Have you ever considered what might happen, or where you would live if you couldn’t manage taking care of yourself or your home any longer? What about your parents? Are you becoming concerned about their safety as they age? Are there multiple floors to manage, are they at risk of falling, is someone checking in on them, and do they have transportation?
If any of these are concerns of yours, it might be time to consider relocating to communities designed for seniors. Senior communities and facilities vary drastically, so which one suits you should be determined by your physical abilities and finances.
If your desire is to be in a community with other seniors, there are a plethora of independent senior communities designed to keep you active and healthy. In addition to organizing activities and trips, many of these communities have a spa, fitness facility, clubhouse, restaurant and gathering places on site.
If your physical abilities are somewhat diminished and you need assistance with certain domestic activities such as grocery shopping, meal preparation, housekeeping etc., you may want to look for senior communities that offer these services. Many do so for an additional monthly fee.
If physical and or mental ability becomes more challenging, an Assisted Living facility may be more appropriate. Generally, an Assisted Living environment provides services for a person who requires some but not full assistance. Living quarters or apartments can be private or shared, with private bathrooms and either full kitchens or kitchenettes. Many times these communities have a small market on-site, a salon, provide church or religious services, transportation services and coordinates activities and outings for tenants. A registered nurse is generally on site 24/7. A rehab or fitness room may be included as well. While rooms or apartments may be equipped with kitchens, full meal services are provided as an option. In addition, assisting with medication management, assistance with dressing, bathing and transporting, and personal care is available. Because of the variety of services a tenant might need, an a-la-carte menu is the best approach to look for when searching for services in this type of environment.
A Nursing Home should be considered when a person is fully dependent on others for most or all of their activities of daily living. A nursing home environment provides full time skilled care. You may have the choice of having a private or shared room. This will depend on your finances and/or the room options available at the time. Unlike the Assisted Living environment, living quarters are generally smaller, with facilities having limited common areas and little or no outside gathering areas.
There are other options to consider, such as in-home care, or more specialized care such as Memory Care or Alzheimer’s facilities.
To ease in the transition or progression of a tenants needs, some of the larger complexes are designed to accommodate all of these stages, having different buildings for independent living, assisted living and nursing or skilled care. As you progress, you either change floors or buildings. Some of the more convenient complexes are now offering a complete a-la-carte approach to services accommodating independent living and everything in between up to and including skilled care. In these environments, you stay in your original apartment, and just increase the level of care or services as needed. This eliminates the need to move floors or buildings all together.
Many of the more desired places have a year, sometimes even a 2 year waiting list, so make sure to do your looking well in advance. Visit places in your area, gather information and compare the types of services available.
For more information and resources, visit our Resources section.
And check out this blog on Long Term Care : Long Term Care Facts You Should Know