The right assisted living in Tampa, Florida, can relieve stress, help you live out your retirement dreams, and even improve your relationships with your loved ones by removing the pressure they feel to be caregivers. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by your retirement options, and if you already need help, the pressure is on to find the right community as soon as possible. Here’s how to look past the marketing speak and find the right community for your needs.
Identify Your Needs First
The hunt for a community begins by identifying what’s most important to you. Ask yourself the following questions:
- With what specific tasks do I need help?
- Why am I considering a move to assisted living?
- What does my ideal day look like?
- Which activities are most important to me?
- What geographic location is most ideal?
- Do I need transportation?
- How much space do I want?
- What are my dietary needs?
Read Community Webpages
When you have a list of your needs, begin exploring community webpages. This is where assisted living communities in Tampa put their best face forward, telling you about their most impressive amenities and most satisfied customers. You can also get answers to common questions, such as the size of various apartments and which activities the community offers. Pay attention to how the community talks about itself. This reveals much about what the community aspires to be and the sort of culture you can expect.
Use this information to narrow down your list to a few communities that meet your specific needs.
A community website is a great preliminary source of information, but it’s no substitute for unbiased information. Check the community’s reputation by reading online reviews. Be mindful that every community has some negative reviews, and some bad communities have unwarranted positive reviews.
So rather than just looking at the star rating, consider the content of the reviews. Does the reviewer seem credible? Do they leave bad reviews for everything? What specific positive and negative aspects of the community do they cite? Do any consistent themes emerge? Eliminate any communities with consistently and reliably awful bad reviews.
Seek Guidance from Others
Next, talk to the people you trust. Ask your doctor, physical therapist, or home health aide about their favorite communities. They can give you insider information about which assisted living communities have the best reputations, as well as which communities might be best equipped to meet your specific needs. If you have a friend in assisted living, ask them about their own experience. But don’t just stop at recommendations. Ask why someone recommends a specific community. The senior living amenities they love might not be appealing to you, so it’s important to get as much information as possible.
You wouldn’t buy a house you hadn’t toured. So be sure to visit each senior living community — ideally during a busy time, such as a meal or a special event. Take as much time as you need and pay attention to these key factors:
- Is the community clean? Attractive? Is this a place you can envision yourself living?
- What are the apartments like?
- Does the food taste good?
- Do residents seem healthy? Do they seem like people with whom you could become friends?
- What do you think of the staff? Are they willing to answer questions?
- How do the staff interact with residents? Do they seem to genuinely care? Do they have established relationships?
- Are the activities fun?
It can be helpful to take a loved one you trust with you. They may have additional insights and notice things you may miss.
Trust Your Gut
When you’ve compared a few communities, it’s time to make a decision. Ultimately, you have to trust your gut. Where did you feel most comfortable? Which community has the best reputation? It’s your retirement, and you should be the one to decide how and where you spend it.
At Arbor, we believe that every senior has earned a retirement imbued with purpose and joy. We do all we can to fully support seniors and their families, no matter what life throws their way. We would love to help you find the perfect assisted living in Tampa, no matter what your needs are. For more information, download our free guide, “Finding a Safe and Comfortable Senior Living Community.”