The lobby is flooded with natural light, a sparkling chandelier hangs overhead, and the artwork adorning the walls is timeless.
When you and your elderly parent are visiting senior living or assisted living communities, it’s easy to get swept up in the décor and amenities. The community will be putting its best foot forward, both in person and through its brochures, website, and other marketing materials.
While a community’s appearance is an important factor in your family’s decision, it’s just one of many to consider.
- Pleasant appearance: Clean, safe, and well-maintained are the watchwords here. Is the carpeting even and smooth—or is it worn, presenting tripping hazard? Are flowerbeds fresh and well-tended, even if not lavish? And is the community clean and odor-free? Notice these attributes about the appearance before you compare its finer points.
- Comfortable amenities: Do the amenities offered by the community appeal to you—or your dad? Take care to put your parent’s interests ahead of your own. For example, you may think that a spa and formal dining room are essential in Mom’s new community, but she may value the chumminess of a cozy coffee bar and an onsite crafts room.
- Good value: Don’t make a generalized assumption that the well-appointed, lavish community is always the best choice. Your mom may feel comfortable in a more modest setting. Being surrounded by a happy staff and living in a supportive, caring environment, for example, may be far more valuable to Mom as you evaluate the cost of senior living.
- Range of services: Evaluate communities based on the senior living services your mom needs now, as well as what she might be facing down the road. Her need for care could increase rapidly, and the community you choose should be able to offer services and support that help her as she ages.
- Welcoming ambiance: Do the residents you meet seem happy and engaged? Is the staff warm and helpful? Are smiles and laughter apparent among those who live and work in the community? Remember that you’re not just looking at a senior living community—you’re looking for your mom’s home. Choose a place where your mother feels welcomed and accepted by those she meets.
Of course, there are many other factors to consider when choosing a senior living or assisted living community—some of which will be about the “nuts and bolts” of the operation, others about the senior living services offered, and still others will revolve around you and your mother’s emotional response to the community. Both examinations are valuable, and the pros at Life Care Services can help guide you through the decision-making process.