What should you be seeking when considering a home for your loved one? The same things we all want, right? We can read your mind…a BIG television, granite countertops, and comfortable couch or chair, possibly a small garden in the back, among other things. Let’s face it…some of you might find these particular things appealing; others, not so much.
It’s not reasonable to expect everyone in a home to like or want the same stuff. The truth is, when it comes to “stuff,” our individual preferences vary greatly. So do our resources. And, while we do often pay close attention to the stuff – and it is important! – I am telling you that there are several other considerations upon which you should place much greater significance.
I suggest the most important thing or two – what you should seek above all other considerations – are the “feel” of the home and the level of comfort and confidence its residents display. Resident comfort and confidence should be a tell-tale sign.
Simply, do residents appear comfortable and confident? Are they friendly or guarded? Engaged or withdrawn? Are there frequent and pleasant interactions between roommates and among housemates? Are the persons supporting the home loving and nurturing? Can those support persons be synonymously identified as “teacher,” “mentor, ” “friend”?
If you respond affirmatively to these questions, I repeat that you should see evidence of this in and through the people already supported in the home (and, really, in and through the organization as a whole).
Ideally, it will be clear and obvious…the “taste test” should match the “eye test.” Less these characteristics, it will be difficult for you to envision a place ever being your loved one’s “home away from home”; however, if, when seeking a home, you can gain this type of initial impression, I would strongly encourage you to look further into it.