January 9, 2019
Just the thought of moving into a senior community and out of your longtime home can trigger strong and difficult emotions – and not just for you. Your children will debate and second guess. You on the other hand may be wondering if you are becoming a “burden” while also being apprehensive about moving into “one of those places.”
These feelings are natural and expected. But think for a moment about what’s causing them and how they can be managed. Dealing with the questions and concerns about moving to a senior community can be managed the same way you’ve always dealt with uncertainty: You need to gather solid information. Then comes the planning and more research.
This is not something you need to do yourself. Shepherd Living’s trained and caring professionals can and will help. To give you and yours a start, here are some things to consider:
What will your home be like? Will the floor plan fit you? Is it visually attractive, with an outdoor courtyard and patio? Are there different sizes and types of units available with optional floor plans? Can you decorate your residence and is there adequate storage? For many, the make-or-break question is, “Can I have a pet?”
All in one? Hidden costs? At Shepherd Living, there are no surprises. There is a price for what you need and that’s what you pay. To be sure, if you need more care – for example, memory care – it will cost more. But there are no hidden fees, and you should be sure of that no matter what community you choose.
Amenities? Are there a variety of fitness classes? Wellness initiatives? Off-site transportation? Trips? Spa? Pool? Are the meal times regimented, or do you get to eat what you want when you want? Is your apartment comfortable and homelike? Can you have a pet? Are the grounds roomy and well-kept and inviting? Is there a place to walk? To garden? What is your impression when you first visit? If it’s not ‘Wow, I really could live here,’ you may want to keep looking. That ‘wow’ factor is what we strive for at Shepherd Living.
Accommodations. In some communities there are multiple choices: from three-bedroom cottages and condominiums to one bedroom and even shared apartments. Often this choice is dictated by health care needs and available budget.
Accreditation. Is the community licensed by the relevant local healthcare jurisdictions? Make sure you community meets the standards in governance and administration; financial resources and disclosure; and resident life, health, and wellness. Licensure is rigorous and includes a meticulous on-site review.
Miscellaneous Fees. Although most of the room and board needs will be covered by the entrance fee and monthly services fees, will other charges creep in? Be sure to speak with the community administrators about realistic costs that may be associated with the community. At Shepherd Living, one fee covers all your services.
Sustainability. Does your community have the financial staying power to be there in 10 years?
Good food, when you want it. A great senior community offers restaurant-quality dining based on your menu selection, with friendly servers and an enjoyable atmosphere.
Quality of Care. Ask precise questions: What medical professionals are available in the facility and when? What about emergencies? How long does it take the rescue squad to get there? Do they offer preventative care? The idea is to find a community that is interested in keeping you healthy, body and mind, rather than treating you once you become ill.
What services are offered? If it’s time for you to jettison some of the typical household duties such as cleaning, cooking and laundry, are these services available? Are they extra? What about transportation? Does the community facilitate access to grocery stores, pharmacies, shopping malls, movie theaters, etc.?
The staff’s attitude. This can be very revealing. If staffers look like they don’t want to be there, you probably don’t either.