Senior living, retirement communities or independent senior living communities refers to housing plans designed to meet the needs of older adults. The accommodation provided is mostly in the form of senior living apartments. However, some housing plans may also offer single-family homes, cottages and even condominiums.
Many seniors consider this accommodation option because it provides not only senior-friendly surroundings but also have numerous other benefits:
- Less home keep
- Easy access to nutritional meals
- Social interaction
- Mental and physical stimulation
What are senior living apartments?
Many people think that assisted living and senior communities are the same, but that's not true. The significant difference between these two living facilities is the care provided.
Residents of senior living apartments are older adults who don't need assistance in carrying day to day activities. Residents of assisted living communities are not capable of living an independent life. They require assistance to carry out their daily chores like bathing, toileting, dressing and eating.
Questions to ask about senior apartments
If you're considering senior living apartments for your parents or loved ones, here are a few questions you need to ask yourself during your search.
1. Should I rent or buy a senior living apartment?
You do have the option of buying an apartment in senior living communities. However, renting an apartment would be a more viable option. First, you don't worry about the entry fee or the cumbersome down payment amount. In the case of rentals, you can leave the accommodation if you don't like living there.
Also, you would be free from the hassles of the maintenance. However, the rent amount tends to increase on a yearly basis. In case of failure to pay the rent on time, you might have to leave the accommodation.
2. How much do senior living apartments cost?
One of the most crucial factors that need to be considered when selecting senior living apartments near you is their associated cost. Compare the price of all the senior livings that you like and check whether the apartment is worth its price or not.
Besides the monthly rent, ask for the charges of facilities like meals, laundry, staff visits and membership fees. Check if any of these facilities are included in the base price or not.
3. Who are your neighbors?
While staying at senior living, you're going to spend a lot of time with your neighbors. To enhance the social life of seniors, many facilities conduct group activities and events. Before shifting to a senior living community, try to communicate with your prospective new neighbors. See whether they're friendly or not. Try to find out about their likes and dislikes. This would further help you in finding out how the community operates.
Some of the senior living facilities even have a guest apartment. Before becoming a permanent resident, you can check out the facility by becoming a guest.
4. How are emergencies handled in senior living apartments?
With seniors on board, the chances of regular emergency cases are quite high. Check the community thoroughly for their ability and capability of handling emergencies. Check whether the facility can fulfill your medical needs or not. Ask them about the therapies and other services available in the community.
For memory care communities, ask questions like the availability of medical assistance in the community, proficiency of the staff to handle a dementia patient and wandering prevention methods.
5. What services are available for residents?
The senior living apartment is going to be your new home. Many seniors shift to senior living as it allows them to live with people of their age. Instead of living a lonely life, senior living facilities keep them busy in various activities, so it's essential to check the list of services provided by the facility.
For example, you can check the availability of yoga or meditation sessions, frequency of group game sessions, library facilities and provisions to take residents to church services.
6. Is transportation available?
Transportation is another crucial factor that needs your consideration while selecting the right senior living community. Due to age-related issues, many seniors have to depend on others for their transportation needs. Inquire about various transportation options provided by the community. Also, check whether there's any restriction as far as distance or days of commuting is concerned.
Besides this, you may check whether the transportation would be provided for places you want to visit, such as museums, churches and restaurants. Remember to inquire about the charges associated with this service.
7. What are the food options?
Depending on health conditions, different seniors have different nutritional and food requirements. Nowadays, many facilities have all-day dining services. Some facilities even have onsite pubs, formal dining areas and cafes. Check the facility for venues available, hygiene, nutrition value of food provided, taste and frequency of menu change.
8. Is it in a good location?
The location of the facility also matters a lot. The distance between your new apartment and your friends and family might be crucial if you're expecting regular visits. See whether the society is located in an urban area, if it's remote or in the suburbs.
Also, check the community's distance from amenities, such as restaurants, café, saloons, grocery stores, etc.
9. Are there any unique rules residents must follow?
Every facility has its own set of rules and regulations. Do check the limitations and read the rules thoroughly before finalizing your decision. The restrictions may be as simple as the exterior decoration of your home or the visiting schedule of guests and how long they can stay. It may even extend to restrictions on owning a pet or the kinds of pets that are allowed.
Choosing the right senior living apartment
It's vital to understand your requirements and expectations from a senior living community, then start your search. Also, don't get carried away with the first impression. Besides the outer look of the community, do check all other essential factors.
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