What to know before moving to an assisted living community
Are you ready to move into an assisted living community?
Moving into assisted living is a life-changing decision for older adults, and with so many options available today, it's important to find the right fit.
Assisted living communities are appropriate for older adults who need help with daily living activities so they can function as independently as possible, but who don't require the intense medical and nursing care provided by a nursing home. With innovations in health care and a focus on prevention, seniors today live longer, more active and healthier lives than in the past.
Here's what you should know about assisted living before signing on the dotted line.
Benefits of an assisted living community
• It offers an opportunity for socialization. This is important because it can be difficult for older adults to make friends when they don't have the social aspect of work or volunteer activities. Also, many of their friends may have passed or have serious health issues.
• It offers planned activities, live entertainment and outings that keep older adults engaged.
• Many communities offer a wide range of activities to appeal to the different interests of its residents. This is a good way to meet new friends with a similar mindset. .
• It encourages a healthy lifestyle by offering various kinds of exercises to keep residents moving while having fun.
• It offers intellectual stimulation with offerings such as computer classes, book clubs, art classes, gardening and more.
• It offers chef-prepared, nutritious meals tailored to the changing health needs of residents. Eating in the dining room is also conducive to meeting other residents.
• It offers a safe living environment that is designed for mobility and accessibility while offering expert care and medical attention if needed.
What to look for when you visit
• Cleanliness. Does the residence feel fresh and clean.
• Appearance of residents. Are they clean-shaven and well groomed, nails trimmed, hair neat, dressed appropriately.
• Staff. Are they friendly, attentive, how do they interact with residents, do they listen and make eye contact.
• Activities. Are they well attended, and are residents enjoying themselves.
Amenities you might look for
• On-site beauty shop and barbershop
• Theater room
• On-site library
• Fitness room or gym
• Full-service bank
• Garden room
• Patio and outdoor courtyards
• Country store with snacks, staples and toiletries
• Chapel offering religious services
• Transportation assistance
• Walk-in clinic
Things that might surprise you
• Many communities will accommodate couples in assisted living by placing them in double-occupancy apartments
• A community may ask a resident to leave because of behavior problems or if the level of care provided no longer fits his or her needs. Know the conditions and the time frame for notification.
• Some places do allow pets. Know the pet policy because there may be specific breed restrictions or weight limits. Birds and fish are often welcome.
• Assisted living communities do not have doctors on site. Some may have registered nurses, but it's not typical.
This article is sponsored by Asbury Court of Des Plaines, 1750 S. Elmhurst Road, Des Plaines. "With its new approach to health and wellness, Asbury Court offers older adults an assisted living program personalized for their needs and interests while respecting their independence and privacy," said Sue Kalas, Executive Director at Asbury Court.
For more information, call (847) 228-1500 or visit online at www.asburyhealthcare.com.