Finding the Right Assisted Living Community
With so many assisted living options available, finding the right fit for your loved one could come down to minor details that make their new community feel like ‘home.’ While some needs are obvious, like great staff, quality care, and well-cared for campus, it’s the little touches of an individual community that can make all the difference. Maybe your dad, a life-long Seahawks season ticket holder, will fall in love with the sports den. Or your mom, a Southern Californian native, will make the move to Napa because she prefers to be closer to her children and grandchildren. What is most important for your parent and family when looking for the right assisted living facility.
Location, Location, Location
Whether your loved one stays in the neighborhood they’ve lived in for the past 40 years, or they’re moving to a brand-new state to be closer to you, finding a convenient location is an important factor. If a community is nowhere near your normal routine or convenient for your siblings, it may be more difficult to take your parent to appointments or stop by for a visit. Make sure the location works for the entire family.
Depending on where you live and what your parent needs, a decision may come down to the little details, like adequate parking if they still drive, if it sits on a busy street or hidden in a quiet neighborhood, or for our lucky Californians, proximity to the beach.
Level of Care
While your parent might only require some basic assistance right now, it’s difficult to predict what your loved one will need as they age. Finding a community where they can age in place will help with transitions down the line. As an advocate for your loved one’s health needs, make sure you know the ins and outs of the levels of care the community offers. If you suspect your parent will need memory care in the future, find a community that also provides memory care.
Affinity housing has grown in popularity in recent years. Aegis Living has two Aegis Gardens locations that cater to all seniors, especially Asian populations, providing culturally authentic food, staff that speaks their native language, and activities inspired by the customs and rituals of their home countries. For many immigrant elders, living in a community where there is nothing familiar can result in isolation and loneliness.
Finding a community that’s a cultural fit will help your loved one feel part of the group. Many communities have different religious groups that meet, activities that cater to individual hobbies, etc. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about cultural sensitivity. It’s important for your parent to feel comfortable in their new home, and new friends with similar interests are vital to staying social.
What about pets? If your parent is attached to their little terrier, the last thing you’ll want to do is move them into a community that doesn’t allow pets. Make sure their furry friend is welcome when considering a new community.
If you’re concerned about dietary restrictions, or specific diets due to religious beliefs, ask to speak with the chef. Many communities will invite you for a meal when you tour so you can get an idea of what is served.
Listen to Your Parents
At the end of the day, this is your mom or dad’s new home, and the most important thing is that THEY love it. Discuss what they’re looking for in a community before shopping. Is your mom a mall-walker? Make sure the community has a walking club. Is your dad a film buff? Find out what kind of movies they show or if there’s a film society he can join. If getting out in the fresh air each day is part of their daily routine, make sure there’s a courtyard. Help make this next stage in their life as fulfilling as possible by finding a place where they’ll thrive.
If you’re looking for an assisted living community, Aegis Living’s warm and friendly staff is always happy to show you around—you can even stay for a meal! Contact your nearest Aegis Living to schedule your tour.