Modern seniors often remain at home, living independently well into old age, but there usually comes a time when even the most determined need help. In most cases, they can no longer live in their homes, so they transition to retirement communities.
Assisted living communities are popular because they provide personal assistance while allowing residents to live independently. Moving to a community can improve older adults’ well-being and offer endless social opportunities. Evaluating options before choosing a community is essential, but following a few guidelines makes the decision easier.
Assess the Care Offerings
Communities like Sholom assisted living facilities offer numerous care options, but it’s crucial to check that they provide what you or your family member needs. Routine care includes:
- Personal care assistance
- Medication management help
- 24-hour on-call staff
- Three meals a day
- Social and recreational activities
Per Forbes, most assisted living facilities do not include on-site medical care. The community’s staff monitors residents and coordinates care provided by outside healthcare professionals.
Do the Background Research
Get as much information as possible about assisted living faciities. Read online reviews. Family members and seniors who take the time to write reviews provide a valuable first-person point of view.
It’s crucial to visit each community in person because what doesn’t suit one person could be ideal for another. For instance, a reviewer may have hated the food, but your family member could decide it’s perfect. However, if there are claims of neglect or abuse, stay away.
Guage Communities in Person
Professionals recommend touring several communities and evaluating their staff, facilities, services, and amenities. Make a list of your “must-have” items and determine which facilities have them. Think about what you want now and in the future.
Speak to staff members to get a feel for their personalities. Note whether residents seem energized, comfortable, and relaxed with staff. Pay close attention to caregivers who are not on your tour. Notice whether they seem genuinely caring and engaged with residents.
Take a close look at the facilities while you’re there. Most communities offer options like private rooms, a kitchenette, or a larger apartment, but features vary widely from one facility to the next.
Other things to assess include the following:
- Bathrooms. Are bathrooms designed for accessibility? Do they include grab bars?
- Utilities. Ask whether personal spaces include cable, phone, and the internet. Find out how services are billed.
- Furniture. Can you bring your own furnishings, or are apartments fully furnished?
- Guest policy. Can you have overnight guests, and if so, is there a charge?
Explore the Lifestyle
One of the most significant benefits of an assisted living community is the chance for seniors to improve their well-being by maintaining a vibrant social life. According to The National Institute on Aging, “…people who engage in meaningful, productive activities with others tend to live longer, boost their mood, and have a sense of purpose.”
As a result, it’s wise to research each community’s social program, including its dining options. Enjoying meals in a group setting can be a big part of making friends and interacting socially.
If you or a family member wants an active life, ensure communities include planned activities and events. Find out whether event coordinators plan routine trips for residents. Check whether there is a fitness center and if exercise classes are offered.
Assisted living offers seniors crucial benefits, but choosing the right community is essential. Assess care and lifestyle options before making a choice. Read online reviews of communities and then tour each one. Talk to staff and evaluate the facilities to ensure they have what you need.