From location and meals to services, you want investigate your options before selecting a senior community.
Many older people reach a time when they no longer want to live in the big family house, yet they don't need the support provided in an assisted living setting. But those who are older and no longer want to cook, drive or maintain a home may opt for an independent living community.
"When you see the edges fray and you're still healthy and independent ... that's a wonderful time to do it." "Being part of a community can be a huge advantage."
Seniors who have lost spouses and friends often feel isolated. "With the isolation comes depression. All of these things can lead to a downward spiral for somebody that's just not necessary," says Sue Johansen of A Place for Mom, which refers families to independent and assisted living options. "It can add years to their lives as well.
Many independent living complexes share a campus with assisted living facilities. The two major options for independent living are continuing care retirement communities, where elders pay a lump sum upfront with the expectation they can stay for life, including when they need a nursing home, and rental communities, where tenants pay by the month.
The advantage of a continuing care community is the knowledge that residents won't have to move (though they may move to a new residence within the complex) if their health deteriorates. But only seniors who pass a medical and financial screening are admitted.
Whichever option you choose, it's important to plan for how you will handle issues that arise as you age. Are you looking at an environment that will let you age in place?
Each community is different, and it's important to do some investigating to find the best fit. Many will let you stay a few days to try them out, and some let you bring pets. Independent living and assisted living is as much about a lifestyle as it is about care.
It really is a very personal choice, much like buying a home. Most people don't understand the breadth of options today.
Stay tuned for “Nine Questions to Ask When Looking for a Senior Living Community”
For more information on assisted living, contact Spring Arbor.