Should I expect my father in Seattle with age-related disabilities to be taken care of in an Adult Family Home?

Unless your father needs the services provided by an actual hospital, it is likely he will do fine in an Adult Family Home. A good Adult Family Home is designed and serviced to feel very much like a home, complete with safety, security and a host of features that speak directly to a senior’s needs. If, on the other hand, a resident does need the services of a hospital, those services can be called upon when needed. The rest of the time, life in an Adult Family Home can be perfectly comfortable for any senior, even if he or she is struggling with medical or age-related health issues. To illustrate this, let’s look at some of the features you should expect in an Adult Family Home:

“Wake Staff” at an Adult Family Home

Wake Staff is a term used for having, essentially, 24x7 caregiver presence in the residence. It doesn’t necessarily mean the overnight caregiver is wide awake, but it does mean she or he will be able to spring into action the moment an issue arises. She might be resting on a couch, with slippers by her side. When an indicator warns her of, for example, a bed-side pressure plate being activated, she can go and investigate the matter immediately.

Wake Staff can avert what would otherwise be a hospital visit. If, for example, someone steps out of bed, is a bit confused and doesn’t make it to the bathroom but instead has a fall, it might be some time before help arrives. And even then, whoever arrives might not be an ambulance but rather, someone who first must assess the situation. With Wake Staff on hand, the moment the senior steps out of their bed, they are alerted and will go help. Following that, no injuries occur, and the resident is back in bed comfortably. It’s not only a safety thing, but it’s also a comfort thing. Every senior at an Adult Family Home with Wake Staff knows that a caregiver is close by, and ready to help at a moment’s notice. That thought alone is enough to make someone feel more secure, even if they sleep through the night, and never need any help from anyone.

Security equipment

A big reason for people wanting to move out of their adult children’s home is that their own home is not as well equipped to handle senior living. Adjusting a home to make it safer for elderly people can be expensive. For example, installing rails – and installing them correctly – around a shower unit takes skill, if you want them to work well. My own bathroom, for instance, would probably have to be ripped out entirely and replaced with a new unit in order to support a senior’s safety needs. Moreover, what my mother needs today will be different this time next year. Maybe later she will need a walk-in bath unit because she is no longer able to step over a bath side. What about three years from now? Then there’s all the hazards around the house. Will my mother even be able to walk up the six steps to get upstairs, or the six downward steps to go to the basement area? The kitchen, too, would likely have to be adjusted.

An Adult Family Home contains everything needed for a senior. Rails – installed the right way – alone make a big difference. Excellent lighting is essential. My own father’s eyesight deteriorated – from diabetes – to the point he needed a white stick to walk outside, could see remarkably well after we installed a ton of new, full spectrum lighting around the house. An Adult Family Home should have more lighting than you’d get in an ordinary house, and that extra light makes the house a safer place to live.

Bathrooms are notorious for accidents. Because there is often water on the floor, it’s a common place for a senior to have a fall. That’s why surface mats that help a person walk around with extra grip are essential. But not just any mats will work. And not every mat type will work for every senior. A good Adult Family Home will consider the needs of the individual, and will know from experience that attention to detail keeps every resident a lot safer. In your own home, on the other hand, keeping the house safe is a day-to-day challenge.

Keeping company in an Adult Family Home

We all feel the need to offer the best quality of life standards for our beloved parent. When my father went into care, my own mother felt guilty for a long time, despite the fact that she personally had become overwhelmed by the task of looking after her husband’s needs. She was getting older, her energy levels were dropping, and he was becoming more and more dependent on the ever increasing care he was receiving. It eventually became an untenable situation, but while he was there, she still had to go shopping, meet her friends and was connected to many people outside the home. My father, whose eyesight was failing found it ever harder to go outside at all. That meant that he rarely got to meet anyone besides my mother, aside from the occasional visit from his own children. Experts will tell you that limited exposure to others is another contributing factor in someone’s deteriorating health. We need to see faces, hear people speak, and generally have plenty of interaction with others. Personally, I think I would go insane quickly if I did not meet people every day. An Adult Family Home gives a senior that needed connection with other people. In fact, it can be quite stimulating, living there. You’re with five other people your own age, and of a similar generation, so it is likely a great place to make friends. Even if you don’t make friends, it’s a great place to simply be around other people.

See you next week!