When choosing a place for you or a loved one, tight-knit senior living communities have amazing advantages. To see all of the benefits, you have to experience it for yourself. There are so many advantages, but here are our top three reasons why tight-knit senior living communities, like Hearthside, are the place for you or your loved one.
Team Members Treat Residents Like Family
The small community at Hearthside Senior Living creates a tight-knit environment with impactful relationships. Everyone gets to know each other, and the close environment allows for strong relationships among residents and team members. This makes the community more of a family environment.
“I treat every resident like they are my grandmothers and grandfathers. It’s just a really loving environment.” – Alisha Birchett, Activities Manager
The team knows the importance of their roles and puts as much love and attention into every aspect of their roles at Hearthside. With a smaller tight-knit community, Hearthside brings people together.
Family Members are Involved and Can Relax
When looking for a place for a loved one, the whole aspect can be daunting for everyone involved, not just the new resident. Becoming a part of a new community, moving, and wanting to make sure your loved one is getting the care they deserve is the main focus. This can cause the time you have to share together to become jumbled, chaotic, rushed, or a combination of all three. We want the experiences of our residents and their family members to be one that everyone involved can be themselves and have the freedom to enjoy each others’ company. Families can relax and enjoy their visits knowing that every need is being fulfilled.
“After a few months of being here, I basically know everyone here. It’s funny, I was telling my mom, ‘our family has really grown since we’ve been out at Hearthside.’” – Cathey Sweeny, Assisted Living Family Member
At Hearthside, family members can be involved as much as they wish. Being part of the Hearthside family means your family is our family, it’s as simple as that. We design our spaces and programs to make all family members feel welcome. With a family parlor, family fellowship, and a variety of daily activities, there is something for every member of the family to do while visiting. Without the stress of worrying about getting necessary tasks completed, everyone is free to enjoy their shared time together.
The Quality of Care
Quality of care refers to the degree to which services provided to residents meet established standards of safety, effectiveness, patient-centeredness, timeliness, and efficiency. Above all else, Hearthside knows the importance of quality of care. For example, quality of food is on everyone’s quality checklist, and that comes as no surprise. With 3 meals everyday, having choices and food you enjoy is a vital part of making any community home. With smaller home-style communities, our team can give each resident more individualized attention and care. The personalized and homestyle cooking gives the opportunity for our chefs to get to know the tastes and preferences of all of our residents.
“They do my washing, cooking, and cleaning. It’s home. It has given my family the freedom to move around as they want to, and it has given me the freedom to be free from them and do what I want to.” – Betty, Assisted Living Resident
We strive to provide residents their independence by helping them in their needs to give them freedom to do as they wish. There are many activities and trip opportunities every day, bringing more options to choose from to every resident. We encourage residents to participate in as many activities as they want to and love when families join in too.
Could it be time for you or your loved one to move to a retirement community but the stigma in retirement communities makes you reconsider? It can be easy to form assumptions or beliefs about certain topics, especially when it comes to retirement communities. Many children feel guilty when suggesting their parents consider a move to an independent living community. The truth is modern retirement communities are helping seniors live a more independent and comfortable life.
Independent living communities provide a much-needed safe, carefree, and social space to those needing assistance as they age. Independent living communities are also a great option for seniors who are looking to downsize and simplify their lives. Moving your loved one into an independent living community is the best way to make sure your senior gets the most out of retirement years. With access to a wide range of amenities, activities, and services, your loved one can enjoy a safe and comfortable lifestyle.
Here are a few reasons why moving to an independent living community is the best decision for a senior adult:
1. More Independence
While it may seem counterintuitive, retirement communities allow residents to be as independent as ever. As some seniors may not be in the position to handle everyday tasks around the house as well as their personal maintenance, retirement communities preserve their independence. Independent living settings can make residents’ lives easier by handling and assisting with chores and maintenance allowing residents to socialize, relax, and simply enjoy their lives with little pressure. Downsizing makes navigation around one’s living space much easier and safer.
At the end of the day, the health and safety of our residents at Hearthside is our top priority.
2. Worry-Free Life
In an independent living community like Hearthside, a resident can live without the burden of many everyday maintenance tasks. Chores such as cooking, laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, house maintenance, and lawn mowing are all taken care of. From snow removal and lawn upkeep to appliance repair and housekeeping, a retirement community can provide residents with the support that they need, so they can focus on what’s important.
3. Social Life
Retirement doesn’t have to mean loneliness. With more time to socialize than ever before, independent living residents can have a busy social life with family, caretakers, and peers. Studies have proven that a strong social life has a direct impact on mental health and physical well being in senior adults. Living in the same place as peers who are in similar stages of life can greatly improve the attitudes and lives of independent living residents. Plus, a maintenance free lifestyle with lots of free time gives seniors the opportunity to bond over activities and events.
Activities at Hearthside often include:
Performances and entertainers
Sunday church and Bible study
Cards and game events
Event and holiday celebrations
4. Financial Stability
Being a homeowner is the dream of many Americans. However, even owning a home comes with its expenses and worries. Home repairs, property taxes, utility bills, property insurance, upkeep of the house and the yard can take a toll on one’s budget. Add laundry, grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning, and it takes a significant chunk of money every month – not counting a personal caregiver’s fees. However, once a senior moves into an independent living community, paying bills gets much more simple!
5. Better Relationship with Family
As one’s health starts to decline, many times children take on the role of a caregiver, which could result in financial and emotional difficulty for the family. A child who takes on the role of a caregiver is usually forced to make career sacrifices, which may lead to financial hardships and discontent. In 2020, 48 million Americans served as unpaid caregivers for their loved ones. This situation can be further complicated by the strain it puts on family relationships. Fortunately, retirement communities often help to solve this problem by taking on the primary caregiver’s responsibilities allowing family members to have a substantial, stress-free relationship and spend quality time with their loved one.
Retirement is an exciting time, and aging adults should have the opportunity to continue to live independently without the stress and pressure of their younger years. At Hearthside, we provide residents with a comprehensive package of services and amenities to achieve the mission of maximizing residents’ quality of life.
