How to Transition into an Independent Senior Living Community
There is a common misconception that senior living options are limited to being on your own or living in a restrictive nursing home setting. There is an in-between for people who are aging but are still able to live independently.
Today’s senior living options are more flexible and adaptable. Most facilities offer customized plans that cater to the needs of the individual.
Moving into a senior community has many benefits. They often come with built-in services like housekeeping and lawn care. You can spend your golden years doing the things you love with the people who are important to you rather than worrying about chores and home maintenance.
Making the transition now can also ease the burden on you and your family later, when you may require more support. You can handle the downsizing now so there is less to worry about in the future. Instead, you can focus on the things that really matter – living a fulfilling life with fewer burdens.
If you have a medical condition or limited mobility, then you will likely need to hire professional services to assist. This can be costly. Living on your own has its own risks since most properties are not designed for seniors.
Retirement communities, on the other hand, are typically designed with the needs of older adults in mind. They have accommodations that are equipped with safety features like rails and hand bars. They also usually have on-site services that are easy to access. Many also include convenient extras like barber and salon services and restaurants or communal dining spaces.
Moving into a senior living community is also a great way to stay socially active. Depression and isolation can be harmful to anyone. This becomes a bigger concern as a person faces the losses and changes that come with old age. A 55+ community will keep you close to your peers. Many also host events that encourage residents to meet up and make friends.
So how should you begin the process of transitioning into a senior community? First, you should understand what you need.
What Level of Care Do You Need?
Before you move into a senior living community, you should understand your care needs. Everyone is different, so yours may not be the same as others you know. Think about your medical status and mobility.
Are you able to move freely without assistance? Can you move on your own but require the use of a stability aid like a cane? Do you have any health conditions that might require monitoring or frequent medical care?
If your medical needs fall on the lighter side, then you may be better suited to a more independent living situation. If you require more attention, then you should consider assisted living accommodations.
Your doctor can provide more insight into your health status and which living situation would work best for you. It can help to write down any conditions or concerns you have. That should include any tasks that you need help with, like dressing or grooming. You can bring this list with you when meeting with staff to find out if they can accommodate you.
Assisted Living vs. Independent Senior Living
Assisted living and independent senior living are two different things. Both may be available at the same facility, but they are used to describe different levels of care.
Independent living is best described as housing for seniors. It’s usually age-restricted with most communities accepting people who are 55 and older. You should consult the facility to verify their minimum age. They should also be able to tell you what the average age of residents is currently.
Assisted living is a step higher in terms of the amount of care provided. It is intended for seniors and adults with disabilities. Residents receive personalized care based on their health status and mobility.
Assisted living services are provided in a residential setting. Most offer medication management as well as support for activities of daily living (ADLs). ADLs include tasks like feeding, grooming, bathing, toileting, and dressing. It also includes walking and transferring or moving from one body position to another like going from a bed to a chair.
Before choosing a senior living community, you should determine which option would work best for you.
What If My Senior Care Needs Change?
Our needs change as we get older. People who are highly independent seniors now may require more support and medical care in the next five to ten years. What happens if you move into an independent senior living community and your needs change?
You typically have two options. One is to find a new community or living accommodations or, if available. The other is to move into another part of your existing community if that location offers assisted living.
This is especially important for people who have conditions that are degenerative or cause cognitive decline, like Alzheimer’s. These are conditions that will eventually impact your independence. Choosing a facility that has what you need already available will make it easier to adapt with less stress for you and your loved ones.
Finding the Right Senior Community for You
Finding the right senior community for you will make a big difference in your comfort, safety, and wellbeing as you age. Knowing what you need now as well as what you may need in the next few years will allow you to make an informed decision.
Pinnacle Peak offers excellent senior care services in comfortable accommodations that feel like home. Visit our website today to learn more or to schedule a tour of our Scottsdale, Arizona assisted living home.