The Arbor Company Senior Living Blog

4 Steps to Exploring Senior Living Options in Tampa, Florida

Dec 26, 2018 11:00:00 AM / Chris Harper Chris Harper

Senior Living in FLWith 18.7 percent of its population over the age of 65, Tampa, Florida, is the nation’s most popular large metropolitan landing spot for seniors. Seniors choose Tampa because of its year-round warmth, its active social life, and its commitment to quality care for its senior residents. If you live in Tampa and are exploring senior living options, you’ll find an embarrassment of riches. This is one of the best places in the country to grow older. Here’s how to sort through your options to find the best senior living in Tampa.

When to Consider Senior Living

In the popular imagination, senior living is something for seniors who need help because of serious health problems. But even healthy seniors may pursue senior living. Independent senior living offers community-based living with easy access to activities, transportation, and fellowship. You might spend your days taking field trips to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay or organizing group outings to the vintage shops at Ybor City. Put simply, if you’re ready for more activities, more socialization, more fun, and less time spent driving, senior living might be right for you.

But what if you’re exploring senior living options for someone you love? Some seniors and their caregivers choose senior living because a senior needs extra help. Some signs that a loved one might benefit from a new living situation include:

  • Your loved one has a chronic medical condition that is getting worse.

  • Your loved one no longer drives and is increasingly isolated.

  • The senior in your life needs help with at least one activity of daily living, such as preparing food or bathing.

  • A senior shows signs of loneliness and depression.

  • A senior feels anxious about living on their own.

  • The senior you care for has trouble keeping up with chores, or can no longer fully enjoy their home because of mobility or other impairments.

Types of Senior Living

Senior living is designed to meet the needs of the seniors it serves. So some arrangements are heavily independent, while others offer round-the-clock support. The most common types of senior living include:

  • Independent living: Independent living is like staying in your own home, but as part of a community of other seniors. There’s help if you need it, and plenty of activities. Independent living is best for seniors who have few or no serious health problems and who don’t need help with activities of daily living.

  • Assisted living: Assisted living offers personalized assistance based on a senior’s needs. Many seniors in assisted living have mobility impairments, early signs of dementia, or a serious progressive illness. Assisted living preserves independence by offering seniors help with daily tasks, while still providing a wide range of social and educational activities.

  • Dementia/memory care: Dementia care is specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s and other serious cognitive impairments. Seniors receive consistent supervision and support in an environment designed to be stimulating, engaging, and welcoming.

  • Nursing care: Nursing care is care for seniors in a hospital-like setting. Some seniors use nursing care as a short-term measure, as they recover from a serious fall or illness. Others remain in nursing care for several months. Nursing care offers round-the-clock medical attention for seniors with serious illnesses and complex medical needs.

Calculating Costs

Many seniors avoid exploring senior living options because they are concerned about costs. But the cost of living at home in Tampa is rising. In fact, senior living communities often provide a more affordable option. The right community removes the uncertainty of home repairs and other expenses from your budget. In many cases, programs such as Medicaid, long-term care insurance, or employer-backed disability programs cover all or a portion of senior living.

For help comparing the costs of living at home and senior living, click here.

Finding the Right Community

Finding the right senior living community in Tampa begins with asking friends and family for referrals and recommendations. Spend some time reading online reviews. Check the community’s website, too. You can learn a lot about a community’s values and culture from how it markets itself. Make a list of the communities that seem like the best fit, then call to schedule tours.

To get the most out of your tour, try visiting during a social activity or a meal. This gives you a chance to meet other residents and get a feel for community life. After your tour, consider the following:

  • Community activities. Which are most important to you? Do you want morning yoga, regular socials, or community field trips?

  • Geographic location. Do you want easy access to Tampa’s beaches? What about seeing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the weekend?

  • Amenities. Which amenities are most important to you? Do you want gourmet meals, lush gardens, or a picturesque home?

  • Family input. The people who know you best know a lot about what you need. They might even have insights you haven’t considered. Take a loved one with you on the tour and solicit their input.

The Arbor Company is committed to supporting seniors at every stage of life. We’re here to help. To learn more, give us a call or stop in for a visit.

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Topics: Senior living, Senior Living Options

Chris Harper

Chris Harper

As the vice president of communications for The Arbor Company, Chris is responsible for digital marketing, public relations, technology and design.

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