As we begin to advance in age, performing activities of daily life can become more challenging and the need for personal care assistance can increase. This is the primary reason many senior citizens across the country make the decision to move into assisted living facilities. Not all senior citizens require the specialized 24-hour care that a nursing home provides. In fact, many seniors just need some extra help taking medication on time, cooking, bathing, or getting dressed. If you or your loved one feel that your current situation calls for assisted living, here are 6 things to consider before deciding which program is the right fit.
Size and Location
One of the most important factors in deciding where you’re going to live is the location. When it comes to the location of your assisted living facility, everyone’s needs will be different. Some residents may prefer to live close to their friends and family so they can remain active in their community, while others will prefer to move closer to healthcare providers and hospitals to make transportation easier. It could also be down to a matter of preference. Some may wish to stay in an urban area, while others may want to be closer to a beach or rural community. With over 4,000 assisted living communities to choose from, in the U.S., you definitely have your options, so take the time to consider which elements of each location are the most important for you. You may only need a program with housekeeping and meal service anywhere in your state, or something specific like a program with therapy services in Long Beach, NY. The size of the facility is another thing to consider, as well. Some assisted living communities are as small as 4-10 rooms in the facility, while some can house over 100. Staff-to-resident ratio is an important part of this consideration, as well.
Cost and Services
As mentioned earlier, not every resident is going to require intense, round-the-clock care, and may only need some assistance with a few of their daily tasks. Assisted living programs can consist of the bare minimum level of care and service, or even contain specialized services like occupational therapy, memory care, or other healthcare-tailored services. Be sure to select a program that is suitable for your needs, and that you are not overpaying for care you do not need. Since Medicaid and Medicare do not cover the majority of assisted living programs, determining your comfort level with the associated costs is among the most important factors to consider when making your choice. Many facilities will offer accommodating payment structures such as monthly rent, upfront annual costs, or a tiered system based on the services you require. Make sure you select a program that fits your budget, and one that allows flexibility if your future needs should ever change.
Transitioning and Culture
Along with the size and location of your facility, the culture is another element you should keep in mind. We don’t always get to choose who our neighbors are, but in this case you should take the time and get a feel for the atmosphere and culture of the facility you’re considering by taking a few tours. Once you’ve determined that you are comfortable with the culture, you should consider selecting a program that allows you to transition to next level care, allowing you to “age in place” without having to be relocated to multiple facilities as your healthcare needs begin to change. Enhanced Assisted Living Residences (EALRs) have enhanced licensing that allows them to accommodate their residents’ growing needs, and lets them stay where they are without dealing with the hassle of moving.
Bay Vista Assisted Living
Bay Vista Assisted Living is a licensed 40-bed residence program located in Long Beach, NY. Our assisted living program is a residence that services individuals who value their independence, have a stable medical condition, and do require minimal assistance to maintain their current level of functionality. If you are interested in an assisted living facility, please visit our website and schedule a tour with us today.