It's a big decision to explore senior living—congratulations for branching out! As you hover on the edge of an exciting new chapter of retirement life, think about these five aspects: care level, location, activities, dining, and evaluation. Senior living communities offer amenities to their residents that mirror those of luxury hotels. Remember, your generation is lucky enough to be offered senior living options that far exceed those of your parents.
Whether you are coming to senior living out of necessity or curiosity, you will feel more confident about your final decision by taking time to explore all your options. More choices can sometimes add to the feeling of being overwhelmed, but by breaking down your options step by step, you will find it is not as stressful as you thought. These are just a few ways to get started in choosing your next home.
Begin with the Level of Care
Once you begin exploring your senior care options, start by determining your level of care. Senior communities come in all shapes and sizes, and if you are not sure whether you should live in an assisted living or independent facility, a memory care or skilled nursing institution, you can end up wasting valuable time by touring communities that aren’t suited for your situation or needs. If you are not sure about the level of care that may work best for you, make an appointment with your doctor; get some feedback from a medical professional who knows you and your medical needs. Your doctor can be a wonderful referral source, offering guidance at the level of care that could give you the best quality of life.
Once you choose a desired level of care, you can begin to tour communities offering that speciality in the town where you desire to live. As you talk with the staff and observe residents during your tour, look for sincere relationships between them. Make sure residents are well groomed and appear to be well cared for. Ask specific questions about your medical or assistance issues to determine whether or not you would succeed in that community.
Explore Your Neighborhood Preferences
After nailing down your level of care, begin to explore your preferred location. Consider locations you would like to be near: favorite neighborhood restaurants, favorite doctor’s office, or closer to your family. Perhaps you want to move to a neighborhood you have always loved, someplace where you wanted to belong. Now is your chance to choose a location that suits your lifestyle and preferences. If you are moving away from your current neighborhood, make sure that your senior living community offers transportation to and from destinations that are important to you, as well as planned trips that allow you to explore your new (or old) neighborhood.
Increase value with Engaging Activities
Senior living is not limited to an apartment and helpful assistance. In fact, its real value emerges with the introduction of a lively calendar of activities, chock-full of ways to become involved, meet new friends, and try new things. When exploring the options for senior living that would best suit you, check out the events and trips offered at communities you explore. Look for actively involved residents as you tour communities, and consider asking if you can join in a few events as well.
Choose Healthy Positive Dining
Your health can take a hit if you are not eating nutritious food. Unfortunately, eating well can become more difficult for seniors due to a variety of age-related challenges. When you make the choice to invest in a senior community, be sure that the dining program will further your positive health choices. Look for a community that offers fresh and healthy options, and gives residents multiple entree choices for meals. Ask if you can return for a meal while touring the facility, and enjoy the full dining room experience.
Your Next Steps
There is a wonderful senior living community that would perfectly fit your lifestyle and needs. To find it, you need to be willing to explore multiple options before making a decision. To ensure that you are asking all the right questions and looking for all the right things, consider using our Evaluation Checklist.
Take this checklist with you on your tours, and while you are looking at websites online. Put our checklist to work during your research, so you can feel confident that you have explored all of your options and made the best decision possible. Good luck in finding your new home; you will love living in an active community!