Who Works in an Assisted Living Facility?
Every assisted living facility is different and the number of staff will fluctuate – not just between facilities, but between day and night as well. However, in general, here’s the kind of people you’ll find.
Of course at any assisted living facility there are going to be nurses even if ALs do not require the constant care and attention of nursing homes, almost all senior living facilities of this caliber have registered nurses on call 24/7, many even have registered nurses present.
In addition to nurses, there are also aides, attendants, practical nurses, and personal care assistants – but we’ll go into more detail into all of those in another article.
Directors (Medical, Nursing, activities, etc.)
As with any hierarchy, assisted living communities have certain staff members that are in charge of the various aspects of the community. A medical director is responsible for the overall health strategy, the nursing director oversees the nursing staff. And some facilities have activities (or event) directors since an assisted living community is just that, a community; as a result, there will be various programs and events for all the residents to enjoy.
Administrators are typically the top of the hierarchy; they’re essentially the director of the assisted living residence and must make sure it’s up to the state’s standard.
Coordinators (Dining, Housekeeping, Admissions, etc.)
Coordinators take care of a variety of other tasks that are necessary to an AL. For instance, admissions helps prospective seniors become residents. Dining coordinators are in charge of the menus (so if you want more variety, complain to these people!) and housekeeping coordinators run the laundry and general housekeeping routines.
Each of these four tiers has a plethora of staff within them (obviously, you need cooks, technicians and housekeepers as well) and all of them are there to make the experience as pleasant as possible.
And, of course, no facility could function without the help of volunteers.
(In general, almost all of the staff volunteer some of their time as caregivers are wildly underpaid and it’s why the volunteers are so appreciated at these communities.)
Does the Volume of Staff Matter?
It depends on the facility.
Generally speaking, you want to have a reasonable ratio of staff to residents (note: that’s one of the reasons Adult Family Homes are so popular, there’s a limit of 6 residents to each home). If it’s a large Assisted Living Facility, then they should not only have more staff, but also registered nurses on-campus (not simply on-call).
Likewise, an important aspect to consider is how many staff are on-duty (awake) at night? In the past this has been the source of much controversy since there have been facilities that only have two staff members on-duty during the night. Granted, it’s not a nursing home where problems are expected to arise, but if it is a fear of yours (or your elders’), then it’s definitely something to take into consideration.
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