Men and women, as they age, typically prefer to remain independent and in their own homes. They don’t want to be a burden on their loved ones and enjoy doing things their way. Nevertheless, most homes aren’t built with seniors in mind. A study conducted several years ago found that only one percent of homes in America have basic design features that are friendly to seniors.
For example, few homes come with a step-free entry or halls and doorways that can accommodate wheelchairs and other assistive devices. Homes continue to get bigger and very few feature main floor living. You get the point. When seniors get to the stage in their life when these features are needed the most, it’s time to start thinking about downsizing and transitioning to a place such as Assisted Living. That begs the question: What matters most when choosing an Assisted Living community? Ultimately, it’s about preference and level of care required.
Know the Options
When choosing a community for a loved one, a person must understand the available options. An Independent Living community is excellent for residents who are capable of doing everything on their own without assistance. Men and women who need hands-on help find that an Assisted Living community provides this level of care. For those people struggling with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or another memory problem, a Memory Care community serves as the best option.
At times, families need somewhere for their loved ones to stay for a short period. For example, a business trip may come up and the individual doesn’t want to leave their loved one home alone. At Chelsea, seniors can come for a short stay or trial run. Learn whether the community offers this respite care when comparing different places.
One thing to consider when comparing communities is the loved one’s needs may change over time. If a higher level of care is needed in the future, will they need to switch communities? Older individuals don’t want to move any more than is necessary, so try to find a community that can assist the seniors as their needs change. Our Chelsea Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care communities are built with an all-in-one design. Independent Living communities are connected or adjacent to Chelsea Assisted Living and Memory Care communities.
Continuity of care is of great importance as a person gets older. When researching communities for a loved one, learn more about the caregivers at each community. Ask each community how they recruit the caregivers, what type of screening they do for these individuals, and what the training requirements are. Learn more about the staff-to-resident ratio at each community and staff turnover. Understanding the staff’s experience in geriatric care will allow you to understand if it’s the right community for you.
Find a community that matches you or your loved one’s personality. Doing so will allow them to feel at home from day one.
Ask about the types of activities offered. For example, a person may want to attend worship services weekly. Are they offered on-site or does the community offer transportation to the resident’s desired worship center? The community should offer opportunities for residents to go out into the community. Ask if there will be help available for residents who like to engage in these activities but need help when doing so.
One reason many people choose to move to an Assisted Living community is they want meals prepared for them. Keep this in mind when comparing communities. The goal is to find one that offers a range of menu options. Ask to see recent menus and learn about the choices offered. Take the time to meet the chef. Residents may wish to choose their own mealtimes and who they sit with, so be sure to learn whether they can do so. Many seniors like flexibility and variety in their lives, and their loved ones should find a community willing to accommodate them.
Seniors need to have enrichment opportunities to remain healthy. In addition to caring for the body, a community should also nurture the minds and spirits of its residents. When are activities offered, and how are residents encouraged to participate? Men and women have hobbies they love, and this doesn’t change as they get older. Ask the staff if this activity is part of the regular schedule. If it isn’t, would the community consider adding it? Enrichment activities should include a combination of events within the community and those that take the seniors to local destinations so they can mingle with others.
Seniors don’t want to be cut off from their loved ones following a move to Assisted Living. When comparing communities, learn about the visitation policy. Family and friends should be encouraged to come to see their loved ones as often as possible. Furthermore, drop-in visits should be encouraged, as this allows the family to see the community in action when there has been no preparation. If a community discourages this, ask why. If the staff cannot provide a valid reason, such as the global pandemic, you may wish to look elsewhere for accommodations for your loved one.
When comparing communities for a loved one, always focus on those factors that have a direct impact on the senior’s health and quality of life. Although it might be nice to have a beauty salon on the campus, this isn’t a necessity. Safety features in each room or apartment are critical. Tour each community being considered and take all factors into consideration to ensure you find the perfect living arrangement for your family member who deserves nothing less.
About Chelsea Senior Living:
Chelsea Senior Living functions to provide a home that is safe, secure, and comfortable for individuals who need assistance with daily living. We treat our residents with respect and dignity at all times while offering personalized support and integrated care.
All Chelsea communities are unique in their design, history, and features. Contact a community today to learn more and schedule a tour.