If you are the parent, guardian, or caretaker of an adult with disabilities, you have a life that can sometimes be complicated. For as many joys as life brings, there are also questions that come up over the years, regarding your loved one’s future, health, and happiness.
Often, choosing an adult facility means giving up some control. By sending your loved one to a new home, you are unable to be there, at a moment’s notice, to help or to be there if he or she needs you. For years, you have been that person and it can be difficult to shift gears and take a different path.
However, you know that as both you and your dependent have gotten older, the time has come for a change. Especially for a special needs adult, there is an obvious need to grow, adapt, and take on new challenges to live a full and rewarding life.
By selecting a facility for your special needs adult, you are leading him or her towards a life filled with new possibilities and friendships. But, you may wonder, how does one choose a facility?
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To help get you started in your search for a facility, we have compiled a list to guide your decision. There are a lot of factors to consider; take a look at the priorities we have outlined, and make sure that the facility you choose accomplishes each one.
An excellent adult care facility will meet the following requirements for your loved one:
Keeping your loved one’s health and fitness in check requires a lot of things: proper exercise, diet, physical health, mental health, and overall wellbeing. That means you need to check to ensure that all of these factors are checked in on regularly and are also given the right amount of dedication.
For instance, it is important to check in on the facility’s on-site kitchen, dining area, and dining options to make sure that diet and food intake is regulated and managed. Often, facilities will have dieticians and nutritionists available to help with the meal plans and portion sizes. Learn more about how meals are served, what options are available for snacks, and how independent your loved one can be in preparing his or her own meals.
In addition to diet, exercise is just as important to research. Are there options for a gym, or simply nice areas to walk around and enjoy nice days? Does the facility offer group activities, such as sports and Special Olympics teams? Are the exercise options not just fun, but also a way to be social? Will exercise be tailored to your loved one’s needs and abilities?
Finally, health should be monitored regularly, especially since many people in a facility can have trouble articulating health pains and issues. Regular check-ups make a huge difference, allowing residents to be checked for chronic diseases, illnesses, and more.
A holistic approach to health – one that monitors mind and body – keeps your loved one feeling at home and at peace.
Next to health and wellness, safety is one of the top priorities for a facility. When you are letting a loved one out of your care, you want to be sure that safety is respected in all areas.
First, tour the facility. Once you get a feel for it, in-person, you can assess its level of safety. If possible, try to visit at different times of day, especially if this is a facility that your loved one will reside in full time. Seeing how the facility operates during the day and in the evenings can give you a sense of how it is operated and how the residents enjoy their time.
During your visit, take note of how the staff, teachers, and caretakers behave and speak to the residents. Does the environment feel loving and open? Are people laughing and having fun? Just a sense of a room and the interactions between people can help you sense if residents are treated well.
Finally, you want to be sure that the facility and its surrounding area seem safe. Check that everything seems clean and up to health standards. Keep an eye out for anything that seems dangerous or ill-advised, that could put your loved one in harm’s way. Make sure the area surrounding the facility feels safe and somewhere you are confident in sending your loved one to live.
Being happy and feeling part of a family makes life at a facility much more pleasant and enjoyable for everyone involved. Plus, being engaged in regular group time and fun activities keeps minds alert and social skills activated.
Look for groups and activities where your loved one can thrive. As mentioned above, Special Olympics can provide a great outlet for both group interaction and teamwork. Additionally, performing arts groups offer room for expression and confidence-building that can otherwise be difficult to access.
Plus, being connected in a deeper, spiritual way can help your loved one adjust to life in the facility and make lasting friendships. Worship activities can also blend art, as is the case with the Baddour Center’s famous choir group, The Miracles. Combining talents, expression,and beliefs makes residents feel valued and connected with their extracurricular activities.
Often, adults with disabilities find that landing rewarding jobs can be difficult. That’s why it is important to find a facility that can give residents purpose, offering options for work that is rewarding.
Work opportunities can come in a variety of forms, and it is important to get an understanding of the jobs that are offered and how residents can grow and learn in their roles.
For instance, two of the work opportunities that are offered at the Baddour Center are in our garden center and with our custom packaging company. Both of these job settings give residents a sense of pride and community in the work they do each day.
Since the center is located in Senatobia, Mississippi – close to Memphis, Tennessee and the surrounding area – we have customers from all over come to us to use our garden and packaging services. The residents love interacting with customers and providing high quality work.
Residents feel accomplished and useful when called upon to work and give their talents to the community. Sharing their skills with the wider public is a benefit for everyone!
Most importantly, choosing a facility means choosing a home. Home should feel safe, welcoming, and loving at all times.
When you begin researching facilities, ask around. What names come up as caring, loving homes that improve lives? Once you visit these facilities, you can continue to see how activities, interactions, and work can boost moods and self esteem among residents.
To help make a decision, see where your loved one feels the greatest sense of belonging and kindness. Feeling comfort and care can make all the difference in finding a home that truly feels like home.
When visiting, ask other residents what they love about the facility. Hear first-hand how the facility has made them feel, and get a good understanding of how your loved one would fit in.
Taking the first step towards finding a home can be an experience that is exciting and liberating, yet also difficult and bittersweet. Choosing a facility is not a decision to be made lightly; following the steps in this guide can help you in this process, making sure you find that the home offers the right amenities and the right fit.
At the Baddour Center, we understand that putting your child or other family member in our care means you are putting his or her health and happiness in our hands. Just as you should make your decision carefully, we want to answer as many questions as we can and make you feel confident about your choice.
Call us today at 1.888.422.3368 to schedule your tour at Baddour – we look forward to meeting you and your family.
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