How many of us look forward to our old age? While some people may have an exciting reply to this question, there might also be a few others who don’t wish to think about it right away. Whether you like it or dread it, you’re likely to reach that phase sooner or later in life. Growing old sure comes with its own set of challenges and experiences. Looking for senior living apartments might be one of those for many of us.

There could be various reasons for opting to stay in a senior living apartment. Inability to manage finances, inadequate family support, or the need for safety and security could be the reasons for some. Just touring communities or reading brochures isn’t enough. This big decision requires you to be clear of all details about the facility. Here are a few questions to ask senior living apartments that can help you make the right choice for you.

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What Do The Accommodations Look Like?

Knowing how your living quarters would look is among the foremost things to notice about the senior living community in question. How much privacy can you expect? When can you have visitors over? Are there any items that are forbidden within the complex? These are questions you should ask about the living facility you’re considering.

Ask about which utilities are included in the rent. Will you have access to cable, Internet, and emergency call systems? If having reliable Internet is important to you, don’t forget to ask about Wi-Fi availability and speed. Many communities provide apartments in various sizes, layouts, and locations. You can ask about the floor plan and whether you could see an apartment similar to the one you would be living in.

How Much Will It Cost?

One of the most important questions to ask senior living apartments is the associated cost. After all, finances are a major factor in shaping your decision. Apart from the base price or monthly rent, ask for the charges of other facilities like laundry, meals, membership fees, and staff visits. Inquire about the payment method and if the costs would be changing over time. Don’t forget to get a clear cost breakdown so you know what you’d be getting and at what price.

What Kind Of Activities Are Offered?

Seniors living without family support can feel lonely and isolated even in their own homes. That’s another reason why they opt for senior living apartments. You should ask about the activities offered by the facility and if there are any eligibility requirements. From yoga and meditation sessions to cafes and libraries, some communities offer ample activities to help seniors socialize within the community.

What Measures Are Taken To Keep Residents Safe?

Safety issues figure prominently for anyone planning to live at a senior living facility. To inquire about the level of safety offered by the facility, you can ask questions like:

  • Are there alert buttons accessible to residents for emergency assistance? If yes, then where are they located and how do these buttons work?
  • How are medical emergencies handled by the community? Is the staff available 24/7?
  • What system is in place to make sure that residents are present and accounted for?
  • Does each apartment have pull cords?
  • Do you have any emergency response plan in place? Are there any fire or other safety drills conducted?
  • For bathing safety, are there any rails or easy-entry bathtubs? Do the bathrooms have grab bars and non-slip surfaces?
  • Does the community perform background checks on the staff?
  • Do you have a generator for backup power in the community?

What Training And Qualifications Do The Staff Have?

A thriving community isn’t just one with a lot of amenities and services. Having a responsible staff system is equally important, especially in senior living apartments. You should inquire about the training and qualifications of the staff at all levels.

How experienced are the medical providers? Who would you be interacting with the most or who would be your caretaker on a daily basis? What kind of training does the staff receive and are there regular meetings to strengthen skills and address concerns? Don’t hesitate to ask these questions as knowing the staff is important when choosing a senior living apartment.

Is Transportation Available?

While you may have everything you need available within the community, maintaining some connection with the outside world is also important. Many seniors might also have to depend on others for their transportation needs. You should ask about the transportation options offered by the community. Many senior living communities offer transportation via a regular shuttle service often within a defined radius.

In some facilities, there could also be predetermined transportation days for religious services, doctor visits, and other necessities. Get information on the transport options provided by the community and if there are any restrictions on distance or the days of commuting. Don’t forget to ask if you can request additional transportation as needed and if there will be any associated fees for the service.

What Food Options Are Offered?

Food is another basic necessity for all and no matter the age, having delicious food is on the minds of all. Seniors might also have different nutritional and food requirements depending on their health conditions. A while ago, many senior living communities offered meals at set times but that has also changed now. A number of communities offer all-day dining services and also have special facilities like cafes, formal dining areas, and an onsite pub.

Ask about how the community accommodates every resident’s nutritional needs. When touring the facility, you should also check the venues available, the level of hygiene maintained, the taste and frequency of menu change, and the nutrition value of food provided.

Will Medical Care Be Available On A Consistent Basis?

One of the main needs of older people looking for senior living apartments is medical care on an ongoing basis. Inquire about how the community supports every resident’s physical, cognitive, and emotional needs. Ask about the types of therapy and services available. If you have specific needs, don’t forget to ask questions about them too.

A few starting questions to inquire about the available medical care could be:

  • Is the community equipped to manage all kinds of medical conditions? Are there any that they can’t?
  • Can you provide assistance with medication management?
  • If my medical needs happen to change, will you be able to get me medical help then?
  • Will I be keeping my prescription and over-the-counter medications in my room or must someone else administer them?

Are There Any Unique Rules That Residents Must Follow?

A general code of conduct and basic rules and regulations are followed in all facilities. But a few senior living apartments could also have some unique rules that all residents are expected to follow. The restrictions could vary from the visiting schedule of guests and how long they can stay to the exterior decoration of your house and something else as well. The apartment could also have restrictions on owning a pet or the kind of pets that are allowed. Before you lock the final one, it’s best to check the limitations and go through all the rules thoroughly.

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Conclusion

Before you start with your search for a senior living apartment, it’s important to understand your own needs and expectations. Keep these questions to ask senior living apartments in mind when you’re finalizing on the one. Amenities and services offered as well as the total cost could vary with each facility. It’s best to discuss everything in detail when you visit the facility so that you know what to expect when you live there.

A good tip would be to not get carried away easily with the first impression. Apart from these questions, if you need any other clarifications, don’t hesitate to get your doubts cleared. This will help you make a better decision in choosing the right senior living apartment for you.

See also: Best States to Retire

FAQs

How Do You Evaluate Senior Living Facilities?

You can evaluate senior living facilities by first assessing your needs and knowing the right questions to ask. Apart from that, you should take a tour of the facility, get to know more about the staff, and observe the staff in action. Look into the medical services provided and the different types of activities offered by the facility. Lastly, carefully study the fees and the contract, and see if the facility suits you the best or not.

What Are Some Issues With Senior Housing?

Most people move to senior housing because of inadequate family support, inadequate finances, or for the need for safety and security. A few issues faced by people who move to senior housing are change of environment, loss of old social connections, feeling of isolation and loneliness, and restrictions in physical movement. Staffing problems and senior fraud are also some issues with senior housing.

What Services Are Usually Included In The Various Types Of Senior Living?

Most senior housing facilities offer services that include meal plans, housekeeping, transportation, laundry, and maintenance. A number of amenities such as swimming pools, gardens, formal libraries, computer stations, and other social gathering places are also present in a few facilities. Services could vary with each senior living facility, so it’s best to reach out to them to know more about the services they offer.

What Is The Difference Between An Assisted Living Facility And A Nursing Home?

In simple terms, an assisted living facility is primarily a residential environment whereas a nursing home can be considered a medical environment. Assisted living provides personal care in a home-like, social setting whereas nursing homes provide medical and personal care in a clinical setting. Usually, the cost of a nursing home is almost always more than the cost of assisted living.

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