The senior living search is not so difficult when you are armed with the correct information. As you begin your search for a suitable senior living/retirement community, it’s important to understand that senior living is divided into three main categories:
Independent Living: Seniors with no major health issues who prefer to stay busy, not live alone, and let someone else handle the domestic details may prefer to move into an independent living community.
Assisted Living: Assisted living blends the independence of having one’s own space with a little help to handle tasks of daily living such as grooming, bathing, and mobility challenges.
Memory Care: Seniors with dementia can benefit from the additional support and security features available through memory care.
Senior living communities are different from long-term care homes (also known as nursing homes). Nursing home care is for seniors who can no longer safely live on their own and who require around-the-clock nursing care. It is subsidized through government long-term care programs in each province whereas senior living communities are not.
If you’re trying to decide between independent living and assisted living, here are some questions to keep in mind:
The Senior Living Search
Is independent living a good fit? Ask yourself:
- Has keeping up your house become a hassle?
- Would you like to have various chores done for you like laundry and property maintenance?
- Is your current home not as easy to get around as it once was (perhaps stairs have become an issue) and you’d prefer to have all your living space on one level?
- Are you a little unsteady on your feet and would like to have a bathroom with safety features such as grabrails or a walk-in shower?
- Are you looking to make new social connections?
- Would you like to live somewhere you can stay active and where there are plenty of planned activities to choose from?
- Do you like the idea of support with medications or personal care if you need it one day?
Is assisted living a good fit? Ask yourself:
- Are you looking for many of the features of an independent living community, but you’d also like a little help with personal care or managing your medications?
- Are you tired of grocery shopping and cooking for yourself and would enjoy having restaurant-style meals prepared for you every day?
Some assisted living communities bundle their services. In other words, they may charge you one flat monthly fee that covers rent + meals + a package of personal care services + access to special amenities. Bundled pricing may be advantageous to you if you want everything that’s included in the bundle.
However, if you’re not looking for an all-inclusive package, à la carte pricing can be a better, more affordable option. Levante Living residences offer something called independent supportive living, an à la carte option. It allows you to enjoy all the advantages of independent living while selectively adding services you might typically find in assisted living. Want a meal plan but don’t need help with personal care? Then just add the meal plan. No need to pay for a service you won’t be using.
And if your needs or wishes change in the future, additional services can be added at that point.
Of course, whatever senior living community you choose needs to feel like home. With that in mind, here are a few additional items you might want to add to your checklist as you conduct your search.
- A comfortable apartment that can be decorated according to your tastes.
- The freedom to set your own schedule when you want to rather than follow a strict schedule.
- Opportunities to go on outings, either arranged through the community or not.
- The ability to welcome family and friends.
- Tasty meals that give you interesting choices and accommodate your dietary needs.
Want to learn more about independent supportive living? Contact one of our communities near you.