Are Group Homes Safe For Adults With Disabilities?
When you must place your loved one in a group home for adults with disabilities, you need assurance that your family member is safe, comfortable and well cared for.
The challenge is that you can’t be with there 24/7 to supervise conditions in the home. How do you truly know that your loved one will be comfortable, safe and treated properly?
Features of Group Homes For Adults With Disabilities
Consider several features of a safe group home for adults with disabilities as you make living arrangements for your loved one.
For a group home to operate legally in the U.S., its operators must first obtain a license from the state. That license verifies that the home has passed stringent facility and operational guidelines that conform to state safety laws and regulations.
Additionally, licensed homes undergo regular inspections to ensure they remain in compliance.
You can ask a group home administrator to verify that the home has obtained the proper state license and that the license is current. Then ask for information about regular inspection results.
Details about the group home license can give you peace of mind that your loved one will reside in a facility that follows and maintains safety requirements.
The ideal group home provides a living environment that’s physically and emotionally safe. All residents are valued, nurtured, and treated with dignity and respect. Likewise, bullying of all types is not tolerated.
Evaluate the environment in potential group homes when you visit the facility at various announced and unannounced times. You should see evidence that the residents are happy together and that conflicts are resolved quickly and peacefully.
The home’s environment should also encourage adults with disabilities to live as independently as possible while receiving all the supervision and support they need to perform Activities of Daily Living (ADL).
Adults with disabilities may face a variety of intellectual, physical or emotional challenges. However, trained staff will understand those disabilities and be able to provide adequate care with skill and compassion.
The best group homes for adults with disabilities employ only highly-trained staff. All employees, including administrators, direct care personnel and facility caretakers, have achieved the proper education and have earned the right credentials for their positions.
The staff knows the proper operating and safety procedures for the home and understand your loved one’s specific disability and the proper way to interact with each resident.
Emergencies and accidents can happen in any home.
A safe group home has procedures to address every possible emergency, including medical situations, criminal activity, and natural disasters. Each resident also receives support that minimizes the risk of harm due to cognitive or behavioral challenges they or other residents exhibit.
Potential group homes for your loved one will enact safety procedures that cover a variety of situations.
When touring group homes for adults with disabilities, you should see the following:
- Clearly marked exits
- A current and accurate building evacuation plan
- Essential mobility supports
- Proper lighting
- Door alarms
- Fire extinguishers
Each staff member should also understand protocols that address potential risks and know how to perform CPR and basic first aid skills.
Ongoing Medical Care
Adults with disabilities often have medical and/or mental health needs.
A safe group home provides ongoing access to valuable resources like:
- Mental health professionals
- Transportation services
Also, staff members are capable of implementing each resident’s individual medical and mental health support plan. Residents receive the medical and mental health treatment they need when they need it.
When your loved one lives in a safe group home for adults with disabilities, you can rest assured that his or her medical needs will be met. You have peace of mind knowing that the staff is managing and coordinating your loved one’s care while ensuring your family member enjoys optimal health.
A group home is managed by professionals who work hard to create a home-like environment for their residents. Although a resident’s family members aren’t present, family members are welcome to make regular scheduled and spontaneous visits.
The family is also involved in making decisions about their loved one’s care.
With regular family involvement, you create an impromptu checks and balances system. You can keep an eye on your loved one’s safety during visits, phone calls, and other contact. This involvement helps you ensure the group home remains a safe place for your loved one at all times.
A disability does not prevent adults from participating in a variety of activities. They may play a sport, create art, enjoy shopping, or volunteer.
These and other solo and group activities are part of the daily schedule in a group home because staying active supports a well-balanced and meaningful life. The group home staff also provides supervision that keeps each individual safe.
Ideally, your loved one will live in a group home that offers numerous activities in the home and community. Your family member will lead a fulfilling life as he or she enjoys hobbies, connects with others and remains active each day.
A balanced diet supports a healthy lifestyle and proper body function.
Group home owners understand this essential part of daily life and will provide delicious and nutritious meals that are made from fresh ingredients and comply with any dietary needs or medical restrictions of their residents.
The kitchen and dining room staff also undergo regular training in safe food handling.
To support your loved one’s health, you can choose a group home for adults with disabilities that prioritizes nutritious and delicious meals. Your loved one will have access to regular meals and snacks in a clean environment with all dietary restrictions strictly followed.
Finding Safe Group Homes For Adults With Disabilities
The safety of your family member is a top priority at a group home for adults with disabilities.
Fortunately, there are many options when it comes to group homes for adults with disabilities that enable your loved one to have new independence while still getting the support and care they need.
Consider this list as you choose a safe environment your loved one can call home.