Gone are the days when the only option for older adults who either did not want to, could not afford or indeed, were not mobile enough on their feet to carry on living in their own home was to move to a tired, old and gloomy care home. These days, there are myriad opportunities for older people who want to have a new lease of life in another location entirely, or else remain in the neighbourhood in which they have lived for many years, yet in a vibrant new setting. There are, indeed, several main forms of senior living communities that you should know about, all with different reasons for being and varying levels of medical treatment, care and day-to-day provisions depending on the nature of their residents.
So, whether you are looking into senior living for yourself, or else on behalf of a close friend or family member, then you have come to the right place, as here is everything you need to know about senior living communities.
The Different Forms of Community
First and foremost, no beginner’s guide to senior living communities would be without a simple explanation of the different types of senior living and their differing key functions.
Independent Living Facilities
Independent living facilities are the closest type of living arrangements that resemble residing in your own home but with a whole host of additional benefits. Essentially, the monthly rental price you pay is all-encompassing, meaning that it includes everything from your gas and electricity usage to your household maintenance costs.
Fit and healthy older adults and older people choose to relocate their lives to independent living facilities for many reasons, but one of the most common is that they want the freedom, both physically and financially, to spend their days doing exactly what they want, when they want to do it.
Assisted Living Communities
The next, possibly most well-known, form of senior community is that of the assisted living facility, with such locations typically housing residents all the way from those who need help with daily activities, to those who are fully competent in doing everyone themselves.
There are numerous advantages to choosing to relocate to an assisted living facility, including:
- Considerably more free time to do the things they love
- An investment in your future
- Peace of mind financially and health-wise
- A way to prevent feelings of loneliness and social isolation
One of the largest advantages in choosing a reputable, established and prestigious senior living community is, however, that as and when your own individual needs change, the staff and facilities are able to adapt with you.
Is Senior Living Right for You?
Obviously and, indeed, for the good of the world in general, every individual is entirely different and as such, what could be the perfect solution to a specific issue that one person is experiencing could be entirely counterproductive to the next.
This is why, when considering whether moving to a prestigious senior living community is the right thing for you, you should take a look at the following scenarios; the more that apply, the more likely senior living is the right next step:
- You are becoming overrun and even confused when managing your medication
- You are suffering from isolation, loneliness, low mood or even depression
- You have stopped preparing and cooking fresh food for yourself
- You have fallen once or more times when moving about your own home
- You now find bathing and dressing more challenging and sometimes avoid them
Senior Living & Pets
Now, unless you are the illegal owner of a herd of tigers when you apply to move into a senior community, you are unlikely to face any serious issues when wanting to reside with your beloved pet.
Small furry animals, such as bunnies, hamsters and guinea pigs, are easily housed with you and as long as you ensure they stay within the parameters of your own apartment, or are walked on a lead and supervised, there will be no problem.
With dogs and cats, the vast majority of senior living facilities have absolutely no problem with such furry friends, but if you are moving with your pampered pooch, you should just check with your shortlisted communities prior to making your final decision.
There are countless reasons why, especially if you live alone, whether in a senior community or not, you should consider animal interaction, including decreased levels of stress and anxiety, companionship both day and night, joy and love mutually shared and also a core reason to get up early every morning.
Privacy is a Top Priority
As a resident in any of the different types of senior living facilities, the staff members will always do everything they can to afford you as much privacy as possible and moreover, will always encourage independence and freedom whenever and wherever possible.
Each community consists of personality types vastly different from others, so introverted, quiet and private people who prefer their own space are left alone to do just that, whereas if more extroverted residents are keen on joining social groups and starting new hobbies, this is also there for the taking.
The Cost of Senior Living
As you would expect, the costs of the monthly or, indeed, annual fee for residing at senior living communities vary greatly depending on the location, the size of the community, the facilities, provisions and levels of medical treatment required.
However, one universal theme through each community throughout the United States, or at least for the majority, is that they tend to be significantly more affordable than people think.
As an older adult, you will no doubt have already relied, perhaps more than once, on your health insurance plan and indeed, some more comprehensive plans also tend to include some elements of medical care and treatment that you may receive at a senior living community.
Home equity is also a popular choice to fund the move, as are life insurance policies, straight-up savings and loans from the bank or from family members.
Hope you understand everything you need to know about Senior living communities, and that you will be able to make the right decisions.