Americans are living longer and healthier lives, with life expectancy jumping from 46 years a century ago to 78.6 years currently. The American Senior Communities estimates there will be over 14.1 million people aged 85 and above by the year 2040.
Senior living communities provide attractive options for seniors to maintain their independence while they get assistance with basic activities of daily living. Transitioning to senior living facilities may feel like moving into a new home. You do not want to mess up by overlooking essential details. Here are seven factors to consider when looking for the right community for your loved one.
Just like colleges, no two senior living facilities are alike. The communities are classified depending on the level of care provided. Assisted living communities to offer moderate assistance and supportive healthcare to adults for whom living alone is no longer safe. Independent housing facilities enable healthy seniors to have the freedom as they grow old, surrounded by others of a similar age.
You need to find the right community for your parent to ensure comfort during their stay. You may need to consider the apartment plans, floor size, decor, and location of the facility. Access to good transportation may allow them to maintain their existing social networks. Remember to also check out the dining facilities.
As you age you come to accept that you may not be able to remain active forever. Most senior living communities provide an internal transition from independent living to assisted living and nursing care as your loved one ages gracefully. Ask about the different packages available and the level of care that the facility can offer.
How much you can afford will be a significant factor in the choice you make. Expenses for seniors under independent living are typically not covered under Medicaid or Medicare. You may have to budget for their rent and utilities. While 20% of senior citizens are still working full-time jobs, you may need to factor in their expenses when they finally retire.
The senior living facility you choose ought to have the relevant state licenses required to operate. Conduct extensive background checks through your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA). Check if the facility has any fines or violations filed against them. What was their score on the last state home care survey?
The best way to get a feeling of the senior living community is to organize a screening visit. Meeting the staff face to face can help you decide if you are a match. Speak to the head of the residents’ council on the quality of care, activities, and staffing. Check out the conditions of the common areas and apartments. Inspect the surfaces for cleanliness.
Take your time to go through the agreements and compare contracts from different providers. The arrangements should have extensive details on services offered, payment plans, and timeframes for your loved one’s stay. Go through exclusionary clauses. Are there penalties for leaving early?
Senior living facilities allow aging adults to live safely and healthily without giving up their freedom. With plenty of options available, you may need to sift through several communities before finding the right fit. The seven tips above can act as a guide to your quest.