Hearthside Senior Living was intentionally designed to help seniors age in place – all within a safe, comfortable, and Christian environment. Our beautiful independent living homes were designed for an independent lifestyle with maintenance-free living as we continue the excellent tradition of independent living for those seniors needing additional services. Contact Hearthside for more information today.
The demand for age-friendly accommodations and neighborhoods has expanded alongside the senior population. In fact, in recent decades the percentage of people settling in senior living communities has increased across all age groups from 65-90.
Today’s older adults have greater wealth than past generations and can afford the best life has to offer – beautiful settings, tailored social activities, fitness programming, exercise facilities, formal dining, and adventure. These highly resourced and active seniors and their families are forward-thinking and therefore desire communities that also have assisted living as a continuing care option. If you are one such person or looking on someone else’s behalf, this article can help you determine
The best time to begin the search.
The right age to consider assisted living.
Key information to expect in making a choice.
The best or “right” time to begin the search for assisted living (AL) is anytime there is a valid concern about a senior’s ability to live alone. Later in life – maybe because of health problems like a fall or other health event – completing activities of daily living (ADLs) like regular bathing are increasingly difficult. Interestingly in Tennessee alone, almost half of all adults in AL are living with a form of dementia.
Grocery shopping and meal preparation may grow challenging due to transportation issues, fatigue, or low vision. If you are a child or caretaker of an older adult, you may be helping as much as you can and cannot be present around the clock. Perhaps you’ve been asked to aid in finding a new living arrangement because the individual can no longer safely navigate their home.
Other signs that it may be time for assisted living include:
Trouble managing household tasks like cleaning or garbage removal
Inability to transfer independently
Frequent medication errors or omissions
Weight loss related to poor intake
Depression due to social isolation, loss, or boredom
Lack of transportation to medical and other appointments
What Assisted Living Offers
Assisted living provides extra help with the functional and essential tasks listed above. Seniors who are forgetful might need medication reminders and administration. Access to nutritious snacks and appetizing meals prepared by culinary professionals is another significant benefit of living within an AL community. Personal care team members assist seniors with ADLs such as mobility, grooming, dressing, or bathing. Care services are tailored to the resident’s needs and planned according to that individual’s priorities.
Life at Hearthside Senior Living
Life in assisted living at Hearthside means the opportunity to enjoy a safe, comfortable lifestyle with private apartments, ample peer interaction, and individualized attention. Located in charming Lebanon, TN, Hearthside Senior Living provides just this kind of welcome as well as offers the following all-inclusive services:
Daily social activities
Fresh towels and linens
Basic cable television
Resident assistance 24/7
A defining characteristic of life at Hearthside is the focus on spiritual community. Hearthside was developed by placing Christian ministry at the center of their operations. The opportunity for Sunday worship in the community is a weekly highlight for many residents.
Age of Assisted Living Residents
The age of older adults moving to AL communities is actually decreasing. For decades the average age of an assisted living resident has been well past age 80. In Tennessee specifically, 54% of AL residents are over age 85. According to the American Senior Housing Association (ASHA), today’s AL residents are predominantly female and around 87 years old. Data also suggests that assisted living residents typically require help with at least two ADLs.
Some seniors choose the traditional retirement age of about 65 to switch to assisted living. This age can be a minimum requirement in some communities. The current trend is for transition between the ages of 75 and 84. It should be noted, however, that the greatest increase is among those 70 to 79 years old, which is indeed a younger cohort!
In truth, there is no prescribed “right age” for assisted living. The choice is a personal one. The decision can be made as soon as individuals no longer wish to live alone or can no longer live independently.
Assisted Living Near You
You may now be wondering, “Where are assisted living places near me or my family member?”
In Middle Tennessee, Hearthside is a nonprofit senior residential community focused on helping older adults make the most out of life. Potential residents and their families will find Hearthside conveniently located less than an hour east of Nashville. Seniors can live independently and securely while remaining fully engaged in life – even if they need extra assistance down the road.
There are hundreds of career paths to choose from. One that sometimes is overlooked is the industry of aging services called “senior living.” For most, choosing to work in the senior living industry is the most rewarding and fulfilling career choice.
Even within the industry, there are many types of jobs with each level of care. In assisted living, oftentimes older adults have moved to a community after a health event such as a fall, surgery or other factor. A community setting allows seniors to maintain their independence while enjoying a safe and enjoyable environment alongside their peers. These residents also require help with one or more activities of daily living (ADLs). There are many rewards in working alongside seniors in their new homes. First, it’s an opportunity to help others, but there are additional advantages to a career in a retirement community that you may not have considered.
1. Serving an Active and Aging Population
Did you know that:
Over 50% of people living in assisted living are over age 85.
Between 2020 and 2050 the number of adults over age 80 is expected to triple.
You may be interested in being part of the movement to support this growing number of seniors, but wondering “where are the assisted living jobs near me?” If you live in Middle Tennessee and want to be of service close to home, then you’ve found an excellent opportunity at Hearthside Senior Living.
Located about 25 miles east of Nashville, in Lebanon, TN, Hearthside offers comfortable, accessible and maintenance-free accommodations including care for those that need extra assistance. That’s where you as a future team member come in—as a provider of skilled and personalized services that benefit others in your community.
2. Experiencing True Teamwork
Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and other assisted living jobs are an integral part of an interdisciplinary team. The team is made up of members with different skill sets and responsibilities, but have a common goal. That initiative is working together to elevate the living experience for residents to its highest potential.
Through this shared commitment, respect and confidence grow. Team members learn to recognize one another’s contributions to the community’s well-being, security and longevity. This is how trust is established.
3. Finding Meaning and Purpose
Whether you are looking for a job as a CNA or direct care worker or are interested in a position in community maintenance or food or environmental services, finding purpose in what you do matters.
Working in assisted living means an opportunity to make a difference in someone else’s life…every day. Communities such as Hearthside want team members who are motivated by this idea. Being able to co-create a work environment that feels like family is key to job satisfaction, and is why workers stay in senior care positions.
