10 Steps To Choosing The Right Independent Senior Living Community
Moving to an independent senior living community is like any other move in many ways. It can be an overwhelming task to get organized, downsize, and move to your new surroundings. Having a plan is a must. Let’s go over ten things to keep in mind to find the right independent senior living community in Winston-Salem for you.
The Type of Community
A continuing care retirement community is like a small town. There’s housing that meets the needs of all stages of the resident’s time in the community. The independent senior to the senior needing help in a nursing home can be part of the community. The costs can vary depending on the unit and the services you want.
In an assisted living community, residents live in small apartments. They need help with personal care, meals, and medication, but are generally mobile. Assisted living does not provide medical care like a nursing home. Medical care can be the family’s responsibility, or the staff can provide help in coordinating doctor’s appointments and medicines.
The Right Fit for You
Finding what works for you is what you’ll spend the most time figuring out. You want to pick somewhere you’ll be happy for a long time.
Consider the size of the unit, the location from amenities and family members, and the decor. How’re the dining options? Do you like the floor plan? Are the activities you love offered in the activity schedule? What social activities are offered? Is your community pet-friendly?
Plan For The Future
If you or your senior loved one is in good health, you may not need extra care and support. But if you are in the early stages of a dementia-related illness, you should consider the care and cost you will receive in later stages of your illness.
The memory care areas in assisted living communities will generally be a higher cost because of the extra care required. Do these areas suit your needs? Can you afford them?
It’s always a good idea to check how accessible the assisted living community is in case you need to have these services in the future. Do you like the closest hospital in case you get sent there? Does the community have a disaster preparedness plan? Manage your risk by considering these situations ahead of time.
Make Many Visits to an Independent Senior Living Community in Winston Salem
When you’ve narrowed your top choices by doing your research, make sure you make several visits to each contender. Meet with staff and supervisors. Take tours. Try out the dining hall. Take pictures if allowed. Use the bathrooms. A night visit will help you determine if night staffing will meet your needs.
Try to actively assess all aspects of daily living in the assisted living community. Observe the residents and staff. Talk with residents, especially the head of the residents’ council. Ask as many questions as you can.
The assisted living community agreements outline what is included and what you can expect in your new home. Ask for the agreements so you can read them in detail.
Things to look for are the staff to resident ratios, penalties and costs, and how care changes with age or sickness. Rates may increase annually. It’s important to know when this increase will happen and by how much, especially if you’re on a fixed income. Do they accept seniors on Medicaid? Under what conditions could you lose your spot in the community?
Gather all this information ahead of time to avoid surprises.
Determine What Is Included at an Independent Senior Living Community in Winston Salem
There are two main parts of the cost breakdown to consider: the housing rent and the care services cost. You need to educate yourself about what is included in each assisted living community. How often is housekeeping done? Who manages medication? Are there extra housekeeping and laundry fees for use above normal? Is technology leveraged to protect residents and provide care?
Make sure that the care service you agree to matches your current needs.
Check with the state’s Department of Health or Aging about the licensing of the assisted living community. Have there been any citations, fines or violations? Look through the state survey results or reviews on the community. Ask about staff training and turnover. Is there a waiting list? What happens if the assisted living community changes ownership during your stay?
Arrange for Payments
Arrange for a financial plan on how to pay for your assisted living apartment. It’s best to draw up contracts under the name of the senior joining the community.
But often the adult child is the one signing. In such cases, the contract can still be under the senior’s name but with the adult child signing under a power of attorney. This maintains financial responsibility as the senior’s, in case of future issues.
Get A Medical Check Up
A medical check-up before you move in can confirm that you will be receiving the right level of care. Some assisted living communities may allow their in house nurse or doctor to do this assessment. Compare these to your private medical records to make a medical care plan. Also, outline your advanced directives and care priorities.
Once you settle into your new home, you should not forget to reassess your situation and care plans periodically. Invite friends and family for visits. Stay engaged in the community. Ask family members to check in with senior staff about your health in case you find yourself in a situation where you can’t advocate for yourself.
To schedule a visit with us fill out our contact form. We are happy to help you make the right decision when it comes to moving into Independent living!