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Assisted living home outings: Is your loved one safe?

When you place your loved one in an assisted living home, you trust that you are leaving them in good hands. The facility staff is responsible for ensuring your loved one’s care and safety while living there and going about normal everyday activities.

What happens when your loved one leaves the facility to join a group that is going on an outing, such as to the grocery store or senior citizen center? Many assisted living homes sponsor weekly trips to the store or take residents to other activities, allowing residents to maintain a sense of independence. Outings also boost residents’ emotional wellbeing and give people a sense of community. According to U.S. News, assisted living home outings may not always be safe.

What dangers should you be concerned about?

While the environment at the assisted living facility is equipped with safety equipment and designed to minimize potential hazards, the outside world is not. Falls are one of the most common hazards to traveling residents. Residents may fall when walking on an uneven sidewalk, stepping in a hole or navigating a slippery pathway.

Another potential danger involves residents wandering away or getting lost from the group. This can occur in busy areas or in a place where the resident may become confused.

What steps should you take to ensure safety?

It is helpful to find out what types of outings your loved one’s assisted living home offers. Do not be afraid to ask questions, including the following:

  • How many staff members are joining the group?
  • What type of supervision will be present?
  • How much freedom will your loved one be given while they are out?

You should assess whether your loved one is physical and mentally able to handle the outing. Could they potentially wander away and get lost? Do they need assistance walking and can the outing handle the proper equipment your loved one needs to get around?

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