4. Improving Care Outcomes
From theJournal of Aging Studies in 2009, care professionals shared that the “emotional aspect of caregiving provides meaning…through both the satisfaction inherent in relationships and through the effect of relationships on care outcomes.”
What are these care outcomes and how do they improve through connections with assisted living residents?
Relationships outside our own age group encourage intergenerational learning. They also offer the chance for seniors to practice generativity.
“Generativity is the (natural tendency) and willingness to engage in acts that promote the wellbeing of younger generations as a way of ensuring the long-term survival of the species.” -The Psychology of Mattering
The freedom to express oneself openly and share life’s lessons is fulfilling to people, especially in later life. According to science, this opportunity satisfies a developmental goal – to feel valued by having influence and passing on wisdom. The outcome of listening to and engaging in thoughtful interactions with seniors not only can improve loneliness but also
Quality of life.
5. Gaining Marketable Job Skills
As a caregiver, nursing, dining services, or hospitality team member in assisted living you might spend your morning helping residents with ADL’s and then accompany them to lunch. In the afternoon, you might participate or help lead in wellness-related activities or help residents move from their apartment to the activities room.. Evenings might include assisting frail residents with nighttime routines, grooming, bathing, or preparing for rest.
Because of these important contributions, you will build confidence and sought-after job skills. These might include:
Professional team building
Personal care and companion competencies
Medical records training
Time management strategies
Scheduling and transportation coordination
A job in assisted living is a gateway to establishing a career full of purpose and meaningful interactions with others. You’ll share your unique talents within a positive community that is dedicated to caring for its residents. Contact Hearthside to join the team!
As an adult child, it can be difficult to see the signs that our parents need assisted living. Anyone can experience a day when they just cannot keep things straight, with aging it’s no different, but this shift for a senior to care for themselves can be tough to identify. How do we know when our parents need more assistance than we can give?
What Are Signs That My Parents May Benefit From Assisted Living?
For some, when to move a parent into an assisted living community is a very defined life event like a fall or a doctor’s recommendation. However, when it comes to forgetting to lock the door, turn off the stove, or take medication, it’s easy to think this is an isolated incident. This may be a common occurrence and we are only seeing a snapshot of what is currently an everyday rhythm. So how do we know what signs are suggesting a parent may need assisted living and when should we start looking into options?
Signs That My Parent May Need Assisted Living
Here are a few actions that suggest it is time to start thinking about assisted living for your parent:
needs reminders to take medication or that they have already taken their medication.
has had unplanned noticeable weight loss or gain.
is experiencing a loss of mobility or an increase in falls.
shows signs of neglecting household maintenance.
is no longer able to perform daily tasks such as grooming or preparing meals.
is increasingly isolated or has been increasing their own isolation.
What Benefits Do Senior Living Communities Provide That I Can’t?
It can be a tough decision to ask for help when caring for an aging parent. We can’t do everything ourselves, and that’s okay. It takes courage to acknowledge that we don’t have all the skills or time to give to 24/7 care. This is not about how much love we have for our parents, it’s about us making sure our parents have the best quality care that they can, with the people who can give that specialized and skilled attention.
There are multiple different types of senior living communities that offer a variety of levels of care. From independent living to memory care communities, care services are provided to meet the needs of seniors. The best part is that you can custom tailor to the needs of your parent or loved one. This provides your parent with quality personalized care for their needs in a residential setting, all while building a community of support.
Community amenities may include:
3 Meals a Day
Emergency Call System
Resident Assistant 24/7
Porches and Outdoor Areas
Remember, this isn’t something that you have to do alone. It is okay to reach out and ask for help with navigating the process. There are people who specialize in helping you find the right services for your parent or loved one.
Whether you find yourself searching for assisted living after a life-altering event or if additional support and care is needed, senior living provides an affordable, welcoming, and caring living arrangement for aging adults. Hearthside Senior Living can provide peace of mind when it comes to your loved one’s care.
Contact us today to start the conversation about the benefits different types of senior living and our team can provide. We’d love to talk to you about the various options we provide, as well as help you find the best fit for your parent.
If so, you’ve probably begun researching care options, comparing costs, and cross-checking care fees against all-inclusive pricing.
But when it’s all said and done, how much does assisted living cost? And is assisted living a practical alternative for your loved one’s current living situation?
Here’s a beginner guide to help better compare current living expenditures to the costs of assisted living care.
Average Cost of Assisted Living
The national average cost of assisted living is $4,500 per month. In comparison, the average expenditure for a household in the U.S. is $5,111.
However, the price can vary greatly depending on location, size of apartments or suites, and the number of services and care required, as well as the quality and amount of amenities.
The cost of assisted living will generally reflect the cost of living in any given area. For example, expect higher average assisted living costs in Boston when compared to Lebanon due to Tennessee’s lower average living costs.
Convenience is also a factor, so the community’s proximity to grocery stores, shopping malls, parks, and major highways can also influence the cost of rent each month.
Likewise, communities located in rural areas may be less expensive than facilities located in or near major cities.
Assisted living communities offer a wide array of room sizes, styles, and layouts. In some cases, apartments may include a kitchen and private bathroom in addition to living areas, bedroom, and common gathering spaces such as activities and dining rooms.
Larger suites provide plenty of space for couples, while smaller more quaint rooms are ideal for those wanting a more manageable space.
Apartments can be furnished or unfurnished, pets are sometimes welcomed, and some communities offer all-inclusive care services.
These specifics will ultimately impact the cost of the final cost of month-to-month expenditures.
Amount of Care Services Required
Different individuals require unique care.
And depending on the community, the amount of and frequency of care can impact the total cost of assisted living.
This is why an initial assessment with the Director of Nursing or other healthcare professional is important to communicate the care needs of your aging loved one. Care levels are often specified by the need for a specific diet, nutrition plan, wellness program, therapy, medication assistance, bathing, grooming or personal care needed.
Factors that can impact the cost of the care plan:
Quality and Amount of Amenities
Seniors today are overcoming stereotypes.
