So you are interested in starting your journey in the Residential Assisted Living industry, but you don’t have a clear picture of what it should look like?
The RAL Academy is here to help.
A Residential Assisted Living home, first and foremost, should look like, well, a home. There are so many options available to people who find themselves needing to locate a residence for their aging parents. Unfortunately, many of those options at the moment are the big box facilities, which feel cold and unaccommodating. These facilities are very common and often what comes to mind when most people think of assisted living.
We want to encourage you to offer another way. Our aging parents or grandparents grew up in a house that they made into a home. That is what is comfortable to them and what they are used to. So whether you are starting with a single-family house or a commercial building that is being converted into a residential facility, the look and feel to aim for is one of a home.
Consider the image to the right. With the open floor plan and comfortable furniture, doesn’t it feel more like a regular home full of warmth, rather than an assisted living facility?
There should also be a sense of convenience and accessibility to every area of the home, including the outside. Driveways, paths and walkways should all be easy to navigate for people of any mobility. Inside, consider adopting an open floor plan with less clutter and strategically placed furniture to allow freedom of movement for all residents. Consider space not only for residents, but also those who will be visiting them.
Remember, while accessibility for the residents is paramount, it is also necessary to consider accommodating for families of the residents. Do you have a large dining area or living room to entertain family members comfortably all in one area? Is there ample room for parking near the residence for visiting family members?
Consider offering amenities that create a comfortable and cozy environment. Like any business, you want your brand to stand out from the rest, and one of the often chosen options in the U.S. is the big-box facility, most of which feel sterile and cold. So, to set yourself apart and establish an identity that is attractive to prospective residents and their families, try to create a sense of warmth and care in your RAL home. Chose furniture that looks and feels comfortable. Most homes don’t have bare walls, so think about adding personal touches like art on the walls.
Think About All Five Senses
Consider what a home looks like, feels like, and even smells like. The home should look and smell clean. If you were looking for a place for your aging parents, would you even consider one where the staff didn’t appear to keep the residence clean? Of course not. If we can’t keep the home clean, that will communicate to prospective residents and their families that we are unable to sufficiently care for their loved ones.
Aside from keeping the home clean, another way to create a great smelling home is to use an air purifier, which can also be a benefit to the health of the residents. Delicious home cooked meals create a wonderful aroma, so think about when you will be hosting visitors at the home and plan on being aromatically prepared. Try something as simple as fresh baked cookies, or have freshly cut flowers in a vase. When your guests walk through the door they will be immediately greeted with the feel of warmth and comfort.
There are so many elements that need to be considered when starting your Residential Assisted Living Home and so many ways that you can create a space that will attract residents and keep your home full.
If you are interested in finding out more, check out our YouTube channel, filled with tons of content to answer all your questions and help you navigate this exciting opportunity with confidence.