Where to Start
Many seniors are now opting for independent retirement living due to the freedom from responsibility for maintaining a home, and the social and active lifestyle that a retirement community offers. It is never too early to start exploring your options. In fact, it is best not to procrastinate until potential health problems threaten. Start your search while you can choose the community that feels right for you. Start exploring what is available in your area. Ask those you trust who may have personal experience to share. Next, choose communities that interest you and consider how each option matches with what is important to you?
Who owns and operates the community – is it a reputable and financially strong organization?
Does the location work well for both you and others who may visit often?
How well do the community’s rates fit with your budget?
What type of activities and entertainment are offered?
Are you qualified for any financial assistance from a long term care policy, the Veterans Administration, etc.?
Do you have family or friends who have experience with the community?
How do the amenities match with your needs – food service, housekeeping, common areas, etc.?
Have you visited the community and spoken with current residents?
Does the community appear well maintained?
If you have a pet that you plan to bring with you, do you know the communities pet policies and requirements?
Can you have overnight guests in your room or apartment, and/or does the community offer any special accommodations for guests?
If you are the adult child or family member of a senior whom you think needs to make a change, remember that the process is often an emotional one for everyone concerned. Remember that for seniors, increased difficulty with routine housekeeping, increased forgetfulness, heightened concern over safety, or depression from spending too much time alone can be signs that a change in living arrangements may be in order. It is best not to ignore or minimize changes in overall health and ability to function independently.
In order to best assist your loved one, you may need to explore any legal details that may be helpful or in some instances necessary. Depending on your loved ones circumstances, you may wish to explore Power of Attorney, Living Will/Advanced Directive, etc.
Begin by exploring your options. With today’s increase in longevity in combination with changes in family lifestyles, more seniors are opting for a senior community lifestyle. With a steady increase in two income families and busier lifestyles for adult children of seniors, when parents stop driving or begin to need a little help to maintain their homes or take care of their own personal needs, a senior living community can be a very attractive choice.
When considering the many options available, Noland Health Services advises seniors and their families to carefully and realistically consider their needs. For many of us, it is sometimes difficult to accept that mom or dad needs a change. While it may be difficult to think about moving from a house that they have lived in for a long period of time, it is important to stay focused on how to positively impact a loved one’s quality of life – more social contact, better nutrition, someone nearby in case of an emergency.
Our philosophy at Noland Health Services is to keep people active and independent for as long as possible in an environment that nurtures them socially, spiritually and physically. With a full continuum of options, we are able to help seniors and their families to start at the level most appropriate to their loved ones current needs and continue in the same community or organization should those needs change.
Often times, a loved one may not know which living options (see Senior Living Terms) may be best. In this instance, Noland Health communities have trained marketing staff that are available to assist you with weighing your options. Start by calling to confidentially discuss the circumstances. Many of the same steps listed above apply. Additionally, you should talk to the resident care staff and closely observe the care environment.