As you consider senior living care for your parents, the last thing you want is for them to end up in a worse situation than before. After all, you’re helping them move out of their home to keep them healthy and safe. But how can you be sure that they’ll receive the very best care in a senior living community?
Dr. Steven Fuller, vice president and corporate medical director at Presbyterian Senior Living, offers us insight into the ways senior care is using data to reduce negative outcomes and how families can then use that information to ensure the best care for Dad and Mom.
When you’re searching for senior care, it’s generally wise to look beyond the numbers to get an in-person experience with the community. But in a senior care setting, numbers can provide the information needed to create lasting change.
Talk with a Senior Living Advisor
Our advisors help 300,000 families each year find the right senior care for their loved ones.
“Numbers reflect our performance, define where improvement is needed and guide strategies in order to achieve the best possible outcomes,” explains Dr. Fuller.
For example, if a resident falls at a Presbyterian Senior Living (PSL) community, the information isn’t just written up in an incident report— it’s tracked by location within the community, by day of the week, by time of day and by the specific characteristics of the resident’s health. The community then uses those factors to create a person-centered falls-elimination program.
Rather than a one-size-fits-all plan, this approach increases each resident’s safety by addressing the unique challenges in that particular community.
“Our detailed data about falls is used to spearhead fall management strategies that are already improving resident safety,” says Dr. Fuller.
Of course, numbers aren’t just for medical staff — you can also use them to guide your own understanding of a senior living community.
Remember that your support is crucial when it comes to making sure your parents are receiving the best senior care possible. You’ve known your parents much longer than the medical staff has, so it’s important to be an active participant in their care.
If you notice a change in their behavior, for instance, that could mean they’re experiencing side effects from medication.
Never be afraid to communicate and speak up as an advocate for your parents or senior loved ones. In addition, it’s vital to listen to those responsible for the direct care of your parents so your expectations are in sync.
“The importance of maintaining open communication with the doctors and nurses caring for your loved one cannot be overstated,” says Dr. Fuller.
When you understand the issues and potential challenges in Dad or Mom’s care, you can come together with staff members to formulate a workable care plan. With this team approach — and you in their corner — your parents will be poised to get the very best senior care.
Robyn Tellefsen is a New York City-based freelance writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience and hundreds of bylined articles. Her work has appeared on Chase, MSN, OurParents, Parent Society, SoFi, The CollegeBound Network and others.
Has senior care data helped you ensure your parents or senior loved ones are receiving optimum care? We’d like to hear your stories in the comments below.