There are several reasons you may be looking at senior living communities.
Perhaps you’re in the midst of your “golden years” and living entirely on your own is no longer option.
Maybe that time is approaching and you’re simply trying to be prepared.
Or maybe you’re perfectly comfortable living on your own but want the benefits that come with residing in a senior community. There are many.
Lastly, maybe you’re searching for a new home for a loved one.
Regardless of your motivation, selecting a senior living community can be a daunting task. However, you can simplify that effort by doing your homework, knowing what you’re looking for, and which questions to ask to help find just that.
Schedule a tour of any facility you’re considering, and here are five questions to get you started…
Are you looking for senior independent living or do you require assisted living? Different facilities offer different types of residences and amenities, so be sure you know what your needs are. Also, keep in mind that your status might change over time. Even if independent living would still work for you or your loved one, there may come a time when you’ll need assisted living. Finding a community that offers both will make it easier on all parties in the future, and prevent you from having to go through this process again.
Are there activities and other forms of entertainment offered to residents, and is there a social calendar available? Nobody, regardless of age, wants to be bored. We obviously have different interests and seek different levels of activity, but we all crave some form of entertainment and interaction. From card games and book clubs to dances and theatre visits, most communities offer activities like these. Know your interests and make sure your new home can accommodate them.
This one is pretty straightforward, but you want to be sure the community is in a safe area and that security is tight. Does the facility have a security guard or staff? What is the criteria for gaining access to residents’ rooms?
Whether it’s nurses (if applicable) or other members of the community’s staff, find out how accessible they are to the residents and what, exactly, their role is on a daily basis. Be sure you know who you – or your loved one – would turn to with specific needs. Remember, you want this to be as enjoyable and comfortable as possible. Taking the guesswork out helps achieve that goal. Also, while you’re on the tour, be sure to note how friendly the staff is to you and also to the existing residents.
Can residents have their own vehicles if they wish? If so, where do they park and is there a fee for doing so? How accessible with their vehicles be, and is valet service offered? Whether personal vehicles are permitted or not, what other options are available through the community? Is there any bus or “shuttle” service? Are there any organized outings to places such as supermarkets, pharmacies, etc.? Can rides to medical appointments be scheduled through facility staff and, again, is there a cost associated or is it included?
Your list of questions should be much longer than five, but hopefully these get you thinking and help you develop a strategy during your search for the right senior living community.
© Lourdes-Noreen McKeen | 315 South Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach, FL33401 | 561.655.8544