The Assisted Living Golden Ratio: How Many Residents Can One Caregiver Serve?

Geriatric nurse helping senior citizen woman with walkerAssisted living staff members are the front line in caring for your loved one, and their skills, attitude, and abilities have real impact on his or her health and quality of life. But how do you know if a facility has enough caregivers (or not enough) to properly aid their residents?

First, it’s important to understand that no assisted living facility will offer one-to-one care. In practical terms, every resident will have to wait some period of time for assistance.

Second, a good rule of thumb to know is that most facilities have one staff member for every six to eight residents. The ratio will be higher during the nighttime hours, with often one staff member caring for fifteen residents. If the facility you are considering has a higher ratio (say, 10 or 12 residents per caregiver during the day), you will want to understand how that workload is managed by staff.

Third, if the facility won’t give you an average number of residents a single staff member cares for, ask what the average response time is to a request for assistance. A typical reasonable timeframe during the day is ten minutes, but that time will likely be longer at night. If that average response time is longer, that facility may not have enough workers to provide the care your loved one needs.

Find out more about how to make the right decisions for your loved one, check out HealthSpin’s Easy Healthcare: Choosing an Assisted Living Facility.

Helping you “Spin Your Healthcare Your Way!


Want To Make Your Loved One’s Room Feel Like Home?

When my dad moved into an assisted living facility, his desk was the one item which helped comfort him during the transition and made his new room feel like home. Despite being far too big for his room, the desk would not accommodate his wheelchair and so it was nearly unusable.  But it was the desk at which he had written many sermons and consoled many people as a beloved pastor.  So we made this piece of home fit. In this video, you will learn different ways to ease your loved one into an assisted living facility to help make that transition easier on everyone.

We hope we have helped you SPIN YOUR HEALTHCARE YOUR WAY!


How do you make the right decision about moving yourself or a loved one into an Assisted Living Facility without being overwhelmed? How do you even begin talking about it? HealthSpin’s “Easy Healthcare: Choosing an Assisted Living Facility” ebook guide gives you all of the practical advice you need to make the right choice.


Available for download, NOW!

How to Move to Assisted Living with Ease

FBresizeGranpdaSunriseHow do you know when it is the right time for you or your loved one to move from independent living to assisted living?

This decision varies depending on the circumstances.

  1. Is the maintenance of the independent living home becoming too much to handle?
  2. Are there transportation problems getting to the doctor, the grocery store, and friends?
  3. Are there safety concerns about stairs or potential falls?

For my Dad, he was very healthy and independent.  He had no expectation that he would ever need to live in an assisted living home.  Then he began to have unexplainable falls.  We took him to the doctor and surgery was required immediately.  After the surgery, he needed a place to live with very good care and assistance.  He simply couldn’t live in his former home with the bedrooms upstairs and no help.

We talked about the options openly.  Should we have someone live with him?  Should we move him to apartment which could be shared with another senior that would provide company and sharing expenses for extra help with cooking, cleaning, medications and transportation?

It was a difficult decision as he was a very strong independent man who had spent his life as a Methodist minister caring for everyone around him.  He did not like the idea of admitting that he was the one who now needed care.  However, we looked at the options and decided an assisted living home near my house and office would be the best choice for now.  We did not decide it would be the choice forever.  We kept our other options open.

We quickly learned that there was no perfect option, however, we knew we needed some help.

In order to make the transition smoother, we brought some of his precious items from home.  A quilt for the wall from the church, many family photos and his precious desk which made it seem more like home.  He had always been athletic and loved the outdoors and the birds.  We made sure he went outside as often as possible.

The other most important help with the transition was keeping his car at the assisted living home.  My dad LOVED cars!  Even though he could not drive, he knew his car was there.  We had a fabulous “helper” who would come during the week and take him to doctor’s appointments, breakfast, church in his car.  It made him feel like he still had those things he loved and control of his daily life.

For more information about what my Dad and I learned, see HealthSpin’s Easy Healthcare: Choosing an Assisted Living Facility.

Helping you “Spin Your Healthcare Your Way!