Making the transition to a senior living community can be exciting yet stressful. There's an abundance of options, and it's not always clear which path is best for you or a loved one. Knowing what to plan for and the right questions to ask can ease concerns and reduce stress while searching for a new home in a senior living community.
Meal Options: Determine what meal options are available, as well as limitations in times that meals are served. Look at a dining menu while you are there and ask to drop by for lunch or dinner to enjoy a dining experience first-hand. Ask to see all cafes and bistros where small snacks, small meals or grab and go foods would be served. Bring a friend to gain a second opinion.
Short-Term Stays: This can be a great way to see how well you or your loved one interacts with the staff and residents of a community. Ask to stay for the day and observe how well the culture of the community combines with you or your loved one's lifestyle and personality.
Home Sweet Home: A conversation about what furniture and home items to bring with you or your loved one needs to happen before making the transition. Now is the time to find out if the community has any limitations on pets, appliances, kitchen items, space, etc. that would cause an unwelcome change in lifestyle.
Staff Support: A friendly and caring team of staff is essential in making a smooth transition to a senior living community. Take the time to meet staff members and talk to current residents about their experiences in the community. Also visit online review websites such as Yelp or Caring.com to see what others have said about working with the staff at your prospective community.
Social Activities: Ask for a community activity calendar and see what types of activities are available. Look for businesses that are of interest to you or your loved one. Ask the staff about how often new activities or events are introduced.
Peace of Mind: Find out if the community provides a 24/7 emergency response system. Knowing that you or your loved one has support around the clock is essential to enjoying a high quality of life.
Regardless of what community you decide upon, maintaining independence with peace of mind is the key to finding a good fit. Keeping these points on hand while searching for a senior living community can help guide you towards a community that exceeds the standards of life you or your loved one deserves.