As you consider ways to enhance your life with community living through independent living, assisted living, or one of the many lifestyles offered in a senior living community, you might be wondering what features, accommodations, or qualities to look for.
To help you determine how to choose a senior living community, we put together a list of considerations that you might not have thought of before.
Ensure There Are Multiple Levels of Living
You can begin to choose a senior living community by identifying multiple levels of living that accommodate different lifestyles and needs:
- Independent living is about joy, freedom, and new experiences — in a word, it's about living!
- Assisted living looks just like independent living, but with support when you need it.
- Memory support helps those living with dementia live happy, engaged, and safe lives.
- Long-term care provides 24-hour support that emphasizes engagement, dignity, and connection.
- Short-term rehabilitation helps get people discharged from the hospital back on their feet through various therapies.
You can find out if a community is the right fit for you by taking a tour and asking the right questions. As you might discover, not all senior living communities provide multiple levels of living. They might provide one or two levels instead of a full spectrum. However, it can be highly beneficial to live in a community that accommodates potential future care.
Consider these two scenarios that highlight the benefits of transitioning between two levels of living in the same community:
1. From Independent Living to Assisted Living
If you plan to live in independent living, you may want to consider a community that also provides assisted living. The two levels are very similar, but assisted living provides extra support with activities of daily living. If you find that you eventually need that extra support, it’s easy to transition from independent to assisted living in a community that provides both options.
2. From One Level to Short-Term Rehabilitation and Back Again
Short-term rehabilitation helps ensure complete recovery after a surgery or hospital visit. Once you are discharged from the hospital, you could receive rehabilitation services on the same campus and in the company of the neighbors, services, and amenities you are used to.
Find Your Ideal Location
Once you decide on a level of living that works best for your lifestyle, consider where you would like to live. It might be in a larger city with access to various cultural amenities, near nature preserves and walking trails, or in a town closer to your family.
One of the best ways to find senior living is to visit a community's website. For example, WesleyLife has 12 communities throughout the state of Iowa and in western Illinois. Some communities are located in more rural areas, and others are closer to larger cities. The choice is yours!
Determine Your Amenity Preferences
Make a list of the activities and amenities you enjoy in your current living situation. Will you be able to do the things you love in your new community?
Determine the amenities and programming that are most important to you on a day-to-day basis, such as:
- Gourmet dining options such as on-site restaurants, bistros, and cafes.
- Walking paths on campus for morning and evening walks.
- Fitness and yoga classes.
- Gardening plots.
- Communal spaces, such as chapels, art studios, or libraries.
These details might seem small, but they can greatly enhance your daily life.
Find a Price that Suits Your Budget
Once you establish a monthly budget you can comfortably afford, you can generally find the range of living costs on a community’s website. You might also want to read more about senior living financing to learn about entrance fees, monthly service fees, what’s included in those fees, and cost comparisons.
Although Medicare does not cover senior living costs, other payment options may be available, such as long-term insurance and Veterans Affairs benefits (if applicable).
If you choose a WesleyLife Community for Healthy Living, you’re more than just a resident — you’re part of a community. The WesleyLife Promise assures residents that they’ll never be asked to leave if they deplete their financial resources through no fault of their own.
Choosing a Senior Living Community with WesleyLife
Now that you know how to choose a senior living community, it’s time to start planning a community tour. With the right questions, you can learn all about a community and assess whether you’ve found the best fit.
We’re here to help you live your best life. Complete our “Senior Living Community Evaluation Checklist” to learn more about choosing a community and asking the right questions.