Are you or your loved one considering moving to a senior living community? Senior living communities offer many benefits for senior citizens. They provide convenience, a sense of safety and community, and fun activities. Senior living communities also make your life easier, as they handle your utilities, home and lawn care and maintenance, and can provide medical care as needed. They even have dining halls and lots of opportunities to socialize. But while senior living comes with a lot of benefits, it can be hard to know if it’s the right choice or the right time for you. Here are 8 things to consider if you’re thinking about senior living communities.
1. Level of Care
Senior living communities offer several different levels of care. Usually, levels of care include:
- Independent Living
- Assisted Living
- Memory Care
- Skilled Nursing
Check out this post to see what level of care is right for you. When choosing a community, think about how much care you or your loved one needs. Your options range from just a little help in an independent living community (but staff available 24/7 in an emergency), to full-time medical care in a skilled nursing community.
2. Your Age
When considering senior living, think about you or your loved ones’ age. Most people start moving to senior living between the ages of 65 and 85. If you’re totally independent, enjoy living in a single family home, and don’t have any medical needs, you could wait a few years to consider senior living. Some communities have a minimum age for residents, so make sure to keep that in mind. Even independent seniors might really benefit from considering a senior living community.
3. Your Physical Health
Many people choose assisted living communities because they need help with some daily activities, like bathing, dressing, or food preparation. If you have health problems or medical needs, senior living would likely be a good choice for you. You can get whatever level of help you need, and that staff are always available to you. For older people with serious medical conditions, senior living communities may be essential to keeping you or your loved one healthy and well cared for.
4. Your Mental Health
Aging can be difficult for anyone’s mental health. Loneliness and depression are common in retired people, even if you’ve never struggled with this before. Alzheimer’s, dementia, and memory loss disorders are also very prevalent in older people. In America, about 1 in 10 people over the age of 65 suffer from dementia (1). These types of mental health issues can be very serious and even dangerous. In these cases, it’s very important to consider moving to a senior living community. Memory care communities are designed specifically for people with memory loss disorders, and can be extremely helpful or even necessary. Even if you don’t suffer from memory loss or a diagnosed mental illness, loneliness alone can be extremely detrimental to your health. Senior living provides you with a community of others in your same stage of life, and can promote new friendships and prevent loneliness.
5. Your Level of Mobility
Aging joints, osteoporosis, and arthritis are just a few of the mobility challenges many seniors face. These conditions can make many single-family homes difficult to navigate. For example, older people may find stairs difficult to contend with on a daily basis. Things like vacuuming, unloading a dishwasher, and doing laundry can be difficult for anyone with back pain. Seniors who need to use a cane, walker, or wheelchair could find their current living situation challenging. Seniors are at a higher risk for falls, which are also more dangerous for older people. Senior living communities are specifically designed to be accessible for walkers and wheelchairs, and easy to navigate for anyone with mobility challenges.
6. Your Family Situation
Many older people choose to live with their children at some point in their lives. For some families, this arrangement works well. But for most people, it can become more difficult. Most people, particularly seniors, value having their own space, and that can be difficult in a shared home. If you or your senior has medical needs, they may require more help than you can give. Handling the medical needs of a loved one is very difficult, especially if you have a full time job, children, or other responsibilities. It can also cause strain in relationships. For many people, senior living is a better option. Senior living provides ample independence and personal space, while still providing as much care as you need. If you don’t have children you choose to live with, but need help with daily activities, an assisted living community can provide invaluable resources.
Senior living communities are available throughout the United States. Location is one thing to consider when thinking about about senior living communities. If you currently live far from family or friends, choosing a senior living community that is closer to them might be very helpful for you. If you have a strong support system where you currently live, you can find a community near you today.
8. Your Time
None of us is blessed with unlimited time. Senior living communities might help you make the best use of your retirement years. In a senior living community, you don’t have to worry about things like bills, home maintenance, yard care, laundry, food preparation, and more. You can spend more time focusing on family, friends, your hobbies, and the things that are truly important to you in life. If you’re no longer enjoying handling all of your adult responsibilities, it might be time to consider senior living.
There are many things to consider about senior living communities. If you think it’s time for your parents or loved one to move to senior living, you might want to read this post on talking to your parents about senior living. If you decide senior living is the right choice, make sure you choose a quality community! Stellar Living offers many top-of-the-line communities with all levels of care and locations. Tour a community near you now!