Assisted Living Facilities: 11 Things To Ask Yourself Before Moving In
Moving Into an Assisted Living Facility Is A Life-changing Experience. Any senior who is considering such a move will probably feel a bit hesitant and more than likely have more than a few questions. The first course of action is to become fully informed about the assisted living lifestyle so you can make an educated decision.
11 things to ask yourself before making the life changing step of moving
into an Assisted Living Facility.
1. Is the Assisted Living lifestyle A Right Fit For Me? An assisted living residence is a special combination of housing, personalized supportive services and health care designed to meet the needs — both scheduled and unscheduled — of those who need help with activities of daily living. Assisted living covers a wide variety of needs and can work for just about anyone. Right now it is estimated that more than a million Americans live in approximately 20,000 assisted living facilities. And no two of them are alike. Some residents need some help cooking for themselves, or taking daily medication. This can be a concern for their family while they love and worry about them; assisted living is a perfect solution for you both. While other residents move to a facility just to enjoy the social life!
2. What Kind of Services Can I count on At an Assisted Living Facility? Everyone is different and has different needs, so no two residents will have the same needs. However, your specific needs will be met. When you meet with the facility in advance let them know your needs and they will inform you of what they can and can’t do for you. Chances are your day to day needs will be no problem.
Services provided in assisted living residences usually include:
• Three meals a day served in a common dining area
• Housekeeping services
• Assistance with eating, bathing, dressing, toileting and walking
• Access to health and medical services
• 24-hour security and staff availability
• Emergency call systems for each resident’ s unit
• Health promotion and exercise programs
• Medication management
• Personal laundry services
• Social and recreational activities
3. Are The Activities At An Assisted Living Facility Fun? Yes, assisted living can and will be FUN! Most facilities offer a wide variety of activities to fit the personal preference of all their guests. Everything from movies, fishing and shopping to enjoying the great outdoors and having a cocktail at the bar! There’s something for everyone to enjoy.
All activities are designed to enhance and encourage each resident’s independence, special needs and enjoyment. Some of the activities that are offered are:
Day trips and outings
Daily exercise program
Fellowship and inter-faith programs
Wide range of entertainment
Arts and Crafts
4. What About My Privacy At An Assisted Living Facility? A main concern of new residents is whether or not they will retain their privacy. But not to worry, assisted living centers pay a great deal of attention to your privacy wants and needs. Unlike a nursing home or a skilled nursing facility, which is quite a bit less private, assisted living gives you all the privacy you require, whether it be to sit alone and enjoy a good book or visit with a loved one.
5. What Should I pack when Moving Into An Assisted Living Facility? Packing for you move is very important, but what you need to bring heavily depends on the senior center you select. Some offer fully furnished rooms, where others you’ll have to provide yourself with any furniture you’d like. Visit the room in advance and make sure it suits your needs. Stop by the apartment you’ll be moving into and take a look around, what is provided, what will you need, take some measurements so you’ll know what fits and what doesn’t. Be sure to ask if you can paint the walls your favorite color and many times they will do one wall for free.
6. Assisted Living Facility have interesting terminologies for services, for example, what are ADL’s And IADL’s? These are two abbreviations you may start to hear about a lot while doing your research and visit different locations. They both refer to the kinds of needs seniors typically have, and what kind of day to day care they will need when they move into the Assisted Living Center. ADL’s are Activities of Daily Living, such as bathing, dressing and eating. IADL’s are Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, such as paying bills, cleaning, and doing laundry. These activities, by nature, are less time sensitive.
7. Location Is Very Important When Considering An Assisted Living Facility! Make sure you are picking a location you are happy with. Think about what’s most important to you to have nearby. Some may want to visit somewhere new and enjoy a new and exciting atmosphere. For example, assisted living in the San Francisco Bay Area can offer you some amazingly beautiful landscapes to enjoy, fishing, shopping, and the general peace and beauty of the great California outdoors! However most feel that there is no place like home and wants to have their family and friends nearby. So if your family is in the San Francisco area you’ve really hit the jackpot! The best thing for you to do is check out the surrounding towns and cities, your family will want to visit you and you want to make sure there are places to stay nearby and fun things to do together!
8. Sometimes There’s An Emotional Transition Moving Into An Assisted Living Facility: Chances are you will eventually be very pleased with your decision to move into assisted living Center, the beginning transition can be a struggle for some. When you first arrive you may not know anyone, or just a few, but remember that everyone there once went through something very similar to what you are going through now. These people are your allies and can bring a sense of understanding and compassion to the new situation. They can help you adjust for your new life living at an Assisted Living Center. You may feel compelled to stay in your room and keep to yourself, however getting out and making new friends and getting involved will make the transition much smoother and is said to be the very best way to assimilate into your new home.
9. Who Pays The Assisted Living Facility Monthly Bill? Most Assisted Living Centers are privately owned businesses, so in most cases the senior residents will be paying the bill out of their own savings, retirement or long term health insurance. Residents and their families typically pay the entire, or at least the bulk, of the assisted living expenses themselves. However, before you start paying the bills out of your own pocket, don’t forget to check your health insurance long term care policy, some or all costs may be reimbursed. Unfortunately, there has been very limited government aid for assisted living, so you should look to your insurance coverage for financial assistance.
10. Is the Assisted Living Facility Family Owned or Corporate owned? Corporate owned Assisted Living Centers sometime are out to please the stock holders and can take awhile to implement needed changes. A family owned Assisted Living Center can tend to be much quicker to implement needed changes and the owners are usually assessable to the residents so you get to speak to the top if there are issues or concerns.
11. You Become What You Think About All Day: It’s important to stay positive and upbeat during the decision making and moving process, for both the individual and immediate family and friends. It can be difficult at times, even a bit emotional to let go of your home and some possessions you’ve enjoyed through-out the years. Giving up some of your independence and admitting you may need a little help can be a challenge for some. But don’t focus on the things you are letting go of, instead think of all the new opportunity there is to do all the things you really enjoy doing. No more cleaning the kitchen or having to do the laundry. No more taking the trash out or fixing a sub-par meal. You’ll be eating three square meals a day with new friends and perhaps a great movie or some live entertainment afterwards. This is a new adventure you’re embarking on! You may be pleasantly surprised how much you’ll have in common with your new neighbors and friends.