Tampa, Florida, is a culturally rich region that’s quickly become the No. 1 retirement spot for seniors. With nearly 1 in 5 residents older than 65, there are plenty of opportunities to make lasting connections. Local businesses and the city government have responded to the graying of Tampa with a wide range of senior-friendly resources and services. If you’re planning a retirement in this bayfront paradise, you have plenty of choices. Seniors who need memory care in Tampa have access to some of the most luxurious memory care communities in the world — often at a premium price. Here’s how to find the best memory care in Tampa.
Know When to Start Looking
Finding a memory care community in Tampa requires the right timing. You don’t want to begin looking too early and fall in love with a community before you’re ready to move there. Worse still, waiting too long can mean months on a waiting list when you need care today.
It’s time to start looking for memory care if:
- You are already struggling with activities of daily living amid a dementia diagnosis.
- You think you or your loved one will need care within the next few months.
- Family caregivers are suffering from caregiver burnout.
- You struggle to find meaningful, enjoyable activities and feel increasingly isolated by dementia and memory issues.
Identify Your Needs
Before you begin your search, think about what you need and want most. Some questions that can help you identify your most important needs include:
- How do you want to spend your time?
- What does an ideal day look like to you?
- With which daily activities do you struggle most?
- Do you need help managing other medical conditions?
- What area of Tampa would be most convenient for your friends and family?
- Do you want to move near specific attractions?
- Do you have special dietary or nutritional needs?
- What is your budget? Will you have assistance from a benefits program or from long-term care insurance? Memory care is often a surprisingly affordable alternative to in-home care, particularly for seniors who sell their homes. Check out our cost calculator to learn more.
Cast a Wide Net
When you begin your search, cast a wide net so you can explore all options. Visit your local senior center, where there may be posted advertisements for memory care. Other seniors at your local senior recreation center may also have recommendations. Ask your doctor or another healthcare provider. Don’t forget to talk to friends or family who may have experience with memory care.
Spend some time researching each community online. Check out their social media page for event photos and news. Read their website and blog to learn more about the community culture. And of course, read online reviews. You can learn a lot not only by assessing whether the reviews are positive, but by looking at what both positive and negative reviews say. Do general themes emerge?
Visit Memory Care Communities
There’s no substitute for visiting a memory care community. Plan to go during a meal or an activity, so that you can meet people and sample the food. While you’re there, try the following strategies to learn more:
- Ask to tour a unit.
- Talk to residents about their lives and experiences.
- Observe resident-staff interactions. Are staff friendly and helpful? Are they patient?
- Ask about daily activities, and consider attending one.
- Sample the food. If you have dietary restrictions or special needs, ask the chef if the kitchen can accommodate them.
- Tour the grounds. Does this feel like a place where you could be happy?
Plan Your Move
After your tour, spend some time talking to a loved one about what you’ve seen, then compare your notes to your list of needs. Give yourself ample time to move, because a rushed move is inherently more stressful. Be prepared for some mixed emotions.
Memory care offers more activities, socialization, and independence than most seniors can get at home. Like any change, though, it can take some time to adjust to the move. Schedule lots of time with friends and family to help ease the transition.
Arbor is the premier choice for memory care in Tampa. We help seniors lead lives of dignity and joy, even when dementia threatens their safety and independence. We see dementia as just another stop on the aging journey. It doesn’t have to mean an end to the happiness in one’s life. Let us help you or your loved one fight the challenges of dementia and find renewed purpose. Give us a call today!