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Accountability Matters in Senior Living!

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We know our professional partners often feel overwhelmed by the number of senior living options that are out there. And we also understand it can be difficult for you to distinguish between them when you are making suggestions on which options seniors and their families might consider.

Most senior living communities have beautiful lobbies, private apartments and a variety of services and amenities. And many try to price their services similar to the competition. It can leave families struggling to understand the differences. And concerned they might not make the best decision for a senior loved one.

Accountable for Results

Making an informed choice means looking beyond the pretty décor and the price, and it requires asking the right questions. Questions to discover what the company and its leadership team do to care for residents and their employee caregivers.

Equally important, how does the organization hold itself accountable for results. Because when a company has a long history of serving seniors, it has the ability to stay truly engaged and present in recognizing and meeting the needs of residents.

Most families are looking for the highest quality of care and services when it comes to a senior they love. And for a community that is accountable for consistently delivering it.

How can you help families objectively evaluate a senior living community? One they feel confident is a good fit for the elder in their life?

Over the next month, we will share some of the insight we’ve gained from caring for older adults in the Northeast for twenty years. We hope it will help you feel more comfortable guiding families through the process of making a decision.

And we thought a good place to start was with questions you can recommend families ask as they visit each senior living community. Questions that will help loved ones assess the company’s culture and values and how the organization holds itself accountable for achieving their goals.

Key Questions to Ask a Senior Living Community’s Leadership

The team at most senior living communities will be expecting families to ask about staffing ratios, pricing, life enrichment activities, services and apartment sizes. What most won’t anticipate hearing are questions that dig a deeper. Those that help you get to the heart of the organization.

Here are a few things you should encourage seniors and their loved ones to ask team members they meet with at every senior living community:

  • What makes them proud to work for their community?
  • How are goals set to ensure each resident’s individual needs are met?
  • What systems are in place to track how well goals are met?
  • Does the community conduct resident and family surveys to ask for feedback? How often?
  • What happens to the feedback residents and families provide? Who is accountable for following up on it?
  • The first six months after a senior transitions from home to an assisted living community are a critical time for determining how happy they are and how likely they are to stay. Does the community have a system in place for evaluating how well that transition is going? And for helping take steps to correct problems along the way?
  • Rewarding employees who go above and beyond helps improve company morale. When employees feel positive about their workplace it translates to a higher quality resident experience. So encourage families to ask how the company rewards and compensates team members who demonstrate the highest level of commitment to resident care.

We hope this information helps you feel more confident sharing advice with families who are searching for a senior living solution. Next week we will offer insight on how families can objectively assess a community’s commitment to resident care now and as their needs change down the road. Please be sure to stop back in and learn more!

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Jayne Sallerson is a warm, enthusiastic and compassionate executive with a heart for working with seniors. Jayne has been in senior care for more than 20 years and she says, “I still love what I do.” At Benchmark Senior Living, Jayne now serves as Executive Vice President. A native of New England, Jayne loves to travel, meet new people, and hang out with her favorite pug, Henry.
Jayne started this blog as a way to share the many questions she and her team get every day with other people looking for answers.