February 1, 2018, Minneapolis, Minnesota:

To meet the growing needs of the 75 million baby boomers and their aging parents, many new independent living communities are now connected to long-term care facilities. There are options to transition from independent living to assisted living as needed, skilled nursing services, memory care and hospice, all though the same senior living system.

It’s just a matter of time when you’ll be involved in researching the options about senior living for yourself, your spouse, your parents, a family member or a friend. When it comes time to consider senior living options, for yourself or your loved ones, safety is as important as affordability. Safety speaks to the quality of life at the community.

At Brothers Fire and Security encourage you to ask the following questions when screening senior living communities for you or your loved ones. Whether you’re doing the research yourself or working with a senior living consulting service, here are the questions we recommend.

SAFETY & SECURITY CHECKLIST (click to download pdf)

  1. Are the premises monitored inside (including garages) and outside for 24-7 security? Who provides the monitoring, and are they reputable? The most secure facilities have a full-time guard sitting at the front and other entrances verifying identities of visitors, people leaving, vendors, etc. Do they have access cards in place to monitor traffic?
  2. Are all the required safety and security inspections and services coordinated annually for the fire, security and communication systems? When were the last inspections done, and if issues were found, have they been resolved?
  3. Do all the staff know how to use fire extinguishers and reset monitoring equipment?
  4. Are there fire extinguishers and, if so, when were they last inspected? Are kitchen hoods in the food preparation areas clean, inspected and functioning properly?
  5. As we saw in the recent hurricanes in Florida and Texas, evacuations of senior communities may be necessary. Ask about in-place emergency plans: staff training, evacuations, tornado shelter, power outages, backup generators, resident accountability, medication needs, temporary shelter and security during transitions.
  6. Is the facility compliant with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety (IAHSS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and other governing bodies?
  7. What does the facility do to protect residents from elder abuse, or thefts and burglaries by staffers (unfortunately, it does happen), as well as outsiders? Most senior-living communities carry bonds or general liability insurance to pay for theft in their facilities. What is their incident rating?
  8. Check with the local Department of Health (DOH) to find out if the facility has had any violations and how they were resolved.

Making sure that you have the answers to these important safety and security questions will bring peace of mind, support your decision-making process and provide the senior living experience that’s right for you and your family.

As one of the premier providers of fire and security solutions in the Upper Midwest, Brothers Fire & Security strives to build long-term, value-added relationships. We work with business owners and property management companies, as well as all types of public institutions to solve fire and security needs. By taking advantage of our integrated bundled services, many of our clients find that they can save 25-30% on their safety services, annual inspections and more. From a single location to franchises throughout the region and the country, our integrated approach saves our clients valuable time, money and stress. We provide fire protection systems, security systems, fire sprinkler systems, fire alarm systems, 24-7 monitoring, fire extinguishers, card access and kitchen hoods.