Identifying a Supportive Environment for Independent SeniorsApril 17, 2023
Just like how seeds grow in good soil, a supportive environment is essential to any individual’s healing, recovery, and inspiration. It allows you to develop positive self-esteem, keeps you engaged with your peers, as well as empowers you to meet your goals. According to the University of Waterloo, an enabling and supportive environment ensures that you have access to programs, services, and supports; fosters security and safety; strengthens dignity, and minimizes any risk of abuse or neglect.
The Foundations of a Supportive Environment
In order to know whether a senior living community offers a supportive environment, check if these attributes are present:
They nurture. Supportive environments look into your needs, prioritize them, and provide them consistently, in a timely manner, and with respect. They promote inspiration and encouragement and fervently believe you can reach your personal and health goals when you put your heart into it. They speak with positive affirmation. They sustain you with the right nutrition, offer excellent companionship, and thrive in a community where there is a deep sense of belonging.
They are capable. Community professionals devote their time and effort to achieving special certifications that prove that the services and support they offer are within standard. They nourish themselves with the same good food, positive words, and optimistic strength each day as they head to work, and this radiates on to everyone they meet.
They listen. They consider you as a decision-maker and respect your preferences and choices. Policies and practices are made with you in mind, allowing you to contribute and speak up whenever necessary and ensure that these concerns are heard and resolved.
They adapt to changes. The best communities open their minds to the many possibilities, studying their strengths and weaknesses and implementing new programs that offer better results. They look into facts and prioritize factors that give you and your fellow community members more comfort and convenience while offering services according to the best quality standards.
They value your safety. A supportive environment is a safe environment, putting your physical, mental, and emotional safety among their highest concerns. The community should be outfitted with devices that keep your residences secure. Telephone lines must be open 24/7, accepting calls whenever they come.
Check the community’s offerings—amenities, services, and special programs—to gauge if they offer a supportive environment for you. Ask current community members to vet the community or read reviews from the internet. Let your family and friends help you gauge whether a community suits your desires.
To take a deeper dive into supportive environments for independent seniors, here is a checklist:
How To Check If Your Community Is a Supportive Environment for Independent Seniors
1. Community services and programs should accommodate every community member’s best interests. While each person is different, it is necessary that the community offers a wide variety of services that suits your preferences.
2. Offer flexible policies for accessibility-focused programs, including home services, transportation options, delivery, and telehealth.
3. Create a safe and secure environment, with point persons ready to offer assistance at the entrance of each amenity and during calls.
4. Offer designated parking for people with disabilities, adequate wheelchair spots, and well-maintained grounds that avoid the risks of slips, trips, and falls. Lighting should be adequate, and mark pedestrian routes for people to safely walk in.
5. Individual homes should be made safe, too. Build ramps and slopes for better accessibility. Doors should be easy to locate and wide enough for you to enter. Slippery surfaces should be covered with mats that are level with the ground to avoid trips. Handrails and supportive devices are crucial to spaces such as the bathroom. And instead of stools, seats with armrests are much more desirable to provide support.
6. Encourage social participation with programs that let community members congregate and interact. Informal settings such as coffee areas, movie rooms, and libraries allow you to engage and chat with other people. Occasional outings and trips are suggested.
7. Aid in your pursuit of extended learning by offering educational courses that are useful to you. Short classes in technology, for example, can help you maximize the use of your devices. Classes should not be limited to pure academics but offer opportunities for you to discover new things in humanities, craft, and home economics.
8. Make sure that there is an easy flow within each area in the community by providing signages, help desks, and point persons to assist you when you want them.
9. In times of emergency, an evacuation plan must be set, and the team is ready in each location. Buildings must have dedicated exit routes and alarms with visual and audible signals.
Once you find the right senior living community, celebrate! Here is where you feel you are valued and respected. It is necessary to have confidence that this community looks after you and does its best to provide you with physical, emotional, and mental nourishment.
Come live with us at the Atrium! Perched inside the Navesink Harbor, you are treated to New Jersey’s glamorous waterfront lifestyle, allowing you to take in the best of both worlds: the enchanting spectacle of the sea and the glorious natural backdrop beside you. Packed with all the amenities you’d want: entertainment, fitness, recreation, and an award-winning wellness program, you can live your life to the fullest on your own terms. Call to schedule a tour today.