If you’re thinking about moving to an assisted living community, then you’re no doubt thinking of what it would be like to live there. You can get a feel for it by visiting a friend, taking a tour, or even participating in one of the available activities. But still, you won’t know what’s going on behind the scenes. What happens behind closed doors, and who are your new neighbors?
To shed some light on the above, we’re going to lay out how a typical day would look like for a 50-100 resident assisted living community. The difference in the quality of care for smaller and larger communities may not change that much. The main differentiator between these communities is of scale and amenities.
But of course, every resident’s schedule will look different depending on how much care they need as well as their personal interests.
There is no strict schedule to follow in assisted living communities. Besides meal times and certain scheduled activities, you can spend your time however you’d like. Some communities have 24-hour supervision available so that you can get help whenever you need it. However, the choice of when to wake up and go to bed is yours, and you can choose to engage in community activities or follow your interests.
When waking up, the first person you’ll see in the morning is a nurse or a care associate who will help you with your medication or supplements, if you are prescribed to any. To ensure that there are no errors in the dispensing of medication, assisted living communities, team members are trained in medication management. Prescription drugs are monitored vigorously and distributed appropriately throughout the community.
When it comes to activities of daily living, a care associate will be available to help you with the following:
- mobility between one place and another
- personal care/hygiene
Help with ADLs (activities of daily living) will be available 24/7. However, as your daily needs increase and you continue to require more assistance, so too might your monthly fees, so keep that in mind.
Most communities have specific times scheduled for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These meals take place in a dining room, which might be able to be converted into a multi-purpose room. If you happen to miss a meal, you can have your meal at a café instead, and they can also deliver your meal to your room if you’d prefer.
Meals are made to be nutritious and to cater to your specific dietary requirements. Menus often include several entrees, side dishes, desserts, and sometimes ala carte options as well. Depending on the facility, meals might be included in your monthly fees or as a separate meal plan. If you prefer to cook some or all your meals, check to see if kitchen spaces are available in the apartments.
In addition to meals and scheduled activities, facilities will provide you with the equipment and means to do activities on your own. This might include certain specialist hobbies, games, golf, arts and crafts, swimming, spending time in the library, hanging out in the courtyard or sunroom, and more. You’ll discover that many of the residents come from a similar background as you do, so you’ll feel quite at home. You might even find an old friend there. And if not, then you’ll always have your family. They are welcome to visit anytime, whether it be for activities, meals, etc.
Scheduled activities are voluntary, but are quite a lot of fun. Your senior living community might include any of the following:
- exercise class
- happy hours
- water aerobics
- book clubs
- video games/other games
- social events
- bible study/religious services
- shopping or visiting restaurants
- art classes
- educational courses
This is not an exhaustive list. If there are any interests you have, it’s likely there’s a place for it in a senior living community in Winston – Salem.
Meanwhile, during all of these fun activities, your bed will be made up, your room will be cleaned (usually once a week), and your laundry will be taken care of. Often, manicures, pedicures, and haircuts (even styled ones) are available onsite as well. Some senior living communities even offer services like banking, shopping, and doctor visits. Transportation services are also available for those who can’t or choose not to drive.
There might be more activities after dinner, but this usually isn’t the case as things tend to quiet down in the evenings. Some evening activities that you should consider are:
- visiting friends,
- seeing a movie in the living or media room,
- playing card games,
- relaxing in your apartment with a good book,
- watching t.v. or a movie, or
- call your friends and family to catch up on things.
Most senior living communities have WiFi, so that’s another good way to spend lots of time.
When you’re ready to hit the hay, a care associate will be available to assist you if needed. Also, a call button is available in case of emergencies. Spending your nights in senior living communities might feel lonely at first, but you’ll get used to it and feel better knowing that there’s always someone ready to help you just down the hall.
As for security, exterior doors are kept locked in the evenings, so intruders can’t get in, and depending on the facility you choose, there might also be security personnel in the vicinity as well.
Living in a senior living community might seem like all sunshine and roses, but do keep in mind that you’ll still be dealing with people. Unpleasant encounters, misunderstandings, or unplanned disruptions are inevitable. However, when you look at the alternative – living in your home where you’re responsible for maintenance, housekeeping, preparing meals, social isolation, and health challenges, a senior living community can fill in the gaps and make your retirement years truly golden.