Gone are the days where older adults have no choice but to reside in a nursing home due to a lack of housing options. Now, seniors have an array of senior care options lining up once they turn 65.
There’s independent living, memory care, in-home services, and of course, the perfect balance of all three–assisted living facilities.
An assisted living facility is specifically designed to attend to seniors’ basic needs while still allowing them to live independently and on their own terms. The facility offers essential services and special ones (like medical needs) if a resident needs it. Some examples include:
- Daily activities like bathing and dressing
- Home care and maintenance
- Healthy meals
- Recreational activities
- Social interactions
- Healthcare assistance and services
With many facilities in the vicinity, it might be challenging to find and choose which community suits you best. So, here’s how you can find prospective residences and what to look for to end up with a perfect senior home.
How to Find Assisted Living Facilities Near You
Narrow down your search by deciding what state or city you want to spend your golden years in. After choosing an area, it is time to do some research.
- Use the internet. The world wide web would be the best and most convenient channel to look for the perfect residence, especially for tech-savvy seniors. You can inquire online, view their amenities, and schedule your visit.
- Visit online directories. Local organizations, like Argentum and Leading Age, provide aging-related services such as online directories of senior communities near your area.
- Call your local Agency on Aging. Every state’s Agency on Aging has a database of recommended assisted living facilities on your preferred location.
- Word-of-mouth. The best recommendations sometimes come from your relatives or close friends who have their fair share of experience dealing with senior communities.
- Recommendations from your doctor. Your GP knows your medical needs, and they also know which senior care facility can best handle the special healthcare assistance you might need.
Key Factors to Look for in an Assisted Living Community
After considering the location and prices, write down your top three or four assisted living facilities, then schedule an on-site visit with each of them. Here are some of the factors you need to look for and consider during your visits.
1. Healthcare Assistance
Besides ensuring assistance from daily living activities, you also need to consider if the facility offers special medical services that you need or might need, like mobility assistance, physical therapy, or memory care.
Make sure that they also offer routine doctor’s appointments, medication management, and wellness activities.
2. Living Spaces and Other Features
Your living quarters in your chosen facility would serve as your home and haven for the rest of your golden years. It is just right to take a good look at their living spaces to see if they fit your preferences.
Take a look at their furnishings, outdoor area, and dining room. If you can imagine yourself living your best life within the spaces of the facility, then that’s how you’ll know you have found the one.
3. Food and Dining
Food plays a significant role in keeping you physically and mentally healthy, so ensure that your chosen residence prioritizes cooking and meal preparation. See if they accept special meal requests for residents with specific nutritional needs like diabetic seniors.
Assisted living facilities have different dining set-ups. Some have on-site eateries or restaurants, while others provide rotating menus. If you love cooking your own meals, then you can check if their living quarters have kitchenettes available.
4. Programs and Social Activities
The diverse set of senior activities are one of the best parts of living in a senior community. Each facility has differing programs and social activities for residents, so make sure to check their activity calendar during your visits.
See if they have your favorite hobby on the list or if they can accommodate new activity requests. Some of the exciting pastimes they feature include:
- Sports like badminton and tennis
- Exercise and fitness sessions
- Arts and crafts
- Card games
- Book clubs
- Writing, painting, and educational workshop
- Woodwork classes
These activities also encourage every senior to mingle with other residents, strengthening their social skills and relationships.
Staying connected with family and making new friends becomes more important for seniors to keep their mental and emotional well-being healthy.
Does the facility offer transportation services for personal and medical needs? Not all assisted living facilities provide off-site transportation services, so make sure to check their availability during your scheduled tours.
In the long-run, you will find that having a convenient means of transport is essential, especially during doctor’s appointments. It is also much more freeing to know that you can easily travel and visit your family or run personal errands without hassle.
6. Staff and Caregivers
Above all, it is vital to look at the facility’s plan of care for residents and observe how their staff interacts with the seniors.
Check if they require professional training for caregivers and see if there is an effort from the facility to upgrade caregiving skills by sending staff to seminars and training.
But more importantly, observe how each of the community’s members deliver their care and services to seniors. Do they build rapport with residents? Do they render their services with kindness and compassion?
Take note of these positive traits and look for them during your facility visit, as these things hold more essence and importance than any professional credentials out there.
Anyone can care for a senior if given the proper training and experience. However, not everyone can do it with empathy and dedication that comes from the heart.
Looking for the perfect assisted living community might be difficult and time-consuming. However, finding the ideal residence makes everything worth it.
To make things easier, have a loved one accompany you in doing inquiries, visitations, and negotiations. A second set of eyes and mind helps a lot in choosing the best community for you.