Are you trying to find the best senior living community for your loved one? Perhaps you’re a senior who is curious about living in a senior community.
Regardless, not all senior living communities are equal. Some offer specialized services that may not be conducive to your situation. That’s why you must research each facility carefully before making a final decision.
Conduct your research based on what type of care you need, how much you can afford, and where you want to live. However, other factors will help you make the right decision.
This article will show you how to choose a senior living community effectively. Let’s explore.
1. Determine Your Care Level
Before making inquiries, decide what type of care that you or your loved one need. The different types of senior living communities include:
- Memory care communities
- Assisted living communities
- Living communities (for active seniors)
Each type of community comes with different amenities. That said, some assisted living facilities offer memory care and assisted living benefits in one location.
Many assisted living communities offer no levels of care. In general, assisted communities offer assistance to residents who need help with routine tasks.
Assistance may involve helping residents get dressed, helping them take their medications, or helping residents with mobility issues. Residents can still maintain an independent lifestyle but with a little assistance along the way.
2. Determine Your Budget
After assessing your needs, determine how much you can afford. The price depends on several factors, such as your care requirements and the state you live in.
On average, the cost of a senior living community is around $4,000 a month. Senior facilities range from low-priced to high-end.
Come up with a price point based on your financial situation. If you’re a senior who is struggling financially, ask family members for assistance.
- Note: Ask the facility if your care plan comes with additional expenses. For example, some facilities charge extra for laundry services. Plus, you may have to pay move-in expenses.
Moreover, find out if any of your current benefits will pay for your care. Benefits can come in the form of:
- Social Security
- VA benefits
- Local government Assistance
- Life insurance policies
Also, consider retirement income, including other assets such as pensions or annuities. A pension plan will pay for living expenses as well. You can also talk to a family advisor for further guidance.
3. Narrow Your Target
After establishing the right budget, narrow down the facilities in a particular location. Do you want to stay within a certain area? Perhaps you want to remain close to your family. Regardless, read online reviews about the facility. From there, narrow down the top five communities.
2. Tour the Facilities
Next, you should tour each facility. Contact each facility, and set up an appointment to visit. During your visit, you should do the following:
- Meet the staff and residents
- Visit the rooms
- See the common areas
- Look at the amenities
- Sample the food
Above all, picture yourself living at the facility.
Ask the Right Questions
Treat the touring process as if you’re buying a home. Would you feel comfortable living there? Further, smell the air around you. Is the air fresh?
Assess the cleanliness level of the facility as well. The outside surroundings are just as important. Consider the following when assessing the grounds:
- Do the grounds have adequate parking?
- Are the buildings well-maintained?
- Does the parking lot have enough handicap spaces?
- Are the walking areas safe and well-lit?
- Do the grounds have exquisite landscaping or gardens?
Additionally, learn more about the neighborhood. Is it a safe area that’s quiet?
When meeting with other residents, try to talk to them when the staff isn’t around. Residents are more likely to give you an honest assessment of the place when a staff member isn’t present.
They can also tell you more about the neighborhood. Residents will be candid about other things, such as the food quality and staff friendliness.
When talking to the staff, ask as many questions as needed. If you value privacy, for example, ask about the rooms.
Some facilities provide shared rooms while others offer private rooms. Ask the tour guide about private or shared bathrooms as well.
Determine if the tour guide is listening to your questions. Some tour guides may pressure you along the tour. However, the best tour guides listen to your needs and include your family members in conversations.
The facility should include family members as well. Ask the tour guide if family members can join during activities or mealtimes. A facility that includes family members will residents happier.
1. Make Your Decision In a Timely Fashion
Choosing a facility is important, but you shouldn’t take too long to decide. More importantly, don’t procrastinate. If an emergency arises, you may end up in a less-than-ideal environment.
Instead, take your time to decide after conducting research. The decision process may take weeks or months. To decide faster, talk to an advisor or your family members for further guidance.
Finding the Best Senior Living Community
Finding the best senior living community involves careful planning and research. Determining your care requirements should be the number one factor. Then, create a budget to narrow down your search.
Research the top facilities that apply to you, and schedule a visit. Ask plenty of questions when touring the place, and observe the surroundings. Finally, choose the best one that suits your comfort level.
Want to know why you should choose an assisted living facility in Washington D.C.? Click here to learn more.