Knowing how to find a good choice for senior citizen housing can be extremely difficult. After all, as statistics from research firm IBIS World show, there are nearly 18,000 different businesses in the United States that focus on eldercare. Being spoiled for choice is often one of the biggest obstacles people make when trying to find a new home for themselves or their loved ones.
Compounding the issue is the often overly technical jargon assisted living centers use, both in their promotional materials and when you’re holding an initial interview. From staffing to services offered, it’s not uncommon for your local nursing homes or assisted living centers to use terminology that is over your head, oftentimes purposely. Ensure you’re making the most educated decision possible when choosing a senior living center by learning about some of the most commonly misunderstood terminology.
Common Terminology Used by Assisted Living Centers That You Need to Know
- Perineal Care
- Fully-Assisted Nursing Staff
Perineal care, as the online medical news source Medscape suggests, is the term used to describe any services to do with the perineal area of the body. Perineal, from the root perineum, means the genital region. If you’re looking for a home that helps with showering, toileting, and other adult personal hygiene needs, you should look for a provider that offers perineal care. Generally speaking, you won’t find this option at true assisted living centers. This is a service typically reserved for more medically involved facilities, like nursing homes.
As the Utah Department of Health highlights, most, if not all, assisted living centers have a requirement that their residents have the ability to self-ambulate. As the name implies, self-ambulation is the term used to describe a person’s ability to move without help from staff members. Say, for example, your mother or father cannot walk without the help of an aide. In that situation, you would need to look for a home that has no self-ambulation requirements.
If you’re looking for an assisted living option that offers full medical support, you need to be aware of the phrase “fully-assisted nursing staff.” Typically, a center offering fully-assisted nursing staff has only one or two nurses on staff, and instead relies on unskilled aides to provide the bulk of the medical care to keep costs down. The best assisted living centers offer “full nursing staff,” not “fully-assisted nursing staff.” The difference may seem slight, but it can make all the difference in the world when it comes to an emergency situation.
Do you work for a senior housing provider? What are some of the other important yet often misunderstood terms you think should be on this list? Let us know in the comment section below. Links like this.