When families make the decision to relocate their loved ones to an assisted living facility, they hope for more than just safety and medication management. That's because it's not uncommon for seniors to live a long, rich life in their new home--in fact, 11% of all assisted living residents are under the age of 65. In order to create a robust, enduring experience for all their residents, assisted living facilities require a number of diverse professionals.
If you're beginning to embark on an assisted living career path, it's important to understand what types of jobs are available to you. There's probably a whole lot more available than you might think at first glance.
Once the business of major daily life activities is handled, seniors find themselves with a lot of time on their hands! Nobody wants to live in an environment where the only source of recreation available to them is a book or television show. That's why a social environment based around a multitude of authentic activities is critical to a resident's quality of life. In fact, studies show that this is a key component to healthy aging.
In order to meet these social needs, assisted living facilities often employ activity directors and assistants to plan and implement a wide variety of activities. These activities combine to create a culture where residents feel welcome and families trust that their loved ones are in a good place. Otherwise, facilities run the risk of residents failing to develop meaningful relationships with their new neighbors.
Another major contributing factor to the quality of a senior's life is their food. Many residents will have the ability--and the desire--to prepare many of their own meals. However, since cooking is one of the major life requirements that assisted living residents often need help with, it's important for every facility to have a high-functioning kitchen that can serve a large number of people.
That said, these jobs are more than just typical cafeteria jobs. Thematic meals and other celebrations require specialized, proficient food preparation in order to be successful. Food is an important part of everyone's culture, making it important for the chefs and assistants in assisted living facilities to be up to the task.
Life transitions often require nutritional alterations in order to progress smoothly. When people reach an advanced age, their prior eating habits simply won't work for them anymore. That's because old age often creates dietary problems related to:
- Decreased caloric requirements
- Lowered bone density
- Hindered digestion
- Vitamin deficiencies
In order to manage these requirements, professional help is required. Nutritionists can help residents deal with their changing dietary needs and ensure that residents maintain an active, healthy lifestyle. They also serve as a primary defense against chronic medical issues related to obesity and the circulatory system.
Death is a difficult concept that holds particular meaning for people in assisted living facilities. Even those who aren't under any immediate medical duress must face the fact that some of their friends and neighbors probably are. Also, at some point, they will have to deal with the idea of their passing in a very personal way.
Counseling and support are critical in this type of environment. Hospice professionals help people deal effectively with this transition. For families, it's a comfort to know that there are professionals in their loved one's home environment dedicated to making this process as comfortable as possible.
While nurses are an integral part of any assisted living facility's support system, it takes much more than proper medical care to create great living conditions for seniors. There are many different ways you can utilize your personal strengths and passions to help create a lifestyle worthy of our senior citizens.
Contact an assisted living center in your area for more information on assisted living employment options.Share