Assisted Living: Finding The Right Fit

By Judi Harris

Assisted Living is a broad term that applies to many levels of care. In today’s world of active senior lifestyles, options are almost unlimited. Whether you are in need of temporary assistance while recuperating from an illness or injury, or if you are looking for the freedom to live the lifestyle you choose for this stage of your life, it is important to investigate all of the possibilities and make sure that you are getting the “Right Fit.”

For some, downsizing from their home to a smaller apartment is very difficult. Having enough room to take furniture and household items of sentimental value may be of great importance. For others, the prospect of buying new things and decorating a smaller area can be exciting. Make a list of your must-have items. As you explore all the options keep an eye on size and space.

Almost all assisted living facilities offer meals. If you are going to eat at the same restaurant every day, you want to make sure you like the food. Request sample menus. How are special dietary needs addressed? Ask if you can join them for a meal. Remember, good nutrition is very important to good health, and no one wants to eat food they don’t like.

Staying active and participating in recreational, spiritual and social programs is vital for both physical and mental health. Make sure that a good variety of activities is offered. How you spend your day should be your choice. Assisted Living does not mean an end to an active lifestyle. You can continue to enjoy the full and productive life you led before.

Shopping, banking and attending community functions and entertainment events add pleasure and variety to the regular routine. Are these opportunities offered? If you want to continue to drive it’s important to ask about parking and protection for your car. Flexible transportation for medical appointments and personal trips is an important consideration if you will not be driving.

Assisted Living is often based on levels of care required. An initial evaluation will establish your needs upon admission but be sure you know what the procedure will be if you have additional needs in the future. Have a plan in place for a health care emergency that can not be accommodated in assisted living.

A monthly or daily rate that is all-inclusive may seem high. Take some time to list your current cost of living. Don’t forget property tax, homeowner’s insurance, lawn care, maintenance and repairs. Now add up groceries, cleaning supplies and detergent. Make sure you know what is included in your assisted living rate when you make your comparisons and how that may change if your needs increase in the future.

Assisted Living Needs Check List

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Cues & Reminders
  • Memory Care
  • Therapy
  • Special Procedures
  • Medications Despensed
  • Monitoring Vitals
  • Transportation
  • Social Programs
  • Spiritual Programs
  • Exercise Programs
  • Meal Services
  • Special Diet
  • Laundry Service
  • Shopping
  • Hair Care
  • Housekeeping
  • 24Hr. Emergency Care
  • Professional Staff
  • Security

All of these issues should be addressed before choosing your new home in Assisted Living. With the right information, you can be assured that your selection will be the “Right Fit.”

– Judi Harris is the Marketing Director for Westminster Village