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.
Benefits of assisted living may include:
Support for daily tasks
Opportunities for activity and recreation
Help with medication
Educational programs for adults
A safe and comfortable living environment
“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.
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.
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.
According to the AARP’s Caregiving Checklist, here are things you should look for when touring a community:
An alternative power source in case of an outage
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.