How Do I Get Started Choosing A Senior Living Community?
Within the normal process of growing older, many of us will reach a point where it just makes sense to find a new place to call home. Reasons, needs and wants will vary. You may desire something smaller, a place with more services—maintenance-free, a senior living community with neighbors and opportunity to make new friends, an environment that offers amenities, scheduled activities, events and socialization, and maybe even a place that offers support and care if you should need it in the future. Many seniors want all of this!
Making the move to a senior living community is not an easy decision, as there are not many who want to leave their homes. Moving is quite a commitment. So, where do you start? Most experts seem to agree that there are three main first steps you should take to start your process of choosing a senior living community.
Know the Type of Senior Living Community You’re Looking For
Your happiness or that of your loved one is the most important factor to consider. Know your needs and/or wants. Write down everything you want right now—nothing is too trivial. Then, make a list of what you might need help with in the future.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that about 70 percent of individuals over age 65 will need some form of long-term care. Here are the most common types of senior living communities and their basic offerings:
- Independent Living Communities—They eliminate the burden of homeownership so you can focus on your interests and your physical and emotional health. Here there are lots of opportunities to make new friends, too. This could be a good fit if your current health is still just fine.
- Assisted Living Communities—Here you can live independently but with a little more help. If you’re having trouble managing daily medications, with mobility or personal tasks of daily living, this might offer a good solution for you.
- Skilled Nursing Care—These communities offer nursing care for people with more complex or full-time needs—either long-term or short-term for those recovering from injury or surgery.
As you can see, medical needs can be a real qualifier for your search. But, if you’re looking to maintain and maybe even expand on the independence you enjoy today, while being fully prepared for whatever the future might bring, a true Life Care Community like Abbey Delray may provide the perfect lifestyle for you. At Abbey Delray, you can:
- Renew your commitment to a fun-filled, uplifting lifestyle in retirement.
- Refresh your outlook with a positive new approach to life.
- Revitalize your surroundings, your relationships and your activities.
All this is easy to do at Abbey Delray—where our recently completed multimillion dollar renovation project has revitalized our community. Spend some time reviewing our photo gallery and see if you can imagine yourself living the Life Care lifestyle of Abbey Delray.
Take a Look at Your Budget
After you’ve determined what type of community you’re looking for, consider your personal expenses and your financial resources. It’s good to do this early in the process of considering a senior living community. Most people are surprised at how affordable senior living can be compared to the costs of owning a home. Your home may be mortgage-free, but remember you still have utilities, taxes, groceries, continuous home maintenance, potential renovations, and entertainment—many of which are included in a maintenance-free senior living community.
Next, calculate your resources by determining your assets and income sources. This can include surviving spouse benefits, veteran’s benefits, retirement investments, pensions, long-term care insurance, etc. Work closely with your financial advisor at this point in the process, and maybe even a senior living advisor from the area you’re considering—someone who can handle a lot of the research so you can focus on other things.
Get to Know Your Options & Arrange for Community Tours
By now you know the type of community that appears to be the best fit for you, and you have a good idea of what you can afford. Since you started the search process, you’ve probably gathered brochures and studied your options online. Chances are you’ve also talked with friends and acquaintances about area communities of interest to you. Now it’s time to get out there, make some appointments and see these communities for yourself.
Start by calling those options on your “short list.” Communities coordinate tours all the time and will be able to arrange a time that best fits your schedule. Here are just a few specific things to look for during your on-site tour:
- Make sure you tour the entire community—even some resident apartments.
- Meet the residents. Are there residents available to join your tour? Have lunch with them. Perhaps there’s an opportunity for an overnight stay so you can get an even better feel for the lifestyle.
It’s very important to hear from residents about their life in the community. At Abbey Delray, our Renew, Refresh, Revitalize initiative is evident within the lives of our residents, too. Personal stories from Marion Grosswold and Leonard Cline will give you insight into the Abbey Delray resident experience. It is a special community where you can expect a personalized and memorable resident experience thanks to a staff that anticipates every need and responds with exceptional service.
- Observe the staff—Are they courteous and professional?
- Ask about Safety Policies and special safety design elements within both the residences and common areas.
- Accreditation—Make sure this state-mandated information is included in the resources you receive from the community.
There are many more questions you might consider asking during your community tour. Various online resources have great suggestions—we might suggest a good list of “tour” questions from the Harvard Medical School to get you started.
Abbey Delray—Visit Now and Often!
Make sure Abbey Delray is at the top of your list as you begin to consider senior living communities. The residents and staff want to introduce you to their casual and comfortable Delray Beach lifestyle. A new year and a new decade have made this a particularly exciting time for the community. 2020 Vision, mentioned above, yields a beautiful new entrance and clubhouse to welcome visitors, three restaurant-style dining venues, a fitness center with the latest exercise equipment, an all-new performing arts center featuring an exciting line-up of entertainment and lifelong learning events, enhanced programming to complement the renovations with fun, educational and cultural opportunities, and expanded assisted living and memory support suites building on the community’s reputation as “…the best game in town for a full continuum of care.”
Find out how you can Renew, Refresh, Revitalize your retirement lifestyle at Abbey Delray where our commitment to excellence, innovation and anticipating the needs and expectations of our residents set us apart from other communities in Palm Beach and Broward Counties. Call 888-791-9363 to schedule a tour and receive updates on our 2020 Vision.