M. Hyman: “The power of community to create health is far greater than any physician, clinic or hospital”. Assisted living isn’t just a choice of a new home, but also a new community. Many factors go into that kind of a decision, we are breaking them down today, to make it more simple and clear.
Finding a senior assisted living facility is not so different from finding your next apartment. You want to consider the location and your current needs, accessibility to shopping and restaurants, and distance to nearby family.
Type of Senior Living
Different types of senior living can provide various benefits for you. It’s crucial to carefully consider your needs both at present and in the near future. Some senior living residences offer condos for seniors and a more independent living lifestyle. Others provide private rooms for those with more significant needs. Carefully consider your level of independence and your ability to complete tasks on your own. Once you know where you stand, you will be able to make an informed choice about what kind of living facilities to check out.
Cost and Payment Options
The pricing of senior living homes will vary due to several factors. Consider your budget and what insurance may cover to have an accurate idea of what you can afford. Also, ask each home about payment options to ensure you are comfortable and able to make payments on time.
Does the living facility offer transportation and supervised activities? For some seniors, even going to the grocery store can present challenges. Driving, parking, or hauling heavy bags home can be difficult for many older adults. Ask the senior living home if they offer shuttles to places like grocery stores, movies, and other activities you may be interested in doing.
Senior Wellness and Health
Senior health is of utmost importance. Activities like chair yoga, walks, and guided meditation are wonderful ways for older adults to remain calm, centered, and relaxed. You may not run marathons anymore, but that does not mean you should neglect your health and wellbeing. Be sure to ask the places you are touring what kind of physical exercise options they offer.
Feedback Between Residents and Staff
Feedback is crucial to ensure excellent communication between you, the resident, and the staff. Your family will likely also want to be able to have a pathway of communication open between the people caring for you and themselves. How does the facility handle feedback and requests? Are often are these suggestions implemented- and how quickly? These are things to ask when visiting potential living facilities.
Your New Place
Your room or condo will be your new home, so be sure it is to your liking. Things to consider include:
- Sturdy furniture
- Good quality appliances
- Accessibility- like a bar or seat in the shower
- StepsCarpeting or slippery floors
You want to treat this like your next apartment. Ask to see various rooms the living facility may offer so you can choose the arrangement most suited to your liking.
The history of any senior living facility is crucial to know you are in a safe and protected place. Searching for reviews online and requesting a history report can let you know if there have been any robberies, break-ins, or scams. A place with a bad history is dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.
Just because you are moving to a senior assisted facility does not mean you have to leave your furbaby behind! Many places offer options for cats and dogs, so find a facility that is welcoming of your furry friend. You committed to taking care of your pet, so find a place that is loving and welcoming of them. Then you two can continue being happy together.
Consider your current medical needs. Are they likely to increase? If so, can the senior home you are considering support that? Senior living facilities can cater to different needs, but not all will cover extensive medical care. If you predict you may need things like a hospital bed or nurse supervision, then look for a place that can accommodate your medical needs.
Get to Know the Staff
When you are visiting senior living facilities, watch the staff to learn more about them. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the staff know their residents by name?
- Are there certified nurses on call to deal with medical issues or emergencies?
- Does the facility have a high turnover rate?
Noticing these details can make all the difference. A high turnover rate will indicate staff or management are unhappy in the facility, which undoubtedly affects the overall quality of life of the seniors living there. Ensure you will get consistent, happy, positive care from wonderfully trained and professional staff.
Take Your Time
If you have decided to move to a senior assisted living space, take your time. Unless there is an urgent need, you should take your time to consider the pros and cons of each place. You want to make a decision that you feel comfortable with so you can be excited about this next stage in your life.
Talk to Other Residents
Ask to meet other residents or even have current residents to be your tour guide around the place. Seniors already living there will be full of insights you may have not yet thought about, and can give you the real pros and cons of the place. These will also be your neighbors and friends, so make sure you like the residents there and can envision spending time with them.
Carefully Read the Contract
When you receive a contract, read through everything in great detail. If you do not totally understand these things, ask a family member or lawyer to sit with you and go through it. Reading the fine print can be very important to avoid expenses or other factors you may not be comfortable with.
Visit More Than Once
Visit a few times at different hours to determine if it’s the right place for you. If you have narrowed down your options to a couple of places, try visiting a few times at different hours. For example, go once during lunch and see the residents and try out the food. Go another time during activities and join residents for mahjong or bridge. Ask if you can pop in during evening hours to see how the place feels then. When you are deciding on a senior living facility, you are deciding on a home. Be sure it feels safe and comfortable at all hours of the day.
Enjoy, This Is an Exciting Step!
Most of all, enjoy your time exploring senior living facilities. This next stage in your life can be empowering as you take steps to ensure you find a place that fits all your needs- from great food to excellent healthcare to fun activities. If you consider the items in this list, you will be well prepared to make an informed decision that will give you happiness for many years to come.