They’re physically active, and technologically engaged, and their retirement options are driven by choice.
Cost of assisted living will be impacted by the number of options and amenities offered by the community.
The list of amenities offered at assisted living communities continues to grow:
Social gathering rooms for entertaining
Planned activities and outings
Salons and barber shops
Church services and devotionals
Outdoor walking trails
Fitness and wellness classes
The True Value of Assisted Living
Maintaining independence, reduced stress from home ownership, and great care are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the true value of assisted living.
Residents enjoy a host of benefits and services that create added value in assisted care.
Daily activities provide residents with more than engagement; it also gives them camaraderie.
A good southern-style, home cooked meal is hard to beat.
Unless it’s a nutritious meal that you don’t have to cook.
Preparing meals can become burdensome as we age, especially when trying to stick to certain foods or diets.
Thankfully, dining services not only take care of cooking, they also cater to specific dietary needs and preferences.
And with the rising cost of groceries factored in, there are invaluable savings in communities’ dining services.
It’s not uncommon for aging seniors to face mobility issues.
And unfortunately, it’s not always easy for a friend or loved one to assist with transportation needs.
Most assisted living communities provide transportation to medical visits, church services, shopping, as well as various other destinations.
Assisted living creates opportunities to connect to others with shared passions, interests, and beliefs.
Whether it’s a community event, church service, game night, or post-lunch tea, there’s no shortage of opportunities to create lasting memories with others.
Average National Cost of Living
According to, the average monthly expenditure for a typical American household was $5,111, with housing, transportation, and taxes accounting for the largest portion of taxes.
But because the actual costs can be much more, or less depending on your location, a list of most common expenditures to account for when comparing the current cost of living versus assisted living communities includes;
Household utilities and home repairs
Social Security, insurance, and pension contributions
Did You Know…
Housing is by far the biggest monthly expenditure for Americans; accounting for 21% of an average household’s income.
Many factors influence the average cost of senior living.
Location, size of housing, and quality of service all impact the final cost of care.
However, there’s added value in social engagement, dining options, and assistance with daily activities, amongst other factors.
For over 20 years, Hearthside has provided quality living assistance for aging adults in the heart of middle Tennessee, located just off Interstate-40 in Lebanon. Residents are welcomed with loving arms at Hearthside, whether in an independent living house or assisted living community – situated on a shared campus.
Residents in the assisted living community need assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) as they enjoy their aging years with a host of seniors who experience shared dining, programmed activities and round-the-clock care.
Hear what Hearthside residents say about living with us!
What is the culture and environment like at Hearthside?
Janice Davis / Assisted Living Resident
If you come here, it’s like family. Everybody is close. You stay active and busy; you don’t just sit in your room and feel lonesome.
Margie Andrews / Independent Living Resident
Everybody is mostly the same age, so we have a lot in common.
Ada Midget / Assisted Living Resident
We have lots of activities. We have church on Sundays. We have preachers that come in. We have other people come in and do activities and tell stories.
Robin Carr / Independent Living Resident
People are checking in on one another. That’s really a neighborhood. The compassion you find from your neighbors, the love that’s demonstrated. Why would you want to go anywhere else? Why?
What is the Hearthside campus like?
Janet Presley / Admissions Manager
When you pull on the campus of Hearthside Senior Living, you’re going to see an assisted living building and a community of thirty homes with a clubhouse for seniors who are still active and have the day to day activities without worrying about home ownership and maintenance.
Robin Carr / Independent Living Resident
We (have) a back porch that’s enclosed and screened in, and we (have) a little fenced in area that the dogs can enjoy.
Margie Andrews / Independent Living Resident
I never worry about anything. It gives me peace and comfort to know that I don’t have to be concerned.
How would you describe the team at Hearthside?
Janice Davis / Assisted Living Resident
I love being here and being able to see my family, but I feel like this is my extended family. The people have treated me real good and have been real respectful.
Cindy Huffienes / Nurse Manager
We do put our heart into this place, everybody that works here, and I think our people are our heart in this facility. You can tell when you interact with people here that they really truly care about each other.
Janet Presley / Admissions Manager
Staff members come in on their day off to check-in on a resident that maybe wasn’t feeling well on their last shift. One of the residents was out of shampoo, and so they just stopped at the store and picked it up themselves because they care that much about them.
Ada Midget / Assisted Living Resident
Everybody here has just been super nice!
What would you tell individuals and their families about Hearthside?
Carol Locke / Board Member
It’s a hard decision to not be in your own place anymore. Hearthside is really good at helping you figure out what your family member needs.
Janet Presley / Admissions Manager
It’s a safe place for mom and dad. You know they’re going to get their medicines on time. You know they’re going to get their meals on time, so that you can live your life and know mom and dad are going to be okay.
Betty Kelley / Activities Director
Families are important. Families are really important, without that it is really hard for a resident to thrive.
Alicia Birchett / Nursing Assistant
We really are a second family to these residents. They love us, and we love them and cherish them.
Robin Carr / Independent Living Resident
It’s so convenient to go to the grocery store, just a short distance to church. It’s just comfortable.
Janice Davis / Assisted Living Resident
I love living here. I feel like this is my extended family. That’s why I call this home.
You’re always welcome at Hearthside Senior Living! To learn more or schedule a tour, contact us today. Contact us today
As adults reach the later stages in life, many will require some type of senior care. You may have considered assisted living to be a good option, but you are still unsure of how to find the right assisted living community near you.
Deciding on an assisted living community for your loved one can be a burdensome and often emotional process. On top of that, there are many different assisted living communities to choose from. You may wonder if you are making the right decision for the senior in your life. Rest assured, knowing that assisted living communities are a great choice for seniors who like to stay active but may need help with some daily activities.
This guide will help you get one step closer to finding the best assisted living option near you.
What is Assisted Living?
Assisted living is a type of housing designed for aging adults that offers more personalized care than independent living.
Residents in assisted living are healthy and active, for the most part, but still need assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), which can include bathing, showering, dressing, using the toilet, or eating.
