Assisted Living Facility Staff
Assisted living facilities have a wide range of staffing philosophies. The staff is determined by the makeup and size of the facility. If the assisted living community is connected to, or shares a campus with, a skilled nursing facility, then those staff resources may be integrated and shared between both types of housing options. Some facilities are large and contain several hundred residents and many types of employees such as an administrator, admissions coordinator, various directors, nurses, housekeepers, aides and volunteers. While other facilities are very small and may employ only a few people who perform a multitude of tasks. Smaller doesn’t necessarily mean of poorer quality, as a smaller facility may contract the necessary healthcare services if they do not provide them directly. When researching your facility options, get informed about the staff at each facility and the credentials of that staff.
Level of Care Should Determine Staff Needs
Each resident has different needs and will require different levels of care. For those seniors in good health that do not require much, if any, medical assistance, there might not be a need to have a skilled nurse available at the facility. For others, having accessible physical therapy might be a requirement. Since assisted living homes come in all shapes and sizes, the patient’s level of care should help determine the staffing that is required at the assisted living facility they choose. Many facilities may not directly employ various specialized staff such as skilled nurses or physical therapists, but may make arrangements for such care visits.
Typical Staff at an Assisted Living Facility
As mentioned, listing the specific types of staff is almost impossible due to the wide range of sizes of licensed assisted living facilities. However, some general titles of staff that you might find at the larger assisted living facilities include:
- Administrator – the director of the facility
- Medical Director – in charge of the overall healthcare strategy
- Director of Nursing – responsible for overseeing all nursing activities
- Admissions Coordinator – responsible for resident admissions
- Housekeeping Coordinator – responsible for all housekeeping activities
- Dining Coordinator – responsible for all dining activities
- Nursing Staff – may include registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, clinical nursing assistants and personal care technicians
- Housekeeping Staff
- Custodial Staff
- Dining Staff
- Administrative Staff
It is important to get an idea for how the facility hires, recruits and trains its staff. Does the facility seek out experienced staff only? What are the requirements to become a volunteer? What is typical turnover of various support staff? A tour of a facility can be invaluable as you can see how residents and staff interact and can get a good sense of how many staff members are around while you visit the property.
Volunteers at Assisted Living Facilities
Some facilities will enlist the help of volunteers to help perform various tasks. Volunteers can be good for residents. Since volunteers are not there to make a living, they usually volunteer because they sincerely care about the well being of others. Volunteers might help residents with daily living activities, with various social activities, arranging transportation and other assistance. A good mix of volunteers and employees can make for a very friendly, helpful and accessible staff.