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How Is Assisted Living Residents’ Independence and Privacy Respected?

How Is Assisted Living Residents’ Independence and Privacy Respected?

One of the most significant benefits of assisted living communities is having 24/7 access to professional staff trained to assist you with activities of daily living like bathing, dressing, grooming, and medication management. On the flip side, you want to maintain your independence and privacy while receiving that care. 

Assisted living communities like Solterra Senior Living’s Lakeside Assisted Living strive to provide the best possible care day and night while respecting each individual’s autonomy, dignity, and privacy rights. 

Below, you’ll find information about some state and federal laws protecting those receiving long-term care. You’ll also read more about assisted living communities’ strategies and practices that help strike a balance between giving outstanding care and support, promoting independence, and preserving privacy for each resident.

Federal and State Protections for Assisted Living Residents

The Code of Federal Regulations sets out specific laws to protect residents in assisted living communities. In keeping with these federal laws, every state has regulations in place to protect the civil rights of residents in assisted living. Since Arizona is a popular destination for many seniors and has many excellent senior living options, their legal protections are outlined below as an example.

Both federal and state law in Arizona protects assisted living residents’ rights to:

  • Dignified existence: Being treated with dignity and respect in a supportive care environment that also promotes a high quality of life and recognizes independence and individuality
  • Self-determination: Making choices for yourself, including about medical care, services rendered, and activities
  • Privacy: Keeping personal possessions in your living space; access to private phone calls, emails, and private visits and conversations with visitors; ability to keep your financial records and correspondence private
  • Access records and information: Reviewing your medical and personal records within the community; access to state regulations regarding assisted living communities; written notice of changes in fees or charges; opportunities to review information about the community, including any complaints or violations
  • Terminate residency: Choosing to stay in your assisted living community, transfer to another one, or transfer to another living space within your chosen community.

Because assisted living communities are regulated and certified by the state, they know the importance of ensuring all of the above rights are protected and work hard to ensure every resident feels supported and safe. Various strategies to accomplish these goals include taking a person-centered approach to care, specially designed living spaces, integrating technology, and employing well-trained staff, as discussed below.

Person-Centered Care Approach

Assisted living communities understand that each resident is unique. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to care. Instead, staff works collaboratively with residents and their families to better understand their care goals, needs, and values. In this approach, residents take an active part in making decisions about their care by expressing concerns and establishing preferences, which is vital to maintaining their independence and autonomy. Regular communication is critical, and staff works hard to make adjustments and address concerns as needed while maintaining the highest level of care.

One of the most essential parts of person-centered care is developing a personal care plan that is unique to the individual. Upon arrival, each individual participates in a comprehensive evaluation of their medical and personal history. Then, staff works with them to develop a unique, individualized personal care plan. 

These personal care plans cover what level of assistance the resident requires for activities of daily living, what medication they need and on what schedule, medical and health conditions, and any mobility aids they might benefit from. 

Equally important to the medical care side, though, is the more personal side. Hobbies and interests, social preferences, dietary needs, and religious choices are all taken into account. Based on the personal care plan, staff can ensure that each resident can access classes and activities, dining services, group outings, and religious services that might interest them. Being able to make choices and decisions about how to spend your time is a vital component of maintaining independence. 

Specially Designed Living Spaces

By providing private apartments designed with convenience and safety in mind, Lakeside assisted living communities encourage residents’ independence and help maintain their privacy. Simple, open layouts are easy to navigate, even with mobility issues. Assistive devices like handrails and seating in the bathroom can also allow residents to maintain as much independence as possible. When assistance is needed, however, residents also have access to personal emergency response systems in every apartment, giving them peace of mind that help is always near. Residents are also encouraged to personalize their homes and possessions to express and celebrate their individuality.

On-site amenities like dining services, housekeeping, game and media rooms, transportation, and libraries facilitate residents’ independence, giving them easy access to whatever they need to live well.

Integration of Technology

Technology advancements have given assisted living communities essential tools to help them provide outstanding care while respecting their residents’ privacy needs and rights. For instance, some assisted living communities, like Solterra Senior Living, have incorporated Care Predict technology to remotely and safely monitor and detect even small changes in health status like disrupted sleeping patterns or fluctuations in heart rate or blood pressure. Staff receive the necessary information to provide appropriate care but do not need to enter the residents’ private living spaces to gather the data.

Other technology includes unobtrusive smart home sensors that can alert staff to falls or accidents without regular check-ins and telehealth services that allow residents to connect with medical and other staff without leaving the comfort and privacy of their apartments. 

Well-Trained Staff

Assisted living staff are well-trained to maintain the delicate balance between providing the best possible care while respecting residents’ privacy and autonomy. While most people drawn to this line of work are compassionate, they receive additional training in empathy, cultural and religious sensitivity, communication skills, and approaches to assisting with dignity. This training enables them to create a meaningful, respectful, and supportive environment for all.

At Solterra Senior Living’s Lakeside Assisted Living, we incorporate the above strategies to give each resident the right level of care while fostering their independent spirit and protecting their privacy. If you would like to learn more about us, please contact us to ask questions or schedule an in-person tour. 

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