If you’re concerned about your senior parent or loved one living on their own, then moving them into a retirement community is a smart decision. Since the retirement community will be responsible for your loved one’s care and safety, you want to make sure you choose only the best one.
To help you find the right one, here are some things you need to consider and look for in a good retirement community for your senior loved ones.
Understand The Different Types Of Retirement Communities
As you begin your search for a retirement community, you’ll come across various types of facilities geared toward elderly care. Here are some of them:
- Independent Living
Independent living senior communities or villages, like Summerset Retirement Villages, are designed for the healthy, independent elderly to enjoy a lifestyle filled with educational, recreational, and social activities with other seniors. This type of community offers the comforts of a home, along with a dedicated staff with a wide range of services.
- Assisted Living
An assisted living facility comes with all the amenities that an independent living village has; that said, it has the added services of personal care, supportive living, and assistance with daily activities, such as dressing, bathing, and managing meals and medications.
- Nursing Homes
Also known as skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes are a more common senior living option today. This retirement option provides 24-hours nursing for your senior loved ones with specific healthcare needs. Most nursing facilities have different medical professionals, from doctors and nurses to therapists overseeing patient care.
As such, this option is best suited for seniors if they need higher levels of healthcare for a short period, typically three months or longer, but it can be a permanent solution. It’s an appropriate choice if your senior loved one is recuperating after a stroke or surgery, suffers from a complex medical condition, or needs daily medical and healthcare services.
- Memory Care
While most assisted living communities and nursing homes offer memory care wings within their campus or building, an independent memory care community can be a more suitable option for loved ones with Alzheimer’s or a form of dementia.
Memory care communities are more specialized and equipped to manage the unique conditions associated with memory loss. They have highly trained care staff, providing personalized care to meet the needs of residents wherever they are in the progression of their memory problems. Also, memory care community structures and buildings are modified to keep residents safe. For instance, camouflaged exits and motion sensors can help those who tend to wander alone.
When searching for any home or property, you should always consider the location. Searching for a retirement community is no different.
When choosing a retirement community for your senior parent, you can narrow down your options by looking for preferred locations. You may want a community closer to your home so you can visit them more frequently or look for villages in a neighborhood they’re familiar with.
In addition, look for a retirement community conveniently located to key establishments, such as shopping malls, hospitals, or parks.
- Amenities And Services
The type of retirement community you choose can give you an insight into the kinds of services and amenities they offer. That said, it’s best to tour multiple communities to see their different amenities and what you believe would be most convenient and interesting for your senior loved one.
Generally, these are some common amenities and services provided in retirement communities:
- Exercise And Wellness Options
Physical activities are essential to keep senior residents happy and healthy. A designated fitness center can offer residents individual exercise routines, personal training sessions, and group exercise classes.
- Laundry Services
Linen and laundry service can help your senior parent wash and fold their clothes. It also helps accommodate those with physical limitations.
For some seniors, cleaning and maintaining their homes or units can be physically taxing as they age. As such, housekeeping services can assist your loved ones with basic daily living activities.
- Transportation Services
Most seniors may be unable or unwilling to drive but want to get around town to buy essentials or go to a medical appointment. Some retirement communities offer rides to seniors to run errands or visit their families.
- Entertainment And Social Areas
The best senior living communities should have social and entertainment facilities allowing residents to interact and socialize. This can help prevent boredom and improve their overall quality of life.
- Price Point
Obviously, the cost will be one of the most significant factors to look for in a retirement community. Ideally, you want to find a community that fits your budget but can accommodate your senior parent’s care and needs.
Among the best options are entrance fee communities. These retirement communities offer contracts, ensuring greater predictability of future costs. The resident is typically guaranteed a certain level of care and access to various amenities and services in exchange for the entrance fee.
However, they aren’t the only option. You can consult a trusted financial adviser who can help you look into your finances and your senior parents’ to find a community that fits the budget.
As you determine your budget, make sure to compare at least three communities. Consider the monthly fee included and other services or amenities you want your senior parent to access.
Please note that while most communities may include basic services and amenities like housekeeping and meal plans in the contracts, others may require extra fees for these. So, take the time to break down the costs for a better understanding of what you’re getting for your money.
As the aging population continues to increase, so are the options for senior living communities. And with numerous options available, choosing the right one to move your senior loved one into can be daunting.
However, by considering the above points and factors, you can find the right fit for your loved one’s lifestyle and care needs and ensure a smoother transition to their new home.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions, and data in these publications are solely those of the individual authors and contributors, not Credihealth and the editor(s).
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