When choosing a retirement community, it is important to schedule on-site visits and tours before making a final decision. Websites and brochures are useful, as they provide more technical information, but a guided tour will give you a better idea of what it would be like to actually live there. After assessing factors such as cost and other logistics, here are some simple questions to ask yourself when further considering living options.
- Do I like the atmosphere? This comes down gut feelings and first impressions while touring the senior assisted living facility. Consider whether you feel at home within the decor and around the various facilities. Are they clean and well maintained? Observe the community’s residents – do they appear to be happy? Be in tune with how the staff treats you during your visit and how you feel following those interactions. If you want to take these observations beyond your own perceptions, chat with the residents about their own experiences. Collecting these informal testimonials is a great way to gauge how your personal experience could be.
- Are there amenities to meet my needs? Especially if you use a wheelchair, walker, or have other mobility needs, checking that the retirement centers you tour have all necessary features is essential to your wellbeing. Look for accessible elevators, ramps and handrails in all buildings. For your safety, ensure that non-skid carpets are in place and that all floor surfaces are easily walkable. Within the residential rooms or apartments, make sure that the shower has a handrail or any other rails you may need, and check that the cupboards and counters are reachable.
- Does this facility provide the services I want or need? Collect information to ensure that all of your physical and mental health needs can be met at this facility. Especially if you have specific medial needs, or need frequent medical attention, check that staff is available to assist you at all times and that your care plan will be kept in writing. Depending on your mobility needs or desires, transportation and the availability of on-site services, such as a pharmacy, is an important factor to consider.
- Are activities available? An assisted living facility should support your lifestyle. For this reason, look for scheduled activities, social opportunities, and places to be physically active. While living in a retirement community, your personal interests should be supported. If this is the case, your new home will be a great place to meet others who share your same hobbies. Assisted living for seniors should still be stimulating and engaging to support resident health.
While this life decision can be overwhelming, keeping your expectations in mind will help you make the right decision. To hold yourself to these expectations, consider making a list of features you will be looking for in assisted living facilities. This is a decision that you do not have to make alone, so consider taking a loved one with you on the tours to help you ask these important questions.
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