About 1 million elderly Americans live in assisted living communities – and for good reasons too. An assisted living community is designed to help you get the most out of your senior years. But they’re also there to provide the healthcare and mobility assistance you may need.
While you or your loved ones may be apprehensive about moving out of their home and into a new community, it’s a worthwhile decision. You’ll get peace of mind and community where you can belong and fit in.
Even still, it’s a decision you should take seriously. Here’s what you should consider to helping you choose the right assisted living community for your needs.
Do I Need Assisted Living?
Assisted living is different than a nursing home. Assisted living is designed to help you live out your golden years the way you want. But you may need help with some other aspects of your life like cooking, cleaning, or getting to or from appointments.
That’s where assisted living comes in. If you struggle with these aspects of your life, moving to an assisted living community can help.
They’re not designed to interfere or control your life – they’re designed to make your life easier. Once you’ve decided that an assisted living community is right for you, here’s how to pick the right one.
Visit the Community
You wouldn’t buy a new house in a new neighborhood without ever visiting it. You shouldn’t with an assisted living community either. Make sure to visit the community and see if you like it.
What safety features are in place? Do the restrooms have grab bars? How can residents contact staff in an emergency?
Is it clean, fresh, and inviting? How often does housekeeping take care of rooms? What are the meals like?
You can ask to see a menu or enjoy a meal while you visit. You want to know you’ll enjoy the food, and you’ll enjoy the space.
Is there plenty to do? Do you feel like you can stay engaged in the community, or will you get bored?
The community should have activities, but amenities are much less important than residents and staff. So take the time to talk to the people there.
Talk to the Staff
You want to make sure that the community is properly staffed, and they have time to spend time with residents. Do they have time to interact with you while you’re visiting, and if so, are they warm and engaged?
Or do they seem stressed, like there are too much to do and too few hands to help?
Don’t be afraid to ask about emergencies or if an employee is sick. Is there enough staff to cover if someone can’t come into their shift? Can they provide you with plans about what they’ll do in an emergency?
Talk to the Residents
These residents could be your new neighbors. Are they excited to be there? Do they spend time together?
But more importantly, you want to be able to build friendships with them. Are they people you would want to get to know? Can you see yourself making friends with the residents?
Are there any clubs or groups that might interest you, like a knitting circle, a board game night or card group, or maybe a club that likes to talk fishing? These are perfect groups that can lead to new friends.
Pay Attention to the Community’s Size
Across the country, assisted living communities to range from as small as 4 beds, to as big as 500. This can affect how well the staff gets to know the residents, and how well the residents get to know each other.
So long as the community is properly staffed and cared for, you don’t have to worry about moving into a large community. Larger communities might have more amenities like a movie theater.
But it may be easier to foster relationships in a smaller community.
The size you pick is up to you, but do consider it as a factor.
Consider the Cost
Unfortunately, you’ll most likely have to cover the cost of your assisted living residence out of pocket. Medicare may cover some expenses, but it doesn’t consider assisted living as a vital expense, so options are limited.
Ask about costs associated with living in that community. Are there other fees or expenses you’ll have to factor in? Can you afford it?
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to afford assisted living.
Check the Better Business Bureau
You want to make sure the community you’re considering is compliant with all local and state laws. With the Better Business Bureau, you can see if any complaints have been put against the company in the past.
You can also read reviews on Google to get a better idea about what other previous residents or family members think of the community.
The Right Assisted Living Community Helps You Live Independently and Enjoy Your Golden Years
An assisted living community is supposed to do just that, help you live your life the way you want throughout your golden years. The community is there to provide opportunities and protect your health.
The tips above will help you pick out the right assisted living community for you or your loved one. Remember, above all you want to pay attention to the culture in the community. Is it negative, or does it help residents thrive?
Do you think Renew might be the perfect community for your needs? Contact us today.