Every senior has their own needs, interests, and values to consider when they make their plans for retirement. One of the most common choices is to consider an assisted living community, which can provide seniors with independence, social events, and a variety of activities along with the support and care they need.
Though some families begin their search when there is an urgent need, others begin exploring their options before they or their loved ones need care. By doing so, this can help ease the transition as well as any fears over uncertainty or which community is the “right” fit.
Whether your search is just getting started or it’s already well underway, here are some key questions you can use to help find the community in the Fulton area where you or your loved one can continue to thrive.
What Types of Apartments Are Available?
In addition to apartments that are a good match for your budget and needs, you will also have to ask about their availability. Begin to consider the type of space, how much space, and other features that are required or at least “nice to have.” At the same time, ask if the community has a waitlist, how long you can expect to wait, and what types of factors might affect any wait periods.
What Services Does My Monthly Fee Include?
Every community prices out its costs and services differently, meaning that one community may include only internet, cable, and utilities in the monthly fee, while others may also include additional services such as housekeeping. Each community also handles meal plans, amenities, activities, programs, and care services differently, either in bundles or a la carte.
Though the figures may be different than what you expect, many seniors may be surprised to learn that their favorite community can actually save them money compared to owning a home. For more guidance, check out our Senior Living Cost Calculator.
What Training and Experience Do Staff Have?
Senior care requires a great deal of thought, time, and energy, and so it is important that the staff at an assisted living community understand the value of continual, high-quality training. Do the staff know the latest practices for managing and assisting those with dementia? Do staff know how to handle the various emotional and social challenges that seniors may face? Finally, it can be helpful to ask about staff turnover. Though senior caregiving can be challenging, a high turnover rate can make continuity and relationship-building difficult.
Do You Offer a Variety of Meal Options?
Everyone will have different tastes when it comes to meal options and dining arrangements. In addition to asking about where you can enjoy a meal with friends, ask to see a recent weekly or monthly menu. Even better, ask to join a meal in the community yourself to help judge the atmosphere and vibe during mealtime.
Do You Offer On-Site Health Services?
Though healthcare providers are the norm at assisted living communities, ask what options there are for clinicians such as doctors, podiatrists, or even dentists that visit to provide care or are nearby for treatment and screenings. If not, ask if transportation is available to make sure that you or your loved one can get the level of care you need.
Do You Offer Free Transportation, or Other Transportation Alternatives?
Speaking of transportation, even if driving is still an option after moving into an assisted living community, ask about available transportation services. Some communities offer exclusive bus service to certain stores, banks, and other important locations. There may be other options as well, such as transportation vouchers or coordination services that are available for when you need to plan a trip to a specialist or a destination not covered by the bus route.
What Types of Activities and Events Do You Offer?
Assisted living communities are as diverse as the seniors that call them home. Because of that, there should be plenty of opportunities to be active and social. Spend some time reviewing the monthly calendar for each community you are considering and see what options are available during the week. The right community for you must offer things you will enjoy doing as well as some variety so you don’t get bored.
By no means is this a comprehensive list for your family’s needs, so it is important to think about the things that are important to you and that reflect your values. With the right research and planning, selecting a senior living community can open up a new world of adventure. So come armed with questions and information so that you can research and eventually tour communities. Remember: The process may feel long, but the investment is worth the long-term health and happiness.