Moving into an independent senior living community can be one of the most rewarding choices you’ll ever make. Still, it can also be highly stressful and overwhelming, especially if you’re moving to a new city or have medical needs that require special attention. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make the transition into your new home as seamless as possible, and we’ve put together this list of the top tips and tricks to guide you through the process of moving into an independent senior living community.
Find a Senior Living Community Where You’d Like to Live
Think carefully about your preferences and priorities. You might be a big fan of modern amenities or prefer a small homelike setting. You may want to be near your family or have easy access to public transportation. Just don’t make any final decisions too quickly; give yourself time to shop around. Before long, you’ll have a shortlist of potential senior living communities that suit all your needs—and one that will feel like home.
Discover Assisted Living’s Mission and Purpose
Take a tour of each community you are considering. Ask questions, and be sure to talk with residents if they are willing to share their experiences. It’s important that you find a place where your loved one feels comfortable, safe, and respected as an individual who will also have access to all of his or her own independence.
Research Any Special Needs
If your loved one has special needs, investigate whether any of these can be met at specific senior living communities. You might also consider taking a look at assisted living, which can provide extra help for individuals who need it but may not require full-time care from a medical professional.
Look at Community Cleanliness
Not all living communities are created equal. When you tour a community, you’ll want to pay special attention to cleanliness. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about each community’s policies, services, and procedures; in some cases, you may have to do a little research on your own. Factors like flooring, doorways, and walls will tell you a lot about how things are cleaned and maintained over time. Larger communities tend to clean better than smaller ones because they have more team members on-hand—and larger communities are typically older with more established maintenance practices.
Friendliness of Caregivers
If you’re moving into a senior living community and plan to continue working, it’s worth doing some research on whether or not employees are friendly. Obviously, you want people willing to help you with your daily needs and adjust their schedules to accommodate your fluctuating physical abilities. However, there will also be times when it may be necessary for you to take a break from work in order to recuperate. If your needs aren’t met with understanding caretakers, then it may be time to find another place that better fits your preferences.
Learn What Assisted Living Communities Have to Offer
They come in a wide variety of types. You might want to choose one that offers memory care services. This is a type of assisted living community that can deal with people who have Alzheimer’s or dementia, and it is more costly than regular communities. Some living communities are tailored toward people with disabilities, and they’re called adult family homes. When you select a community to move into, it helps if you know what type of service they offer beforehand, as it may help you make your final decision regarding where to live.
Find Out What Assisted Living Options Are Available
There are several different types of senior living communities to consider when moving in. These include independent living communities, which are made up of low-maintenance apartments for Golden-age adults without 24-hour supervision. There’s also assisted living, which can come with perks like housekeeping, restaurant meals, and daily exercise classes. If you don’t mind putting your personal needs into someone else’s hands, there are memory care options that specialize in caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease or other conditions that cause dementia. Then there are congregate residences, which provide a mix of independent and assisted living services to individuals who want to live on their own but require help from time to time with everyday tasks such as cooking and cleaning.