Choosing an assisted living community can feel overwhelming, and understandably so. It’s a big life decision, and you want to get it right. In order to do that, the best thing to do is focus on finding a residence that will keep you or your loved one happy, well cared for and supported in all the ways that meet your requirements. In this article, we’ll explore six of the primary factors that will help you determine which assisted living residence is right for you. First, though, let’s look at what assisted living is, and the value it provides.
What is Assisted Living?
In general, the purpose of assisted living residences is to provide seniors—if they are unable to live independently—with the aid they need to complete daily tasks like dressing and bathing. An assisted living community is different from a nursing home, because the individuals in nursing homes require round-the-clock healthcare. Assisted living is, in short, what its name describes: a living arrangement where seniors get the help they need to live comfortably.
6 Key Factors to Help You Choose the Right Assisted Living Community
1. Where is the community located?
Many seniors want to live close to their families and friends, so it’s convenient for them to visit. Beyond that, great assisted living communities are part of thriving local areas, so there are plenty of options nearby for cuisine, excursions and socializing; seniors in assisted living may need some help, but many are still able and eager to engage with their surrounding communities. Additionally, the state laws regarding assisted living health care delivery may differ depending on the community’s location, so it’s worth understanding what assisted living care looks like in your state.
2. How big is the assisted living community, and how large is the staff?
You don’t necessarily need a larger assisted living community. What matters is the size of the community’s staff, the staff’s qualifications and the amenities and services available in the community. Staff-to-resident ratio is a good statistic to monitor, because the more staff that a community has compared to its number of residents, the more likely it is that the residents are receiving exceptional care and assistance. Larger communities are also more likely to provide top-class amenities and services. This is especially true for Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs), because these communities offer a full continuum of care that extends beyond assisted living. That means that CCRCs operate almost as entire neighborhoods for seniors, with everything they need to live comfortably, no matter their health needs.
3. What services does the community offer?
What would your ideal assisted living community look like? What services would it offer? During your search for the right community, you should consider the dining options, housekeeping and home maintenance services, wellness programs (including rehab, fitness and nutrition programs) and local transportation. The right communities offer peace of mind, stability and comfort—overall, an enhanced quality of life. Again, CCRCs have an advantage in this area, because CCRCs are specifically designed to deliver the kinds of care, amenities and services which truly make a difference.
4. How does the community help seniors as their health needs change?
The best assisted living communities make it easy for seniors to transition smoothly to other types of living arrangements. When you research assisted living communities in your area, you should consider:
- How will the community help you adjust from independent living to assisted care?
- If you or your loved one’s health needs intensify, how does the community help you transition to higher levels of care?
- What healthcare providers and treatments are available on-site?
Continuing Care Retirement Communities have an ideal arrangement for handling these types of transitions, because of the full continuum of care that CCRCs offer. Especially in terms of Life Care CCRCs like Ventana by Buckner, CCRCs enable seniors to move from independent living to other forms of health care—such as assisted living, memory care, rehabilitation and complete nursing care—all on one campus, with a flourishing community.
5. What does the assisted living arrangement cost, and what payment options are available?
There are many different models for care at assisted living communities, with different payment options as well. The main things to identify are what you can afford financially, what type of payment model best suits you and what type of value you’ll receive by investing in a given community. In the case of CCRCs, it’s important to understand that the costs don’t only include assisted living care—they include lifelong healthcare (even if your needs change), amenities, services, transportation, activities and more. In the case of Life Care CCRCs like Ventana, Members pay controlled, predictable entrance and monthly fees—which means they never face unanticipated healthcare costs.
6. What is life like for seniors within the community?
This factor helps differentiate the best assisted living communities. Does the community meet your personal needs? Will you receive the care, support and assistance you need to enjoy a high quality of life? When you explore and visit a community, you want to know whether those living there are happy, content and well cared for. You want to know if they have easy access to social gatherings and activities, and that the community fosters strong bonds and friendships among the people who live there. You want to feel confident that the community is the right fit for you.
Assisted Living at Ventana
At Ventana, Members from across Texas receive exceptional care and live an engaged, socially active lifestyle. This Life Care CCRC prides itself on its health services—and Ventana’s Assisted Living at the Arbors is one of the pillars of the community’s healthcare delivery. At the Arbors, licensed nurses and experienced caregivers provide the assistance Members need, with individualized assistance and daily activities on a 24-hour basis. To learn more about the Arbors and premiere senior living in Dallas/Fort Worth, call Ventana at 214-953-7583.