A Needs Assessment is Your First Step in Moving to a Senior Living Community
Mike McClernonMay 13th, 2020
Planning Tips and Tools
One of the first things that seniors do when moving to a senior living community is a needs assessment. When a new resident joins them, the facility conducts a standard, thorough assessment designed to test elderly individuals' physical and cognitive health.
Seniors and their families often have a lot of questions about what to expect and how the entire process of transitioning to senior care actually works.
What to Expect During a Needs Assessment
A needs assessment is a process to gather information about a senior’s life and functional abilities and needs. It simply helps facilities better understand and provide the best-personalized care for their new residents. Each facility has its own assessment, but usually, they cover the following areas:
Behavior or Mental Condition
Facilities will take a general look at a senior's behavior. They want to see if the senior is able to comply with the facility's policies and any state/federal regulations. The senior must communicate needs, respond to direction by staff, and show respect to other residents and staff members. During the assessment, they also examine the person’s cognitive state and whether or not they are experiencing confusion or dementia. This way, the staff can be ready to provide specific care.
Health Issues & Conditions
This assessment will look at past medical history and health issues, ranging from arthritis, cancer, and heart issues to diabetes and digestive disorders. Vision and hearing problems and incontinence will also be discussed to be addressed in the senior’s care plan. They will also seek information on medications and how these are to be administered. Special Supportive Services
Some seniors may require special support and extra assistance from staff members. The assessment will note particular needs for the resident, such as a special diet, assistance with mobility, and housekeeping.
Personal Care & Hygiene Needs
If the resident needs help with personal care, bathing, hygiene, grooming, and using the restroom, this information will be documented and included in their care plan.
Questions to Ask During a Needs Assessment
During the needs assessment, questions will be directed to the senior resident; however, seniors and their family members should also be ready to ask questions such as:
- How often do they check on residents?
- What is the plan for executing your loved one’s individual care plan?
- How often is a needs assessment given?
- Ask how the staff assesses a resident's health changes in order to determine the types of care one needs?
- What skillset is the staff equipped with and what types of care needs can they easily respond to?
- Who will be administering any medications?
Answers to these questions can let you and your loved one know how the facility will address and execute your senior’s care plan.
Remember that a need assessment is extremely important so they can determine what care is needed so your senior can thrive in a safe, welcoming environment. Assisted Living Locators senior care advisors can guide you through the process of moving to senior living.
Our free referral service provides you with the best elder care resources available. Contact Assisted Living Locators of Long Island to learn more.