Choosing an assisted living community is a huge decision, one that’s often made when safety at home becomes a concern. Yet when you tour prospective communities, there’s so much to consider about comfort, care and lifestyle, that you may overlook one essential factor: safety.
“One of the most important things you can ask about is safety within the senior living community,” said Collette Mieres, executive director of Ovation Heartwood Preserve Assisted Living and Memory Care. “Here at Ovation, safety is our No. 1 goal. We want our residents and guests to feel safe and secure within our doors.’’
Mieres detailed what you should look for to ensure the safety you or your loved ones need and deserve.
Resident safety standards
Safety in an assisted living community isn’t one-size-fits-all. Each individual’s specific situation must be considered. A safe community, like Ovation Heartwood Preserve, will ask you for detailed information in these three essential areas.
- What is the resident’s lifestyle?
- What are their health concerns?
- What does safety look like for them?
“Those questions are very important for us as a community to maintain our safety standards,” Mieres said.
It’s not something we like to think about, but extreme events can happen — storms, floods, fires — during which residents might need to be evacuated. Older adults, especially those with physical and cognitive disabilities, are among the most vulnerable in these situations. In fact, a recent report from the Senate committees on finance and aging, citing the increase in extreme weather events, emphasized the importance of adequate emergency preparedness plans in senior communities.
Check emergency preparedness by asking the following:
- Are emergency plans provided in writing and available to residents and their families?
- Where will residents be transferred to in an emergency?
- Will resident medical records be available during an evacuation?
Satisfying these measures, which are essential for safety in case of an evacuation, is standard operating procedure at Ovation Heartwood Preserve.
According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the No. 1 cause of injuries in older Americans. Every year, more than 1 in 4 Americans 65 and older fall, often causing serious injuries and even fatalities.
To prevent falls, consider:
- Is the lighting adequate during the daytime and nighttime?
- Are there handrails in all hallways?
- Is there non-slip flooring in every bathroom?
Mieres confirmed that all these safety measures are built into the facilities at Ovation.
Be sure your chosen senior community addresses all these areas — resident safety standards, emergency preparedness and fall prevention — to ensure that, as realized at Ovation Heartwood Preserve, the senior community is prepared to keep you or your loved ones safe.
Watch the video below to hear safety tips from Collette!