Assisted living communities are designed for seniors who enjoy being independent and want to stay social in an environment with like-minded individuals; oftentimes the choice to move has come after a health event like a fall, surgery, or other wellness factors. Assisted living will also provide great benefits for family members who can no longer provide consistent care for their loved ones but still want to see them thrive.
How is Assisted Living Different Than Independent Living?
Unlike assisted living residents, independent living residents do not require assistance with activities of daily living. Residents in assisted living receive more personalized care than those in independent living.
While assisted living communities do not always share a campus with independent living communities, some senior living communities offer the convenience of having both. This makes the transition smoother for residents that will eventually need assisted living.
How Much Does Assisted Living Cost?
The average cost of assisted living in the United States is $4,500 per month, according to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey. Cost varies based on the care setting, services and amenities offered, and geographic location, among other factors.
Additionally, it’s important to be mindful of the cost structure. Some communities charge at an all-inclusive monthly rate, while others may charge for specific amenities or services provided. You may want to consider both of these options before choosing a community and decide on what type of cost structure you prefer for your loved one.
What Are the Benefits of Assisted Living?
Assisted living communities can greatly benefit both residents and their loved ones while improving the quality of life for seniors in so many ways.
“If you come here, it’s like family!” – Janice Davis, assisted living resident
What Are Some Key Signs That It May Be Time for Assisted Living?
Deciding to move the senior in your life in an assisted living community is no easy task. It requires a lot of thought and intentionality.
It starts with determining whether or not it is time for assisted living.
Here are a few key signs that it may be time for assisted living, according to Senior Lifestyle.
Declining health As seniors age, health will naturally start to decline. As the caregiver, managing their health while balancing your busy lifestyle may be too much to handle.
Changes in hygiene Another key indicator that it may be time to place your loved one in an assisted living community is when you start to notice a change in their personal hygiene. Unpleasant body odor, dirty fingernails, or unkempt hair may be signs that an aging adult is unable to take care of him or herself.
Social isolation Older individuals living alone and not in close social ties with many people may experience loneliness or social isolation. Social isolation and loneliness are linked to overall declines in health and can result in the emergence of chronic diseases and dementia.
What Should I Look for in Assisted Living?
After the decision has been made that it’s time for assisted living, the next part of the process is to choose a community. This can be the most difficult stage of the entire process as you find a place for your loved one to call home.
If you are able to, it’s always beneficial to tour communities once you’ve narrowed the search down to a few top choices. Tours can give you great insights into what the community is like, so try to bring along your loved one to be involved with this process, if possible.
It’s recommended that you visit each of your top choices multiple times and try to schedule tours during meal time, if you can, to have a good sense of the quality of food being served at each community.
Remember, you are looking for a new home for your loved one – this is a very important decision. You will want to make sure the community you decide on is more than adequate.
Enough common areas to allow for socialization with other residents
A floor plan that isn’t overly complicated to navigate through
Bedrooms and restrooms with handrails and call buttons
Safety locks on doors/windows
Security and fire safety systems
Well-lit stairs and hallways with well-marked exits
While on your tour, running through your checklist, it would be a good idea to ask plenty of questions to both staff members and residents or at least observe how staff members interact with the residents. Start Your Journey in Assisted Living
Finding the right assisted living community to place your loved one in can be a tedious and challenging process.
As long as you know what to look for in assisted living communities, you are on your way to finding the right home for your loved one.
Are you ready to speak with an assisted living expert? Contact an expert for additional information on Hearthside Senior Living in Lebanon, TN.
The senior living industry is massive, complex, and can even be a little difficult to navigate.
Deciding to move into a senior living community is a life-changing decision. You want to take the time to familiarize yourself with the industry and your choices.
The last couple of years have posed many challenges in the senior living industry, and because of progressive and innovative changes, the industry is better than ever.
Many assisted living and independent living communities are adding renovations and updates including improvements to upscale amenities, updating health and safety procedures, and focusing on wellness with innovative fitness classes, delicious healthy culinary choices, outdoor spaces, and mental health support with yoga and meditation classes.
Choosing the best option for yourself or a loved one is critical.
Two of the most well-known and misunderstood options are assisted living and independent living.
If you’re unsure of what’s best for your preference and care needs, this article will answer questions that you need to understand the key differences and select the community that best fits your lifestyle.
What is Assisted Living?
Many older adults may not yet have significant health issues but need help managing their personal care and daily household responsibilities.
Assisted living communities are designed for aging adults who need assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, toileting, medications and grooming.
Assisted living communities are the perfect solution for seniors who value their independence and want to continue to socialize and interact with like-minded peers in a safe,comfortable and enjoyable environment.
These communities also benefit family members who cannot provide consistent care for loved ones due to work, family responsibilities and other obligations.
Assisted living communities provide residents with a safe community-based environment with various choices of living options.
Who Can Benefit from Assisted Living?
Although moving to an assisted living community can feel overwhelming, this level of care may be the best decision for seniors who are experiencing:
Loneliness and isolation
Safety concerns from living alone
Frequent falls and injuries
Difficulty maintaining personal hygiene or getting to the bathroom
Difficulty remembering to take medications
A lack of social opportunities
Assisted Living Services and Amenities
Assisted living communities provide personalized care plans, and residents also have access to a wonderful selection of services and amenities.
Many seniors and their families enjoy the premium services offered in assisted living communities:
24/7 professional care
Delicious healthy meal options
24/7 on-site security and emergency personnel
Daily help with grooming, toileting, bathing, and dressing
Medication administration and management
Housekeeping services like cleaning and laundry
Spacious dining rooms
A maintenance-free lifestyle
Personal laundry service
Having access to a variety of amenities is an essential part of enjoying retirement and assisted living communities fit the bill with:
However, assisted living costs can vary dramatically depending on your city and state. Prices can even vary within the same city depending on the amenities and services offered.
To calculate the cost of assisted living in your area, enter your information here.
Luxury amenities such as spas, pools, or concierge services will cost significantly more. Make sure you prioritize wants, needs, and must-haves to meet your budget.
