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Tips for Choosing the Right Place for You or Your Loved One
Choosing a retirement community is an important decision that involves more than simply choosing a floor plan — it’s about lifestyle. And in addition to meeting your social, cultural, educational and recreational requirements, you also want to ensure that there is a continuum of care in place to meet your needs if and when they change. Whatever the motivation, here are a few things to consider as you explore your retirement living options.
- Are you ready for a Senior Living Facility? Senior living facilities are far different than you might imagine. It does not mean giving up all the things you hold dear. instead it provides a way to maintain your independence, expand your horizons and still be in control of your lifestyle . There is no maintainence to worry about or meals to prepare and you don’t have to worry about being alone. Moving before it becomes a necessity can make your life easier and the decision becomes yours.
- What kind of facility and care is needed? There are three main types of senior living facilities: Independent living, assisted living and skilled care. Also when looking into the level of care, find out the pricing and payment options. Some facilities are private pay and others take insurance and Medicare.
- What to look for when touring a facility?
- Observe the level of cleanliness. Does the facility feel and smell fresh and clean. Ask about housekeeping and laundry facilities.
- Pay attention to the staff friendliness. The attitude and friendliness of the staff are of the utmost importance. Make sure you observe several staff members and their interaction with current residents. Do they listen and make eye contact? Does the staff treat the residents with dignity, respect and a smile?
- Inquire about activities. What are the activities? Are they well attended? Do they match your interests? Do they have religious services? Do the events vary in size and type? Ask for a calendar of events or even attend an activity.
- Meal time. The dining room experience is very important. Find out the dining room procedures and times. If there is a need for a specialized diet, can the facility accommodate the need? What happens if the resident is unable to make it to the dining room for a meal?
- Ask questions about security and safety. Are the bathrooms easily accessible with grab bars in convenient locations? Are there call lights available in the rooms? What time is the building locked at night? What are procedures in case of a fire or weather emergency?
- Ask questions about personal care. If you need help with bathing, what are the options? Is there help with dressing if needed? Look at the current residents and see if they are well groomed and dressed appropriately.
- What if you become ill or injured, would you be able to transition within the facility? This is an important consideration. Even if you are moving into an independent living community, a time may come, even if it’s in the distant future, where you need extra assistance with chores, daily living tasks, or even medical assistance at home. Can assisted living services can be paid for “as needed,” or can you move from an independent living side to an assisted living area within the same facility?
- Get Feedback. Ask residents and their families for their honest opinion about the facility. Check out the internet for reviews about the community.
- Trust Your Instincts. As you are touring make sure you think about yourself or your loved one actually living at the community. Do you imagine you or your loved one being comfortable? Do you feel at ease? Are the staff and residents open, inviting and friendly? Always remember to follow your instincts and your heart!