Where Should You Begin?
The first step to take in looking for a senior living community to call home is to do research. Arming yourself with information ensures you are making an educated decision, one which is based on your personal goals. Discovering an assisted living community that suits your lifestyle and in which you feel comfortable is important in this new season of your life.
There Is a First Time for Everything!
Most people who enquire about our Tea, SD assisted living apartments have never been through the search process before. While it can feel a little overwhelming, knowing some key questions to ask, understanding what to look for when visiting a facility, and keeping track of what each community offers will make it easier to make comparisons and cultivate a final decision.
The following suggestions provide a place to start when you wonder how to search for a senior living community.
How to Search for a Senior Living Community
- Determine Areas of Importance: Whether you plan to make in-person visits or partake in virtual tours of assisted living communities in your area, stay focused on what is most important to your health and well-being. Luxurious amenities and upscale design features may attract your attention. Although these qualities are nice and may make you feel comfortable, be sure to look beyond the surface to determine just how well the overall community meets your needs. Before you make the initial call, make a list of what is really important to you.
For instance, do you have a dog, cat or other pet that will be making the move with you? Are you physically able to use features such as a pool, spa or walking area? Can you have an occasional overnight guest, such as an adult son or daughter? Does the facility offer opportunities for entertainment, shopping and other activities, and how will transportation be managed?
- Look into What Others Are Saying: The internet makes it easier than ever to learn about businesses and read customer reviews of assisted living communities. Because these senior care facilities are typically required to meet state regulations, you should be able to access inspections data through your state government. If you’re having trouble finding the reports you need, ask the representative of the senior care apartment to share what they have with you.
Additionally, ask around. People in your community and friend network may have received feedback from others who live there, or may know employees of the assisted living community. They may be able to lead you to knowledgeable family members of residents who can provide you with first-hand experiences.
- Location, Location, Location: Where a senior care community is located may play a role in deciding if it is a good fit for you. For instance, you may wish to find something close to family members, near your church, or a place where friends already have apartments. You may also want to look for a community that is close to a health clinic or hospital, near a grocery store, or next to a park, where you can watch children and families interact.
- Comparing Assisted Living Options: Senior care facilities often differ in the types and extent of the services they provide. This may affect what is available in terms of amenities and how much you’ll pay to live there. Keep this in mind as you compare communities, and always go back to what you need in terms of assistance and what you’re willing to sacrifice in order to get quality care. Here are some areas you should consider:
- What’s Available? If you need an assisted living apartment immediately, you may be surprised to discover that many facilities have long waiting lists. Ask if there is an opening in the near future and, if not, what the expected move-in schedule is. If you are not in a time crunch, you may wish to get on the wait list.
- What is Included Monthly Rent? Inquire as to what the base price of the senior apartment includes, as well as the added costs of special care and amenities. Some communities may seem affordable at first glance, however, by the time you add in the services you need, the price becomes unwieldy. Knowing what your final monthly out-of-pocket expenses are is key in choosing the right community for your needs and budget.
- Recheck Areas of Importance: Remember the list you made that included areas of importance? Go down that list and check it against the senior living communities you reached out to. How does each compare? Does one check off more boxes than the others? Are there areas where you may have to make concessions?
- Watch Closely: Whether in-person or a virtual, you’ll want to make a few visits to each assisted living community that make the cut. Bring your list and be nosy—ask questions. You may even want to ask the same question in different ways, to see if you receive the same response. Make sure to write everything down, because committing it all to memory is asking for trouble! Some things to look for include:
- Is the facility located in a friendly, safe neighborhood?
- Do community’s residents and staff appear to be warm and welcoming toward each other and toward you?
- Is the facility clean and well maintained?
- What types of activities area going on? Do residents seem to be enjoying them?
- Are the living quarters bright and appropriately sized for your needs?
- Ask if background checks are done on residents and employees. How are they screened?
- How experienced is the staff and what is the employee turnover rate?
- What sort of contracts does the community require residents to sign?
- Visit Again! The previous steps should help you narrow down the list of senior communities that could fit your needs. Any concerns or questions can be addressed by calling the communities which offer the most potential. When your queries have been answered to your satisfaction, visit the facility (or facilities) again. Dropping by when the management team isn’t available may provide you with an unvarnished look at how the senior living center runs behind the scenes.
We’re the Assisted Living Community Tea, SD Seniors Love to Call Home
If you are looking for a senior assisted living community in Tea, SD and the surrounding area, the team at Morgan Lane would love to speak with you about our facility, or provide you with more information on how to go about looking for a senior apartment. Feel free to give us a call or message us today!