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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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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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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
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 | Moving after Retirement
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.
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.
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
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.
Must Read: Retirement Relocation Checklist | Moving to an Apartment – Pros and Cons | Finding a Doctor when you Move
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