By Dr. Macie Smith
People living in assisted living communities require more support due to various health conditions than in the past. Dr. Macie Smith, SYNERGY HomeCare gerontologist, explains how professional caregivers can complement facility support.
Assisted living communities are the largest providers of residential long-term care in the U.S. Increasingly, residents have multiple medical conditions, which require more staff support. In many cases, staffing ratios at assisted living facilities have not increased and turnover rates are extremely high, creating a care gap for many residents.
Assisted living communities typically provide assistance with:
- Bathing, dressing, grooming and transferring
- Housekeeping and laundry
- Assistance with medication
- Supervision and preventing wandering
Complement care with caregiver support
Given current staffing levels at many assisted living communities, it can be helpful to consider hiring a professional caregiver to complement and fill gaps in assisted living staff support. A professional caregiver can also help reduce isolation and loneliness by providing social interaction, friendly conversation and companionship. Support from a caregiver may also allow residents to continue to participate in activities they enjoy and extend their independence by assisting with activities they find are becoming more challenging.
Communication is key
The key to introducing a professional caregiver into an assisted living community is communication between the family, the assisted living community staff, the caregiver and the resident. This ensures that the resident is receiving the care in the way they feel most comfortable, and that the quality of care is not compromised. Identifying who will do what and when is also important, as is creating a contingency plan in the event someone is unable to perform a regular duty. These details should be documented in a written care plan.
Dr. Macie P. Smith is a licensed gerontology social worker who is focused on helping families support their aging loved ones through long-term care. Specifically, Dr. Smith educates caregivers on how to care for seniors with dementia. She is an advocate for specialized care and assists others in finding a way to provide a better quality of life for individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Dr. Smith has dedicated over 22 years of her life working in gerontology and assisting families in finding personalized solutions for dementia care. For more articles by Dr. Macie Smith, go to https://synergyhomecare.com/blog/.
SYNERGY HomeCare agencies across the country have been working with assisted living communities for more than 20 years to provide high-quality personalized care to residents. Find a location near you or Contact us to learn what we can do for your family.