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The number of people approaching retirement age and new retirees moving to Tampa, Florida, has been increasing steadily since the turn of the new millennium. The area’s temperate climate, abundance of fun activities for seniors and range of assisted living options have made Tampa an emerging hotspot for seniors. 

Searching for Tampa assisted living, however, can be an overwhelming task. With various options and amenities to think over, some seniors struggle to find a good place to start. Focus on six considerations—personal interests, food and nutrition, personalized care options, memory care, cognitive support and affordability—to guide your search for Tampa assisted living.

1. Planned Activities That Suit Your Personal Interests

Taking part in planned social, recreational and therapeutic activities has been shown to help assisted living residents maintain their independence and ability to perform everyday tasks for longer,  yet assisted living residents spend up to 65 percent of their time alone in their rooms. The problem is that many assisted living communities don’t offer planned activities and events that appeal to all residents.

Maybe you’d be interested in day trips to local attractions such as the Big Cat Rescue in Citrus Park or Tampa Bay Downs. Maybe arts and education, health and wellness or purposeful living activities are more your speed. Whatever the case, finding Tampa assisted living with activities that appeal to personal interests increase the odds of participation, which can help improve quality of life and overall health.

2. Delicious Food, Nutritional Support

Anywhere from 30 to 60 percent of seniors in general hospital populations suffer from malnutrition, and it’s not for lack of food. Changes in our ability to taste and smell, dental issues and decreased physical activity have all been pegged as common contributors to senior malnutrition.

Unfortunately, you probably can’t go to Westfield Citrus Park for dinner every night, so dining and nutritional support should be an important consideration during your search for Tampa assisted living. Arbor Terrace Citrus Park, for example, offers its trademark Dining with Dignity® program, which consists of chef-prepared meals that promote dexterity, swallowing and digestion for all residents.

3. Personalized Care Options

Assisted living in Tampa should strive to keep you or your loved one as independent as possible for as long as possible. The best way to accomplish that is through personalized care plans that lend support when needed and step back when not needed.

Look for assisted living staff to learn about you or your loved one’s individual needs and to develop a customized care plan using a tiered format to deliver the necessary level of care. This helps contain costs and meet changing care needs.

4. Tampa Assisted Living and Memory Care

About 5 percent of people aged 65 to 69 had moderate or severe memory loss according to one study in 2002, but the amount jumped to 32 percent for seniors over the age of 85. While it’s hard to predict future care needs, the probability of needing memory care increases with age.

Considering a Tampa assisted living that enables residents to transition into memory care ensures that care needs can be met without a disruptive move, regardless of what the future holds. Memory care offers 24-hour supervision, staff with specialized dementia care training, nutritional support, family counseling and support, and cognitive care training programs that have shown promise in slowing cognitive decline.

5. Intermediate Care and Cognitive Support

The progression of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia can span from a few months to a decade or longer. Moreover, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) frequently does not progress into dementia, which makes predicting future memory care needs even more difficult.

Unfortunately, most senior living communities don’t offer a care option in between assisted living and memory care. Arbor Terrace Citrus Park, however, offers a trademark Bridges Living program for seniors in the early stages of memory loss or dementia. Residents enjoy the freedom of assisted living with added cognitive support and care for memory loss.

6. Considerations to Help Lower Tampa Assisted Living Costs

Generally, the more flexible you are in your search for Tampa assisted living, the more flexible you’ll find the price points to be. Talking to a senior care coordinator will help you identify financial resources and strategies to trim assisted living costs.

Choosing a studio apartment or being open to living in a two-room apartment with a roommate, for example, might be able to dramatically lower assisted living costs. And again, flexible care plans allow for affordability because you don’t have to pay for care plans and services that go beyond your needs.

In Review

Searching for Tampa assisted living can seem like a daunting task. But taking into consideration your personal interests, food preferences, personal care needs and potential need for future memory care or cognitive care support will help guide your search.

Amanda Grau

About the Author: Amanda Grau

I fell in love with the Senior population through my passion for volunteer work over ten years ago. I turned my passion into a full-time job, which to this day I will never consider work. Not only do I educate families and residents regarding Senior Living options but they continue to teach me something new each day.

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