Senior living communities, offering independent living or assisted living, or both, have become increasingly popular with aging adults. They provide a safe, active and engaging environment for those who no longer wish to be burdened with the responsibilities of maintaining a home, or for whatever reason, can no longer live on their own. For many years, a person's only option was a nursing home, but senior living communities now provide a more inviting environment.
Before deciding on a community, a tour and visit to a community should be scheduled. Senior living communities offer tours for potential residents and their families. But what preparation should a person make before a visit and what is there to consider while in the community? Read more for some helpful tips:
Before You Visit:
The first step is deciding on the appropriate level of care. If you or your loved one needs assistance with activities such as dressing, bathing or medication reminders, you will need to look for assisted living communities. If assistance is not required, then look for independent living communities. Some communities offer both, allowing for a seamless transition from independent living to assisted living when the time is appropriate.
Next, research and make a list of communities that you are interested in. It is a good idea to visit up to three facilities before making a final decision. While drop-in visits are okay, it is recommended that you schedule an appointment ahead of time. Invite your family or a friend to go with you; it's always advisable to have a second opinion from someone you trust.
Finally, make a list of potential questions to ask during your visit. Visiting a new place can be overwhelming, and it is a good idea to have your thoughts and questions written down before arriving. You may be visiting your future home, so it is important to gain as much insight on certain details like food, social activities and security as you can.
During Your Visit:
Once you arrive, begin by assessing your surroundings. Some examples of things to look for are: well-maintained buildings and grounds, easily accessible walkways and measures taken to ensure residents’ safety. Most communities encourage you to come for a meal and to participate in activities, so review the menu options and social calendars for the month when planning your visit.
After you get your bearings, be sure to acquaint yourself with the current residents. Most residents will be friendly and willing to make new friends, so be sure to speak to them about how they are enjoying living at this particular community. A community’s biggest advocates are its residents who actually live there, so be sure to utilize them as a valuable resource!
Before you leave, consider scheduling another visit. If you like the community, plan to come back and visit again. Look at the upcoming events and see if there is one you may want to attend. Follow-up visits are a great way to ask about things that you may not have thought about prior to your visit, or to better understand what activities occur on a day-to-day basis!
Choosing a senior living community is a wonderful although sometimes intimidating process. Properly preparing for your visit helps relieve some of the stress of this decision, and ensures you make the right choice!