Choosing the Right Assisted Living Community: A Comprehensive Guide
Moving into an assisted living community can be something to look forward to. Not only is it moving into a new home, but it’s moving into a supportive community that should inspire and improve the lives of its residents.
Selecting the right assisted living community is all about asking the right questions. Asking your friends, loved ones, and faith-based communities can also be essential to picking the right assisted living community. People who choose to live in assisted living communities like Solterra Senior Living can tell you about the vibrant lifestyle we offer.
We have created this guide to choosing the right assisted living community for you or your loved one:
The Right Location
When looking for an assisted living community, you’re looking for both information on the community and where it’s physically located. Most assisted living communities have a website with most of the information you’ll need; it should give you all the details of services offered, community layout, and physical location.
Start with the neighborhood and larger surrounding area, and see what attractions and services are nearby that fit your needs. A great neighborhood provides proximity to the things that you love to do. A few things you might look for are its walkability, accessibility to nearby parks and recreation areas, and spiritual or religious communities. Use online maps to search nearby grocery stores, restaurants, shopping centers, art galleries, museums, and banking services.
If the move is close to a current residence, there might be a way to keep the same doctor. If a provider change is necessary, find out which medical and dental facilities are nearby. Research where the closest hospitals are and how long it takes to get there. Alternatively, look and see if there are chiropractic, massage, or acupuncture providers nearby.
The Right Living Spaces
Moving into an assisted living community usually involves some form of downsizing, but moving doesn’t have to sacrifice the ability to feel at home. Depending on the location, Solterra Senior Living offers studio, 1-bedroom, or 2-bedroom suite apartments with space for some personal furnishings, plants, and beloved pets. Inquire which kitchen appliances are provided, if there is space in the apartment for visitors, and what the guest policy is for the community.
Residential dining is also an important feature to look into. Communal meals can be an essential social aspect of senior living as a way of fostering connection and growing new friendships. Read about the current menus for residents, how often they rotate, and if residents can provide input for the dining choices.
The Right Lifestyle
Living in an assisted living community means there’s freedom and more time in your day to enjoy new and fun activities. Think about how you or your loved one likes to spend the day. For those who love to exercise, you should ask if there are exercise classes, a gym, or outdoor walking areas. Ask if there are other art or music class offerings. See if the community offers on-site entertainment like movie nights, concerts, and public lectures with guest speakers. See if there are game rooms for more fun and camaraderie or a library on-site for an afternoon read. Ask to see a weekly schedule of events and classes offered.
There may be other therapeutic modalities available to residents, like art or music therapy, massage, or physical therapy. There might be on-site spiritual gatherings and community wellness talks. Perhaps there’s an on-site beauty or barber shop. Read about the offerings the assisted living community gives their residents and if there are any additional costs.
Another consideration is transportation. Driving can maintain a sense of independence if it’s safe, but are parking spaces available? Ask if there is public transportation nearby. See if daily on-site transportation is available and if there are regular outings and group activities scheduled for residents.
The Right Care Options
Assisted living generally means that there are some activities of daily living that residents will get assistance with. Here at Solterra, things like housekeeping, linen services, daily chauffeur service, safety and health monitoring, and medication management are some of the offerings. Learning about which types of care and options are available is an essential step to choosing the right assisted living community.
Personal assistance for medication, showering, dressing, and grooming is an important need to be considered. Inquire about the care options for different medical conditions and who is responsible for medical decisions and care. Ask about the current number of residents and the ratio of residents to caregivers at that location. If conditions like Alzheimer’s or dementia are considerations, find out if the assisted living community also has a memory care option at the same location.
There are other care and safety considerations. For those that move in as a couple with one as the primary caregiver, ask which respite care options are available. Part of your research is ensuring you’re looking at a place with a current license. The Arizona Department of Health Services offers a searchable database for existing licensees, and most states have some agency that provides oversight.
The Right Price
Navigating the costs of assisted living can be daunting. Certain states have programs that can help fund assisted living. Find out the cost of the assisted living community, if there are additional costs for medical or other services, and if the assisted living community has resources that can help with costs if necessary. Consider discussing this with a financial advisor to make sure that any financial decisions that are made will cover future costs for care.
Here at Solterra we offer several financial programs that our warm-hearted Community Benefit Advocates can help you navigate. Schedule a tour with us to experience what it means to live well at an affordable price with Solterra.