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All Senior Living Communities Look the Same. How Do I Tell the Difference?


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If you're considering moving a parent or loved one into a senior living community, you’ll want to find the best one to suit their needs. While many senior living facilities might look the same at first glance, there are various factors to consider to tell the difference.


Here are some questions to ask yourself when evaluating these facilities.


What kind of amenities do they have?

Different senior living communities have different types of amenities, from health and wellness centers to libraries. Depending on your loved ones’ interests and needs (physical, spiritual, social, emotional, and medical), you should choose a facility with the right amenities for them. For instance, if they’re religious, find one that offers an area of worship so they can still feel a sense of community/belonging; and if they are especially active, choose one that has a gym that allows them to stay fit.


What types of programs/social activities do they have?

In addition to amenities, senior living communities also offer various programs and activities for their residents, like art classes, yoga sessions, gardening clubs and more. Ask your loved one which types of programs and activities they’d be interested in so you can find a place that makes them feel more at home. Feeling socially fulfilled is an important factor to a person’s overall health and well-being, and such features in an assisted living facility can really make a positive difference.


What kind of assistance do they offer residents?

Some facilities offer higher levels of care than others, and you’ll want to match your loved one’s needs with the proper assistance and community licensing. For example, some communities offer services like help with bathing, dressing, and taking medication, while others don’t provide such close care.


In addition to the type of assistance facilities provide, you’ll also want to pay close attention to the quality of care. Staff at each facility should be attentive, compassionate, and properly trained/experienced.


What are their safety and security protocols?

Safety protocols are important in senior living facilities — especially in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. COVID-19 has shed light on the ease of transmission among such communities. However, different facilities have different rules and regulations, such as COVID-19 visitation guidelines and sanitation practices. It’s important to assess the safety of each facility you consider, ensuring your loved one will not be at a higher risk for contracting severe illnesses or infections.


Security is another factor you’ll want to keep in mind when evaluating different communities. Look for features like accessible handrails and non-slip flooring to prevent injuries, and make sure the community is protected from intruders. Visitors should not be allowed to simply roam on in without proving they are a loved one of the residents. Also, there should be tight security that prevents confused patients from wandering around and getting lost.


What are their pricing models?

Consider the pricing models each facility offers and what might be covered by Medicare. On top of the usual flat fee for rent/room and board, some pricing model examples include fee-for-service (only pay for the services used), levels of care (pay more depending on how much care/attention the patient requires), and all-inclusive. Don’t forget to factor in any other fees the facility might charge, whether it's one-time or ongoing.


Go over your budget and your must-have features so you know exactly what you can compromise on and what you are willing to invest more in. Choose a community that provides the most bang for your buck.


Looking for the right senior living community for a parent or loved one? Welcome Home Senior Services & Placement Co. offers free concierge services to help you choose the ideal Florida assisted living, independent living, or memory care facility for your loved one. Contact us today to discuss your needs.

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