When a senior cannot live in their home any longer, the family must come together to find suitable living arrangements. With so many options offered today, it’s hard to know which one is right for this person. Consider the following factors when searching for senior living accommodations to help narrow the choices.
Levels of Care
Seniors rarely like change. They want a place where they can live out their last days in comfort rather than moving every few years. When looking for a senior living community, families need to keep this in mind and learn what each community offers. If the loved one’s needs change over time, will this center be able to care for them, or will they need to move to receive the optimal care?
Independent living communities allow seniors to come together in a neighborhood, much like they would an apartment complex. While the senior handles their day-to-day needs without help, these communities often offer meal services, housekeeping, and transportation for the residents.
Assisted living communities benefit those seniors who need help with daily living tasks, such as personal hygiene or medication management. While the residents do many things on their own, they have help when needed. If an independent living community doesn’t offer this level of care, the family may choose to bring in outside help so the senior doesn’t need to move.
Memory care communities work with seniors suffering from cognitive impairments. This includes Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and more. Staff members monitor residents around the clock to ensure the seniors don’t hurt themselves or wander off.
Families want their loved ones to be surrounded by friendly faces. When visiting different communities, families need to see how the residents interact with each other. Do they support and encourage each other? Speak with family members visiting residents and see how they feel about the atmosphere. What have they noticed in their visits to the community? Check out the social media pages of the community to see what people are saying.
Pay attention to how staff members interact with residents. They should know each resident and their likes and dislikes, as they spend hours every day with these people. Ask about the staff-to-resident ratio and what security measures the center has in place to protect the loved ones. Learn about emergency procedures in the event of a disaster, as seniors may need help in this situation. Finally, learn about the staff’s experience with any medical conditions the loved one has to ensure they can monitor this condition and alert the medical staff if something changes.
Seniors do best when they remain active. When comparing communities, look for ones that offer a full social calendar for residents. This calendar may include outings, craft classes, exercise classes, game nights, and things of that nature. There should be multiple activities for residents to choose from each day. When seniors stay active, their physical and mental health improves. As isolation and loneliness remain concerns with seniors, a community that keeps residents engaged and interacting is necessary.
When comparing communities, families need to ask about visitation policies. Can families drop in to see their loved ones? Although COVID changed the way these communities work, families should feel free to stop by and visit their loved ones if there are no safety concerns. When a senior living center discourages drop-in visits, the family should ask why. It could be a sign something isn’t right with the community.
Families often wonder how they will pay for this care for their loved ones. Speak with the community to learn if they offer month-to-month leases or require a longer lease. When discussing the payment, learn what is included in the monthly fee and what additional fees they will incur. Talk with the staff to learn about financial resources that may help pay for this care.
The most important thing to consider when making this choice is whether you believe the loved one will be happy living in the community. If the answer is no, the search must continue. Families need to go into this process with the mindset that this will be the last home their loved one lives in, so it must be perfect in every way. When this place is found, the seniors will thrive and everyone will be happy.
About Heritage Woods:
Heritage Woods provides seniors in need of independent or assisted living accommodations with a peaceful community that makes them feel right at home. The property allows seniors to get out and enjoy the beauty of nature in safe surroundings, and residents have access to a range of indoor and outdoor activities to keep them engaged.