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Shopping for Assisted Living: Signs You’ve Found the Right Place

At some point in the aging process, many older adults will need additional support with activities of daily living. While some individuals may choose to age in place, nearly 60% of older adults will need some form of long-term care, according to the Administration for Community Living. Assisted living communities are designed for older adults who need additional support with their day-to-day lives. These communities offer support with daily tasks such as eating, taking medication, bathing, housekeeping, preparing meals, and monitoring medicine. In addition, medical care is accessible around the clock in the event of an emergency. For many seniors and their families, knowing when to start the process of choosing an assisted living community can be unclear. While we all age at different rates and in different ways, there are some clear signs that it might be time to move into an assisted living community.

Signs it Might be Time for Assisted Living

Many older adults see the transition into assisted living as a loss of their independence. However, this isn’t always the case. Assisted living communities allow older adults to reserve their energy for things they enjoy, enabling them to stay independent for longer. If you or your loved one are considering assisted living, here are some signs that it might be time to make the move:

Declining health conditions- As we age, we become more at risk of chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. In fact, according to research conducted by AARP, “more than 70 million Americans ages 50 and older, or four out of five older adults, suffer from at least one chronic condition.” Managing these conditions, including traveling to doctor’s appointments and taking the appropriate medications, can pose problems for older adults. Assisted living communities take the pressure off of managing these conditions, which allows residents to enjoy a higher quality of life.

Difficulty with managing finances- Age-related memory loss can cause confusion when it comes to managing money. This makes paying bills on time and sticking to a budget more difficult. Other memory disorders like Alzheimer’s and dementia can also affect one’s ability to understand finances, putting them more at risk of scams, forgetting to pay bills, or filing taxes properly.

Inability to care for oneself- If your loved one is unable to maintain their living space, bathe themselves or complete basic daily tasks, it’s time to consider assisted living. A lot of family members take on the responsibility of caregiving without understanding how demanding that can be, especially when they have their own families to care for each day. Assisted living facilities have caregivers on staff who will make sure their residents maintain proper hygiene, a healthy diet, and live in a clean environment.

Lack of socialization– According to a study conducted by the National Institute on Aging, nearly 17% of all Americans aged 65 or older are isolated due to their location, living status, language, or disability. Loneliness and isolation can have negative long-term effects on one’s health, such as cognitive decline, increased mortality and feelings of depression. Socialization is at the core of assisted living facilities. Planned activities, social dining areas and one-on-one interaction are everyday occurrences at most facilities.

How to Find the Right Assisted Living Community

Once you’ve decided to move to an assisted living community, it’s time to start evaluating different communities. The decision-making process can be overwhelming, but there are a few factors you should keep in mind when touring different options. According to AARP, there are several things to look for on your visits:

  • Cleanliness
  • Emergency generator or alternative power sources
  • Common areas
  • Floor plans that are easy to follow
  • Large enough rooms to meet your needs
  • Rooms and bathrooms with handrails and call buttons
  • Safety locks on doors and windows
  • Security and fire safety systems
  • Amenities such as beauty salons, cafés, and banking options
  • Well-lit stairs and hallways

When touring different facilities, it’s important to compare important factors such as meal choices, staff retention, and overall environment. Touring an assisted living community is a great opportunity to ask questions about cost, care plan, and lifestyle questions to help guide your decision. Once you identify which factors are most important to you or your loved one, you can choose a community that will best meet your needs. LeadingAge, a nationwide organization of nonprofit and government aging-services providers, recommends that prospective residents ask these questions when considering an assisted living community.

  1. Are you a for-profit or not-for-profit, and what’s the financial strength of the retirement community?
  2. What’s included in the monthly fee?
  3. How do you help me to maintain my freedom and independence?
  4. What kind of emergency response systems do you have?
  5. How do you measure your residents’ satisfaction?
  6. How many residents offer input and feedback?
  7. What are the five most popular programs in your community and who decides what programs and events are scheduled?
  8. Can I review your residency agreement?

Experts also suggest paying attention to the friendliness of staff, overall curb appeal of the facility, culture and programming. It’s helpful to identify your non-negotiables and address those questions first. While not all assisted living communities will check all of the boxes, the best ones will be able to meet your needs and fulfill your most important factors.

Assisted Living at Maplewood Senior Living

Our assisted living community empowers you to live more independently by providing discreet assistance based on your unique needs and goals. Beginning with a wellness assessment completed by our care team, we’ll develop a personalized plan that supports your longevity and enhances your life. Your day-to-day will include enriching cultural and educational programming that caters to and inspires your passions, an array of health and wellness offerings, and inspired nutritious, flavorful dining. To learn more about our offerings or to schedule a tour, please contact us.

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1 Gorham Island Rd

Westport, CT 06880

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