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Choosing the Right Assisted Living Community

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A group of older adults at a senior living community sit around a table laughing and playing cards together

The move into an assisted living community is a monumental step in anyone’s life. It’s a choice filled with complexities and emotions, where external support and guidance can make a big difference. 

Some of the main factors to consider for choosing the right assisted living community include:

  • Location and accessibility
  • Services and amenities
  • Staff qualifications and ratio
  • Community cleanliness and state of repair
  • Cost and financial transparency

While one community may be right for one person, it may not be suitable for another. So, it ultimately comes down to each individual’s needs and desires for how they want to spend their golden years.

When it comes to choosing an assisted living community, it’s about finding a place that’s not just safe and dependable but also inspiring and supportive. The right community can enhance quality of life, nurture independence, and foster a sense of purpose.

Factors to Consider When Selecting an Assisted Living Community

There are a few factors to consider when choosing the right assisted living community.

Location & Accessibility

Your new community will be your base of operations for a new chapter in life. Proximity to family, friends, and familiar settings can be a great comfort. 

Think about the conveniences and amenities in the area as well. Are there parks, libraries, or other recreational facilities nearby? And most importantly, how accessible is the community? Consider whether it’s accessible in different seasons, especially if family or friends are frequent visitors.

Services & Amenities Offered

One of the defining characteristics of any assisted living community is the suite of services and amenities available. From meal services and transportation to social activities and wellness programs, evaluate each offering based on its alignment with your needs and preferences. 

Do they provide rehabilitation therapy? How about specialized memory care programs? Make sure you’re choosing a community that can adapt to evolving needs.

Staff Qualifications & Ratio

It’s the staff of an assisted living community who become familiar faces, sounding boards, and sources of comfort. You want to ensure the community employs qualified individuals with ample experience in senior care.

Additionally, a low staff-to-resident ratio can be an indicator of the personalized care your loved one will receive. Engage with the staff during your visits. Their demeanor and interaction with residents speak volumes about the atmosphere they cultivate.

Community Cleanliness & Maintenance

The state of repair and cleanliness of the physical environment directly reflects the community’s commitment to providing a high standard of living. 

A well-maintained community not only observes good infection control practices but also conveys respect for its residents. Observe the communal areas during visits and ask about their cleaning and maintenance schedules to ensure a healthy and comfortable living space.

Cost & Financial Transparency

The cost of living in an assisted living community is often a significant decision driver. Transparency in pricing is crucial. Understand the fee structure, including what services are included and which are extra. Thoroughly inspecting the contract is a must. Don’t hesitate to discuss the financing options or any available assistance programs.

Navigating the Research & Visit Process

Choosing an assisted living community isn’t an overnight process. There are a few things to consider during the process.

Start with a Checklist

Compile a list of your non-negotiables and nice-to-haves. This could include specific care needs, common areas, a pet-friendly policy, or a garden. This checklist can help you remain focused during (what can be) an overwhelming search process.

Schedule Visits

Schedule visits to the communities that fit your wants and needs once you’ve narrowed your list. Take your time with each visit, asking questions relevant to your checklist, observing interactions, and envisioning your life there. Note the atmosphere, the cuisine prepared at meal times, and the daily schedule to gain a complete understanding of life in that community.

Community Outreach

Reach out to current residents and their families for a candid community review. If possible, you should try to visit when an event or activity is happening to see the community at its most interactive.

5 older adults sitting on a couch, smiling and laughing

Your Transition Is a Journey, Not a Destination

Selecting the right assisted living community isn’t just a box to check. It’s a multifaceted process that involves research, intuition, and the input of those closest to you. 

Remember, it’s about finding a place to live life’s next chapter to the fullest, with independence, dignity, and support. By focusing on the factors that matter most, you’re not merely choosing a residence—you’re investing in a lifestyle that honors the individual and community spirit alike.

Choosing an assisted living community can often feel like a big task. But you can make an informed decision, leading to a fulfilling living experience with the right approach and the tips outlined in this comprehensive guide.

We are committed to helping you through your transition and are here to provide support for any questions you may have along the way. 

Call our friendly team at The Legacy at Santa Fe to book a community tour. We’re happy to answer all your questions and show you what your life could look like in our community.

Written by LifeWell

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