high risk because they’re elderly and frail, typically with immune systems that are already taxed by ongoing medical issues. Assisted living communities do not provide this high level of care, because their residents simply need help with daily activities, not 24-hour medical care. Sometimes assisted living facilities have memory care areas, for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of memory impairment who need more support than they can get with dementia home care. Assisted living facilities are often attached to independent living communities, where older people with few to no care needs can live on their own until they need a little bit more care.

Does this mean that assisted living facilities are safe? For the most part, yes. In fact, in many instances, seniors are safer living in assisted living than they were at home. There is medical support when they need it, they get assistance with daily tasks they may find challenging, and they’re in a community where someone will notice if they fall or otherwise need help. When it comes to COVID-19, most assisted living facilities have extensive protocols in place now to protect their residents.

Of course, assisted living facilities are not all the same. Because they’re not as tightly regulated as nursing homes, some assisted living facilities are not up the standards they should meet. In a home that’s not well-managed, there can be safety hazards like a lack of security, lax oversight of medications, and inattentive care. That’s why it’s important for people looking for a place for an elderly loved one to seek help in screening facilities and finding the one with the best possible care and support.

When it’s time to find senior care for someone you love, you can rely on Helping Hands for Seniors to help you find the best facility or service to meet your needs. For over a decade, Helping Hands has been placing elderly residents into quality housing facilities, and we’ll help you find a safe, permanent, nurturing home for your loved one. We understand how difficult it can be to entrust an important person in your life into the care of another, and we’re committed to helping smooth the transition to a new home. We strive to provide our clients with the best options and educate them so that they can make well-informed decisions. To take advantage of our network of care providers and compassionate services in Portland and the surrounding area, call 503-694-9577 or contact us through our website.

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