By Rick Banas of Gardant Management Solutions
This week – the week of Sept. 10 through 16 – we celebrate Assisted Living Week in the United States.
Assisted Living Week was established by the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) in 1995 to recognize the role that assisted living has in caring for older adults and individuals with disabilities in our country.
It is a time to celebrate a wonderful and much more appropriate alternative to nursing home care for individuals who need some help to maintain their independence. It is also a time to thank all of the individuals who provide residents with the help, assistance and support services that they need.
The theme for Assisted Living Week 2017 is “Family is Forever.” NCAL says the theme is based on a quote from poet Maya Angelou that reads:
“Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are; the ones who would do anything to see you smile and you love you no matter what.”
In announcing the theme, NCAL Executive Director Scott Tittle said that “anyone who has spent time in an assisted living community has seen how staff can come to think of their residents as family. It takes a special person to work in our profession, and often, caregivers form bonds that can never be broken.”
What we at Gardant find to be so important is having the right staff in place. The focus needs to be on treating residents with the Love, Compassion and Dignity they deserve in addition to competently providing the help and assistance they need.
Nice looking buildings without the right staff in place are just nice looking buildings.
I love talking to residents of the communities we manage to learn about why they made the move and what they think about the community.
I don’t think I will ever forget the answer to a question I recently asked of a resident of one of our communities. “How long have you lived here,” I inquired. Her response was “three months and I just love it.”
She was living in a private apartment that she decorated to her taste; was receiving the personal assistance and help with medications she needed; and was enjoying all of the opportunities that were available to socialize and participate in social, recreational, educational and wellness programs and events.
Of special importance was the way she was treated by staff.