In addition to location, several other factors will impact the cost you pay for assisted living, including:
Level of Care
Many assisted living communities will evaluate new residents to determine how much help is needed for ADLs and the amount of time required by staff to help with daily care.
The amount of daily care needed for a resident is a factor that determines ones monthly rent rate. . For example, a resident who doesn’t require much help with personal care may pay less than someone who needs extensive assistance with bathing, toileting, or dressing.
The living accommodations selected could also affect the cost you pay for assisted living.
Depending on the community, residents can choose from apartment-style living and private or shared living spaces. However, more extensive floor plans, number of rooms, and luxury amenities may significantly increase costs.
Some assisted living communities like Hearthside Senior Living have an all-inclusive pricing structure, meaning you’re charged a flat fee each month.
Your monthly rent includes meals, utilities, housekeeping, laundry, activities, cable, and more. This pricing model makes it easier for residents to budget and manage their finances, and the price doesn’t increase as the level of care needs changes.
However, “all-inclusive” varies among assisted living communities, so make sure you understand what’s included in your monthly fee.
In an “A la Carte” pricing structure, communities charge a flat monthly fee for rent or rent and meals. Additional services are charged separately and can typically be added or removed as your needs change.
Other pricing factors to consider:
Is a deposit required? Is it refundable?
Financial assistance programs
Is there a fee if you cancel a contract early?
Paying for Assisted Living
Paying for assisted living is a significant concern for seniors. The first step is creating a budget, determining the care level needed, and evaluating your finances.
Seniors have several different options for paying for assisted living, including:
Medicare and Medicaid. It doesn’t cover the cost of assisted living, although medicare may pay for health care costs while in a community
This gives residents the option of starting out living independently and transitioning to assisted living to receive more care while remaining in the same community.
Independent living communities could include condos, villas, or apartment-style homes, and provide a maintenance-free lifestyle with beautiful living spaces, from beautiful two or three-bedroom apartments to spacious open floor plans, patios, balconies and garages.
Check out these gorgeous homes at Hearthside Senior Living Independent Retirement Community.
Independent living communities focus on providing retired seniors an active lifestyle that includes planned social and recreational activities that can be enjoyed with peers.
Who Can Benefit From Independent Living?
Retirees want to settle down and enjoy a carefree life. As a result, many want to downsize from large homes with land that require constant maintenance to smaller living spaces.
The following older adults will benefit the most in independent living communities:
Health-conscious seniors looking for living options with a focus on senior wellness
Socially active seniors
Older adults who want to spend time with people who share similar interests and values
Independent Services and Amenities
Retirement is all about fun and relaxation.
Independent living communities offer residents an all-inclusive lifestyle with opportunities to enjoy hobbies and pursue new interests, all in one community.
Independent living communities include services that allow residents to enjoy a maintenance-free retirement.
Social activities and outings
Cleaning and laundry services
Personal culinary meal plans
Exterior home maintenance (windows, roof, gutters, downspouts, garage door)
Interior home maintenance (plumbing, electrical, air conditioner, appliances, flooring, painting)
Lawn and landscape services
Today’s seniors are healthier and living longer than ever! They’re looking for safe, socially active independent living communities that encourage health and wellness.
Independent living communities are often located near restaurants, shopping, and recreational activities.
Having access to a variety of amenities is a must! Thriving independent living communities offer various amenities for residents.
Private clubhouse for entertaining with friends and family
Planned activities and outings
Spa and salon
Church services and devotionals
Clubs and community boards
Outdoor living spaces like gazebos, gardens, and patios
Fitness and wellness classes
Intimate lounge areas
The Cost of Independent Living
Of course, amenities and services are essential. However, you want to make sure your new community fits your financial goals.
On average, the monthly cost for independent living in the United States can range anywhere from $1500 to $7000 per month. Genworth’s cost calculator tool can help you calculate the cost of independent living communities in your area.
Since independent living residents don’t require assistance with personal care or medical care, it’s not a significant pricing component.
As with assisted living, expenses will vary between states and even within communities in the same city. Independent living costs vary based on many factors, including:
Amenities and Services
Amenities and services are the most significant contributors to what you’ll pay for independent living.
Recreational and social activities are a major component of independent living, and your cost can skyrocket once you start adding services and amenities.
Luxury amenities and services are great, but they will dramatically increase your costs.
Communities with pools, concierge services, state-of-the-art fitness centers, and high-end living spaces will cost more each month than those without these features.
Type of Accommodations
You’ll have your choice of floor plans, the number of rooms, and the square footage of homes or apartments in an independent living community. Larger units will likely cost more.
In addition, extra features like garages, screened-in patios, porches, and high-end fixtures could also increase prices.
Pricing Structure & Fees
Many people overlook and are surprised to find that independent living communities have different price structures that can significantly affect what you pay.
Communities with an all-inclusive pricing structure have a monthly fee, including rent, lawn maintenance, housekeeping, security, utilities, meals, cable, and scheduled transportation.
In contrast, A la carte pricing structure requires residents to pay for specific services.
Services and fees that might increase costs and may not be included in a monthly price include:
Extended dining services
One time deposits
Special activities or events
Personal services like laundry, dry cleaning, meal delivery, or haircuts
Paying for Independent Living
Although residents in assisted living communities typically have more insurance and federal options, there are other options for financing independent living.
Long-term Care Insurance. It will help pay for some independent living costs. Speak with your insurance agent for guidance.
Reverse Mortgages. Allows seniors 62 years of age or older to borrow cash against the equity in their home. Makes sure to research the specific requirements before taking out a reverse mortgage.
Personal Income & Savings. Pension distributions, retirement accounts, social security benefits, and investments are excellent ways to pay for independent living expenses.
Making the Right Choice
The right choice is the community that fits your wishes. This should include the culture and values of the team, the campus look and feel, and the rent package that best fits your needs.
Choosing to move into senior living is a big decision.
Seniors often struggle with needing help with personal care, selling a family home, and moving away from long-time familiarity.
In addition, navigating the many senior living choices takes time, knowledge, and patience.
