Think about it – would you rather your elderly loved one lived in a senior living facility or a senior living community?
There are many definitions of community. One is a strong network of people working together toward a common goal. When it comes to care of your elderly loved one, you can be a community contributor, starting with building a good working relationship with your loved one’s senior care team.
Set expectations upfront. Before making the move to your senior living community of choice, talk to the senior care team about your and their expectations, from meal plans, daily task assistance and housekeeping duties, medical care, activities, visiting protocols, receiving welfare updates and other essentials. Make sure to ask how you can support the staff, so you can all be on the same page before getting started.
Avoid Micromanaging. You’ve done your research and selected the best senior living community for mom or dad. You’ve set your expectations. Now is the time to trust your experienced care team to do their jobs. Listen to their recommendations and offer productive feedback when asked, but don’t try to exert control over every detail of your loved one’s care. Treating the staff as trusted and valued members of the community will foster open, two-way communication, allowing you to work together on solutions should any problems arise.
Communicate transparently about all issues. Transparent, two-way communication is critical to create a strong, trusting relationship with your aging parent’s senior living care team. Remember to not only communicate about things you’d like to change or improve but also recognize the good things you see and reinforce them. You can learn more about how to communicate with the care team here.
Be an active part of the community. Whether in person or virtually, you can be an active part of your loved one’s senior living community. Consider joining a family council, where residents’ family members support each other, discuss best practices and generate new ideas for the betterment of the entire community. Make sure you’re subscribed to and follow all the community’s communications channels, such as newsletters, eBlasts, blogs and social media pages, so you get timely community updates and caregiver support. When you see something you like, take a moment to leave a few good words on the community’s Facebook posts and share them with family and friends, to further boost staff’s morale.
Bottom line, taking proactive steps to build a trusted relationship with your loved one’s senior living care team will benefit not only your loved one’s care but the entire community while helping yourself feel more confident and assured.