There are many senior living communities to choose from that offer independent living, assisted living, and memory care. Choosing the best community for your loved one starts with understanding their specific needs and ensuring the community can provide them with the lifestyle they want.
It’s also important to consider the costs involved. This will help you narrow your options to affordable communities now and in the future.
Understand Your Needs
Gathering reliable information can help you initiate a conversation with your loved one about senior living. This can ease their anxiety and give them confidence that your chosen community is prepared to meet their current and future needs.
Find out what services are included in membership fees and which are extra. Also, ask about the staff’s qualifications and if they receive ongoing training. This can ensure that your family member’s care is consistent, even if they have an occasional substitute.
Define your budget and consider whether the community is within your financial comfort range. Remember, long-term care insurance and social security can help cover costs. Also, consider selling your home to help pay for a new living place.
Related: Types of Assisted Living Facilities
Know Your Budget
A worry-free retirement starts with forward-thinking financial choices. Many seniors are surprised to discover that moving into a senior living community such as Aviva is often comparable in cost to or even cheaper than staying at home, with additional lifestyle and healthcare benefits.
List recurring monthly expenses to determine how senior living could fit within a budget. It’s also important to note potential savings sources, such as a senior discount with a cable company or switching to lower-cost phone service.
Then, take the time to compare those costs against a senior living community’s monthly fee estimate. Be sure to look for hidden fees and annual rate increases, which may impact long-term affordability. Ask community administrators to be transparent about these charges. This will help you avoid surprises and protect your loved one’s financial legacy.
Schedule a Tour
While much information can be found online, a tour is the best way to see a potential community in person. You can evaluate amenities, experience the atmosphere and food, meet staff members and residents, and assess if the community offers activities that appeal to your loved one’s interests.
Understanding the titles and responsibilities of various senior living staff members while touring is also helpful. This will give you an idea of what your loved one would encounter daily and can help make them feel at home.
You can also ask questions about the community’s proximity to nearby hospitals and physicians, if transportation for doctor’s visits is available, and what sort of day trips the community provides. This may be a significant factor in your decision.
Meet the Staff
During your visits, observe how the staff interacts with residents. How do they handle difficult conversations? Are they patient and understanding? Do they listen to your loved one’s concerns and answer questions honestly?
Ask whether residents have a say in how their community is run. Find out if there are options for additional care support, such as memory care or homemaker services, should your family need them in the future.
Check out the community’s pet policy if your loved ones love their pet. Some senior living communities do not allow pets, while others have restrictions on size or number. Ask if grooming or walking services are available and whether a community pet coordinator can assist. Also, discover what the community’s pet fees are.
Meet the Residents
Visiting multiple communities can help you find the perfect senior living for your loved ones. Pay attention to how staff members interact with residents and note the atmosphere.
Consider asking for a copy of the current activity calendar and if they offer regular wellness classes to improve flexibility, balance, and strength. You can also request information on their entrance fee requirements and rental options.
Lastly, stop by at mealtime and ask to sit with a resident or two to discuss the community experience. This will give you an accurate picture of what life is like in the community. In addition, interacting with residents can help your loved one feel welcomed, and they’ll enjoy getting to know their future neighbors.