Things to Consider When Choosing a Senior Living Community
Whether you’re looking for yourself or a loved one, deciding on a senior living community can be exciting, stressful, confusing, surprising — or a mix of all. While some people may initially feel apprehensive about the move into a senior living community, we often witness a change in perspective once our new residents settle in.
Senior living keeps adults active and engaged
It is more common than not that senior adults realize they can still retain safe independence while enjoying the comfort of knowing additional help is available if and when they need it. Additionally, they are more likely to join social and recreational activities, keeping them more active and engaged with others than they were while living on their own.
Before you visit
When searching for a senior living community to tour, it’s important to consider some individual needs first. Things to consider before contacting and/or touring communities may include:
- The level of care needed. Independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing or long-term care all offer different levels of care and amenities, depending on the community.
- Is memory care needed now or possibly in the future? Luther Park offers memory care, as do other communities, but not all do. Memory care services help keep residents with cognitive challenges or dementia active, engaged and safe.
- Individual or supplemental resources for paying to live in a senior community. Payment options and available resources will differ based on the level of care, veteran status and available financial or government resources. Additionally, how each senior community is managed or owned will affect costs, contract options and acceptance of government assistance.
- The area in which you’d like to live. Would you like to live near family or friends, do you need access to a community service or health provider?
- The desire to age-in-place. Some communities, like Luther Park Community, offer several levels of care from independent and assisted living through nursing care. Other communities may only provide one level of care, such as independent living, assisted living or nursing care, and if an individual finds themselves needing different services, they may need to move to a different location.
- Whether you need a place for one person or two. If you are looking on behalf of a couple, it will be important to identify the level of care and services needed for each individual to ensure they will qualify and be happy living in the same community. Are there health needs or diagnoses that need to be considered, such as physical limitations or dementia considerations?
- Religious/non-religious affiliation. If having a religious affiliation – or not – is important to you, that may be a big factor in which communities would be appealing. If they are affiliated with a denomination, what religious services are offered?
Do your research
Once you have identified the type(s) of communities you’d most desire, it will be important to research each thoroughly. Ask about the history of the organization and ask around about the reputation of the community. What can you find out about the organization’s leadership history and how long key staff have been with the community?
Ask a LOT of questions
When contacting a senior living community, be sure to bring your questions about considerations that are important to you. Some common considerations include:
- Food – What food is available and included in your services or outside of your services? If meals are provided, what time are they served and where?
- Available amenities/services – what is included in their contracts and what may cost extra?
- Recreational opportunities/groups – Many communities have groups, clubs or recreational opportunities.
- Appliances – What appliances are available in the units or on the residential floors? What aren’t available?
- Safety protocols – What are weather/emergency procedures?
- COVID-19 protocols – What are the protocols for COVID-19 right now, and do they follow Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines? What do they have in place in case of a future pandemic?
- Memory care – If they provide memory care, what services do they provide and what are safety measures in place?
We recommend keeping a list of the senior communities you’re interested in learning more about and visiting. Request tours, ask questions, talk with current residents, and be sure to do your research about history and reputation.
There are many great, caring communities to choose from, and we hope you’ll consider Luther Park as one of them!