For brain tumor patients who need help with daily activities of living, assisted living offers a viable option. Your family member can enjoy as much independence as he or she can handle yet, at the same time, receive assistance with basic activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, grooming, dressing and more.
Some assisted living facilities are only designed for those over age 65, while others have more age-flexible admissions policies. Most include nutritious meals, housekeeping services, transportation and many social activities for an all-inclusive monthly fee.
Look for a Safe, Secure and Nurturing Facility
All too often, people judge a book by its cover. While most assisted living facilities look welcoming and homelike, you will want to make a decision based on objective factors and measurements.
Your primary goal is to find a facility that will offer a safe and supportive environment for your family member. Visit a few facilities with an appointment and also show up unexpectedly and ask to view the facility and interview the staff. Make a list of questions beforehand and make sure your questions get answered fully and to your satisfaction. Some of them may be:
- Is your facility able to accommodate your family member’s needs…not just now, but in the future?
- Where are the closest hospitals and other supportive services?
- Does your physician make regular rounds at the facility? What is the emergency procedure if your physician is not on-call?
- What types of conditions are accepted? Are you able to effectively care for residents who are experiencing memory loss, impaired thinking abilities, or limited mobility?
- What is the schedule of activities that are open for residents and their families?
- Is your staff composed of licensed health care and rehabilitation specialists? Does any staff specialize in working with people who have brain tumors? What types of continuing education are provided to staff?
- What type of contract is required?
- What does the most recent state audit of the facility look like?
You should leave with a feeling that you’re choosing a nurturing environment, committed to safety and focused on preserving dignity. If you have any concerns, even after your family member moves in, make sure to voice them. You should also set up a staff meeting in advance of the move to discuss how to make this transition easiest for everyone. You’ll also want to ask how often meetings with family and staff (such as with the social workers or nurses, for instance) are scheduled so that you can be actively engaged with the care providers of your family member.
How to Find Assisted Living Facilities
Call the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) CareLine at 800-886-ABTA (2282) for guidance on choosing the right assisted living facility for your needs. Trained health care professionals can answer your questions and provide you with direction on what to look for and where to go.