Are You Ready… Pt 3

At this point you have already learned about the differences between the 3 basic categories of senior housing: Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Skilled Nursing Homes. Finding a community is separate from deciding. What I am going to write about here is for when you have narrowed the communities down to a top 2-3…a nutshell for deciding which one is the right one.

1) What do you value? We all have values, so decide what is most important to you. I’m talking qualities of personality here, those that have an impact on your day-to-day lifestyle. If your value friendliness and the place you visit is obviously friendly in its interactions among staff, residents, and guests, then this fits one of your values. If you value quietness or a more formal interaction, maybe it would not. So what do you value?

2) Match your interests with theirs. Do you want a place that offers lots of activity because you are an active person? If most of the activity is bingo and sing-alongs, and you like scrabble or chess, it isn’t the best match. If you like theater and they never go to theater, it isn’t a match. If you like hiking but can’t do it any more, maybe a place that has a robust walking or fitness program is better suited for you. Or maybe you used to be involved with your church choir or the local drama group.

Look for a place that offers activities that can tap your own talents or offer you a chance to expand your horizons. Try something new. Look over their monthly calendar (maybe even several months’ worth) and see how many matches you can find to your interests.

3) Match your needs to what they offer. Do a pro & con list of what you want in a “new home” and what they offer. Large apartment? Wide doors and hallways? Full kitchen? Home-cooked meals? Available transportation for the important things like grocery shopping or medical appointments, or just the occasional jaunt to someplace fun? Do you need someone there just for emergencies or someone there all the time? Is the price higher than what you can afford? This can help you decide if this place or a different place would be better for you.

4) Decide based on current needs and wants, not what you might need or want in five years. You don’t need some service right now (and may never), so why move to a place where you have to pay a higher fee for access to services you don’t yet need? If price is an issue, discuss it upfront. Don’t be shy. There may be opportunities you are unaware of.

The process of finding the right community is more than just a finding a pretty building and the right price. With these basics, you should be able to determine what is right for you or your loved one based on values, interests, current needs and wants. We’d love to see how we match up to your lists at Gates Mills Club Active Senior Living. Check us out anytime…

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