Take the time to honestly assess your personal needs and health before deciding if assisted living or independent living is your best bet. Also, don’t forget to connect with the community administrator. He or she is willing and ready to answer questions and help your family navigate the options..
Ask friends, family, church members, and your physician for recommendations.
Make a list of communities that meet your requirements and set up a virtual or in-person tour. Take a trusted friend or family member with you for a second opinion.
During your tour, ask questions and make a note of:
Cleanliness of common areas, living spaces, and dining areas
Are residents active and social?
Is the staff friendly and engaging?
Does the culture of the community fit with your lifestyle?
Safety features like guard rails, ramps, sufficient lighting
Social activities, amenities, and services that interest you
Availability of help with personal and medical care (especially for assisted living)
Many communities will allow you to schedule a meal, giving you an excellent opportunity to access the dining areas, quality of the food, and maybe even meet residents.
The future looks bright for the senior living industry. Our aging population is growing, and senior living owners and operators are meeting the demand with premium living options.
Socially active seniors who need support with personal care will thrive in assisted living communities.
Retirees looking for a maintenance-free, low-stress retirement with abundant social activities are perfect for independent living.
You’re ready to begin an exciting new journey now that you know the difference between assisted living and independent living communities.
If you’re ready to make a move and want more detailed information, give one of Hearthside Senior Living team members a call or complete our contact form.
You’re healthy, retired or near retirement, and you just want to enjoy life without the daily responsibilities of taking care of a home. You want to socialize, travel, lounge by the pool, and connect with your peers.
If that sounds like you, then independent living may be a perfect choice!
Today’s seniors are healthy, active, and more independent than ever. They’re looking for safe long-term living solutions that provide a sense of community and encourage health and wellness.
The growing senior population will continue to move the demand for high-quality independent living communities.
Whether you’re looking for an independent living community for yourself or a loved one, the following guide to independent living has everything you need to choose the perfect community.
What Is Independent Living?
Independent living communities (also known as retirement or active adult communities) offer seniors and families an independent lifestyle in a safe community setting.
Seniors in independent living communities want to maintain their independence without home maintenance and daily household responsibilities. These communities offer various living options from apartments to beautiful single-family detached two or three-bedroom homes with spacious open floor plans with gorgeous amenities.
Independent living communities offer residents the convenience of housekeeping services, home maintenance, yard, and landscaping service. Planned activities, classes, transportation, and amenities, like fitness centers and pools, are some of the most popular amenities.
On-site medical care is typically not an option for residents in independent living. This is because residents in independent living are primarily healthy and don’t need regular medical care.
Is Independent Living Right for Me?
Choosing where you’re going to spend your retirement is an important decision. However, make sure you take the time to consider your lifestyle before you decide.
To determine if independent living is the right choice for you or a loved one, consider the following:
Consider Your Health
If you or your spouse require help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, or toileting, an assisted living community might be a better choice.
Some long-term care communities like Hearthside Senior Living combine assisted living and independent living, giving residents and their families the option of transitioning to assisted living when needed.
Seniors that are active, healthy, and can manage their own doctor visits and medication are perfect for independent living communities.
Are You Lonely?
Many seniors live alone and often become less socially active, leading to isolation, loneliness, and depression.
It may be harder to drive as we age, making it more difficult to run daily errands or attend social gatherings with family and friends. Even the most well-intentioned family members get busy, and former friends may also have difficulty getting around.
Independent living communities help fight these trends. Seniors often thrive in independent living communities thanks to the services and activities offered by the community. Residents enjoy a calendar full of planned activities, social events, group fitness classes, and more.
Being in an active community with the support and company of other seniors is the best part of living in an independent community.
Are You Having Trouble Maintaining Your Home?
For many seniors, maintaining a home is a struggle. Cleaning, yard upkeep, and home repairs are time-consuming, expensive, and stressful. In addition, doing your own home repairs as a senior can be dangerous.
Selling or renting out your current home and moving into an independent living community can give you extra income and allow you to enjoy retirement without the responsibility of maintaining a home.
Independent Living Costs
Choosing a community that meets your needs and fits your budget is a major deciding factor for most. On average, monthly costs for independent living can range anywhere from $1500 to $7000 per month.
Independent living expenses will vary dramatically between states and even within communities in the same city. Genworth’s cost calculator tool is a great place to start for information on your specific state.
The good news is that independent living is less expensive than other types of senior care, such as assisted living communities and nursing homes because personal care and health services are not needed.
Independent living costs will also vary depending on the amenities that are offered in the community. For example, communities with upscale amenities like pools or spas may be more expensive. Making a list of what’s most important to you is a great way to control costs and find the right community for your lifestyle and budget.
Accommodation selection will also affect your cost. Larger accommodations with added amenities will increase your expenses.
Independent living communities can have different cost structures. Some will have set monthly fees that include rent and other essentials. Others may use an a la carte pricing structure where you pay for specific services as needed.
Make sure you ask the following questions before signing a contract:
Is a deposit required? Is it refundable?
What services are included in my monthly fee?
How am I billed?
What if I need to cancel my contract?
Do you offer financial assistance?
Are there entrance fees?
What amenities are included?
Paying for Independent Living
Of course, paying for independent living is a concern for many seniors. Although Medicare doesn’t cover these costs, there are several other options.
Personal Income & Savings
Many retirees opt to pay out-of-pocket for independent living expenses. If possible, meet with a financial advisor to discuss your ability to pay with savings and personal income.
Distributions from pensions, social security benefits, retirement accounts, liquidated assets, and investments are excellent ways to pay for independent living expenses.
Long-term Care Insurance
A long-term care insurance policy will probably help pay for some independent living costs. Policies can vary, so make sure you speak with your insurance professional for guidance.
Life Insurance Policy
If you’re healthy and have multiple life insurance policies, you may want to consider cashing out a whole life insurance policy to pay for independent living expenses.
A reverse mortgage allows seniors 62 years of age and older to borrow cash against the equity in their home. A reverse mortgage requires you to be married, and a spouse must remain in the house. Payments can be received in a lump sum or as a line of credit or monthly installments.
