Health

What to consider when looking for a senior living facility

There comes a point in most people’s lives when they have reached a certain age when you have to consider whether the much-loved family home is the most appropriate place in which to continue living. When a person ages, they might start to struggle to carry out routine household chores that previously wouldn’t have taken a second thought: vacuum cleaning might take a whole day, for instance, or they might struggle to get up and down a tight staircase. These difficulties can be exacerbated by an illness or hospital procedure that has further weakened the body. If this is the case, it might be time to consider senior living options. Whether it’s yourself or a close family member who requires a bit of extra help, it can be difficult to have an honest conversation about elderly needs and the impact that will have on independence. So, to help you out, here are some things to consider when looking for a senior living facility.

What type of facility would be most suitable for the resident?

You might have a negative view of senior living facilities, believing them to be depressing places where residents are left alone without any friendly interaction. However, most senior living facilities are completely the opposite, enabling residents to maintain their independence while also having any assistance they require and building a strong sense of community with other residents.

There are different types of senior living facilities for you to consider, some of which might be more suitable for your particular situation.

Assisted living is for older people who need some assistance with daily activities such as dressing, cooking, and housework, whilst maintaining their independence. Residents have their own apartments designed for ease of movement and are often fitted with a call device for staff should any further assistance be required. Assisted living facilities are often part of retirement villages, and can therefore provide a ready-made community in the other residents for people who might otherwise become isolated in their own homes. There are often regular activities, such as trips to the shops, bingo, and film evenings, meaning that residents can soon build up an active social life with a close circle of new friends.

A nursing home, on the other hand, is best suited for people with more complex medical needs who require around the clock care and monitoring from skilled nurses. A resident’s care is supervised by a licensed physician specializing in geriatric care, and other medical professionals, such as occupational and physical therapists, are also available to ensure that residents receive top-quality care to enrich their lives as much as possible. Nursing homes are especially good options for people with progressive conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Caring for a much-loved family member suffering from these diseases can eventually take its toll, but you can rest assured that your relative will receive the best possible specialist care for their condition in a reputable nursing home.

Location of senior living facility

When choosing a senior living facility, it’s worth considering its location. For a lot of people, retirement is an opportunity to travel and see the world without being tied down to a job and family, and this doesn’t necessarily have to stop if you or your partner requires a bit of extra help. You could move to a retirement village located in one of your favorite cities; for instance, check out Belmont Village Lincoln Park if you have always wanted to live in the vibrant city of Chicago.

At the other end of the spectrum, you might want to move yourself or an elderly family member to a senior living facility that is closer to your family if you have previously lived far apart. The huge benefit of this, of course, is that you will be able to visit on a regular basis and spend precious time together as a family.

Another thing to consider when choosing the location of your senior living facility is what facilities are offered in each location. For instance, one retirement village might offer a packed calendar of social activities to ensure that residents have a rich and fulfilling social life, whereas another might have a fully operational spa and gym designed specifically for seniors. You will have to decide which facilities will be most beneficial to either yourself or your elderly relative.

Do you have any specific care requirements?

With aging comes the inevitable increase in medical conditions, and some conditions might involve specific nursing requirements. Most facilities will manage medications, ensuring that residents take the right medications at the right time – a great help when several different medications need to be taken at different times of the day. Some senior living facilities have also been specifically developed to provide specialist care to residents with these conditions.

Mobility issues, for instance, affect many people as they grow older. This is due mainly to the gradual wear and tear on bones, resulting in procedures such as knee and hip replacements, and chronic conditions such as arthritis. Most assisted living facilities are equipped with mobility aids such as stairlifts and walk-in showers to help residents live as independently as possible, and many facilities also offer physical therapy to residents with arthritis to help manage and alleviate their condition.

There are also senior living facilities specializing in providing care for residents with cognitive conditions such as Parkinson’s and dementia. Staff members are specially trained to care for patients suffering from these challenging conditions, and a professional geriatric physician will be on call. A lot of facilities will draw up an individual care plan to help residents with memory loss, also providing a range of enriching, therapeutic activities to ensure that residents lead a meaningful, stimulating life. Making the decision to place a much-loved family member suffering from a cognitive condition into a residential care facility can be extremely emotional, but you can be assured that the right senior living facility will provide your relative with high-quality care that preserves their dignity.

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