Choosing an independent living facility for yourself or a loved one is a long-term decision that requires careful consideration. You may conduct extensive research or visit prospective senior living communities during this process to become acquainted with their team members and the nature of the care they provide. You and a loved one may also need to ask yourself a series of questions about your preferences, needs and requirements and then rank them on a scale of “must haves,” “good to have” and “can’t live without.” This allows you to gain clarity about the type of lifestyle you want for yourself or a loved one, and then narrow your search accordingly.
Use this extensive checklist to navigate important questions when selecting independent living facilities in Fort Myers, FL.
Independent living facilities are a great way to foster social relationships and connect with other seniors who share similar interests. Ensure that the community has a positive social environment that promotes mental and emotional well-being. You can also review the community’s event calendar to learn about the range of activities and events they host.
- Do you notice a positive social atmosphere among the residents?
- Do members of the team appear approachable, warm, and friendly?
- Do the community activities match your interests and preferences?
- Do you have any personal or medical barriers/limitations that would prevent you from participating in the activities on the list?
- Do the activities change weekly?
- Can your family or friends attend events on occasion?
Care Features and Safety Services
Every community’s care and health models vary. However, safety, security, and reliable healthcare services are critical factors to consider when selecting an independent living facility. Inquire about services such as assisted living, physical therapy, routine health assessments and standard protocols in case of emergencies. Make sure to also consider features such as:
- Specialized care facilities or features
- Planned procedures for medical emergencies
- Security and emergency systems against theft or break-ins
- Evacuation protocols during natural disasters or fires
Lifestyle Facilities and Amenities
Many seniors seek an independent living facility to be able to live a worry-free lifestyle where basic maintenance needs are met. They may also seek value-added amenities and recreational facilities. Check to see if the community provides some standard amenities such as:
- Regular housekeeping and cleaning services
- Convenient transportation system or on-demand transportation service
- Salon, barber shop, fitness center, computer facilities and library
If you have pets, you should find out if they are allowed in the community and if there are any special provisions available for them.
Because dining preferences can vary greatly, assess the type of meal system provided by the independent living facility. Consider your dietary preferences and special requirements. If you prefer making your meals, you may need to check if the community has a kitchenette. Here are some more specific questions to consider:
- How many meals are served per day?
- Do the dining menus change every week?
- Are in-room dining services available?
- What are the guidelines for preparing your own meals?
- Is there a kitchenette in the apartment? What appliances does it include?
- Are there vegan or gluten-free options?
While an independent living facility may not meet all your requirements, select one that meets most of your non-negotiable preferences.