Selling or Renting Your Current Home
Selling or renting your current home makes sense for many seniors. However, selling a home can be emotional for seniors and families. Talk with your children, especially if they grew up in the house before deciding to sell.
The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)
If you’re a veteran or spouse of a veteran, you may qualify for help with independent living expenses. The Veteran Directed Care Program may offer some support services for veterans in independent living communities.
Choosing an Independent Living Community
Deciding to move into an independent living community is a significant life change. Seniors often experience moments of worry, doubt, fear, and even excitement at the prospect of starting a new life.
You want to make sure your new home is a place where you’re happy, safe, and can remain independent. Finding the perfect community takes time, patience, and a lot of research. So begin your search early and visit multiple communities in your city.
Make a list of your wants, needs, and must-haves. Independent living communities differ in amenities, services, housing options, cultures, and prices, so you want to make sure you clearly understand what you’re looking for.
A great place to start is to ask for referrals from trusted friends, family, neighbors, church members, and even your physician.
Make a list of independent living communities that meet your requirements and set up in-person tours. Request a virtual tour if in-person tours are not offered due to COVID-19 protocols. Make sure you take a trusted friend or family member with you for a second opinion.
Ask if you can have lunch or dinner during your tour, this will allow you and your guest to assess the dining room, residents, and the quality of the food.
As you tour the community, make a note of:
Cleanliness of dining room, apartments, and common areas
Amenities, like beauty salon, fitness center, chapel, or library
Safety features like guard rails, ramps, grab bars, lighting
Does the community have amenities that interest you?
Are residents active and social? Are they participating in activities?
Are there clubs, activities, and religious organizations that align with your interests?
Is the staff friendly and engaging?
Make the most of your visit. Below are some factors to consider when visiting independent living communities and specific questions to ask.
Overall Community & Living Options
You want your new home to be safe and inviting. Take the time to tour the housing options offered by the community.
You want your living space to reflect your personality and individual preferences. For example, do you like modern or traditional interiors? Would you prefer an apartment-style living or a single-family detached home?
Are housekeeping and laundry included in my monthly fee?
What security measures or in place?
What happens if there is an emergency?
What are your COVID-19 safety/testing measures? What happens if a resident tests positive?
Your dining experience is one of the most important factors to consider when visiting independent living communities. Choose communities that are in line with your preferences. Do you like variety? Do you like to snack or eat late at night? Below are some dining considerations when selecting an independent living community.
What type of dining packages are offered?What is the cost?
What are my daily meal choices? Does the community offer residents a variety of food options, or are residents served the same meal?
How are meals served?
Is there an on-staff dietician or nutritionist?
How are dietary restrictions handled?
Can I order meals to be delivered to my apartment or home?
Are meals/snacks offered outside of scheduled dining hours?
Administration & Staff
The staff is the backbone of the community. You want to feel comfortable with management and employees. You want to live in a community where the staff is happy and friendly with residents.
Make notes and ask the following questions during your tour.
Are background checks performed?
How easy is it to set a meeting with the community director if I have a concern or question?
Are staff interacting with residents
What are COVID-19 protocols for staff?
What is your staff to resident ratio?
What are the training and education requirements for staff?
Health & Wellness
Now is an excellent time for health-conscious seniors to move into independent living communities.
Many communities are offering residents a variety of options to stay healthy. Virtual workouts, in-person fitness classes, yoga, meditation, and strength training geared toward seniors are just some of the possibilities offered in communities.
Choosing a community that promotes and prioritizes health is essential; that’s why it’s vital to choose a community that offers a variety of ways to stay healthy.
Consider the following:
What types of fitness classes are offered?
Are virtual workouts an option?
Are classes designed for seniors?
Ask to see a fitness calendar
Do you have healthy food options?
Visit the fitness center, if possible ask to meet instructors
Activities & Amenities
Retirement should be fun and active. One of the advantages of independent living is socializing with other residents. Make sure you ask questions to determine if the social scene fits your lifestyle.
What social and recreational activities are planned for residents? Ask to look at their monthly calendar
Are social activities included in my monthly fee? If not, what are the costs?
Do you have plans for new activities/amenities in the future?
Do you have planned activities outside of the community? Is transportation offered?
Can residents request activities?
Transitioning to Independent Living
You’ve chosen an independent living community that has everything you need. Yet, you don’t understand why you feel anxious.
Even if you’re excited about the maintenance-free lifestyle and social opportunities offered by independent living, it’s perfectly normal to feel regret, sadness, and apprehension about leaving your home.
Moving is a significant life change for anyone, especially if you’re selling a home that holds lifelong memories. Give yourself time to adjust, be honest about your feelings, talk to your family and spouse.
Stay positive and enjoy the process. This is an exciting change! Ensure a smooth transition to the independent living community with the following tips.
Contact the independent living community and give them your move-in date and time; some communities have specific guidelines and may offer assistance.
Give yourself plenty of time to purge and pack up your current home. Keep only the items you love. Donate, throw away, or give things you don’t want to family and friends. This is a great time to make a fresh start. Your new home should be organized and filled with your favorite things.
Reach out to family and friends. Your inner circle can help with your move. They can also be there to listen when you feel anxious, apprehensive, or need a little advice.
Bring personal and sentimental items like pictures, favorite furniture pieces, and family heirlooms to make your new space feel like home.
Get creative when decorating your new space. If you’ve always lived in a traditional-style home, try modern. You’re starting a new chapter in your life! Try something new.
Once you move, get to know your neighbors. Sign up for a variety of social events and recreational activities. Try a new class or hobby. Have fun!
Enjoy Your New Home
Congratulations on your decision to move into an independent living community. After reading this guide to independent living, you’ll have all of the information you need to choose your next home.
Independent living communities are an exceptional lifestyle choice for older adults. Enjoy your maintenance-free, carefree lifestyle without the responsibility of home maintenance and repairs.
Socialize with your peers and enjoy the many activities in your new community. To learn more about independent living, fill out the contact form and a staff member will reach out.