Seniors that are fairly independent but also need assistance with the daily activities of living may be well suited to an assisted living residence. But with the many styles and levels of senior care available, knowing where to begin the process of relocating can be confusing. You may even have questions about who to talk with and how many people will be involved along with you.
To help clarify this process, here is an overview of the individuals that you’ll meet, but first you need to know where to start…
The family doctor is generally the initial contact. He or she understands your physical and medical requirements including prescriptions and therapies that you may be involved in. Your doctor is most qualified to begin the process and will contact a representative from the health care system or the health services department of government for your province.
A social worker or caseworker (as requested by your doctor) will be assigned to meet with you. The social worker (caseworker) will initiate documentation including financial, medical and legal details necessary to get the admission process started. The social worker (caseworker) will be your advisor regarding available residences in the province that best suit your needs and will coordinate your admission date and help set up the move.
Your health care team
Your doctor will continue to direct your medical care with the assistance of a registered nurse (RN) and a licensed practical nurse (LPN). The RN and LPN will be briefed as to your medical history, your vital statistics and your personal preferences including food, rest and pertinent details about your health. They will also be the first to meet and admit you to your new assisted living residence.
Personal care aide
A personal care assistant will attend to your activities of daily life such as dressing, bathing, grooming and toileting if required. Your personal care assistant likely has other assisted living residents in his or her care.
A facility pharmacist will also meet you on the first day at your new residence. If you are in the care of several different doctors, duplicated medication may be an issue. The pharmacist will identify and resolve such issues and recommend an alternate and simplified treatment plan whenever possible. The pharmacist will act as an advisor to your health care team; their collaborative goal is to provide you with the most effective treatment possible.
Dietician and food services staff
A dietician will be among the first to meet you as well. With your personal preferences and recommended caloric intake in mind, the dietician will ensure that your nutritional needs are met. The dietician will work with the kitchen / food services staff to provide you with a balanced diet, the right types of food and a variety of menu items. The food services team will vary in size depending upon how many individuals reside in your assisted living community - they’re the ones you’ll see planning, preparing, serving and storing the food in your kitchen.
Specific housekeeping services offered, and how frequently you will see the staff will vary among assisted living residences. These services will be clarified with your residence owner, your caseworker and you in the resident agreement. In general, housekeeping services may include laundry, vacuuming, dusting, changing bedding and cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms.
Supporting services team
A physical therapist and an occupational therapist will work together to customize a schedule of activities like exercise programs, as well as assistive equipment to suit you best. A rehabilitation assistant will provide hands-on help if you should need it.
Others involved in supportive ways may include a music therapist whose primary goal is to enhance your quality of life with music. He or she will suggest music-based activities for example singing or learning to play an instrument.
The chaplain is the key liaison between religious leaders and members of their faith within your seniors’ community. A chaplain will assist you with your spiritual needs and will provide interdenominational services to anyone that requires them.
Written by Alice Lucette
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