6 Crucial Questions to Ask When Choosing an Independent Living Facility

If you are finding yourself looking for “assisted living near me” as a senior, or you wish to find out more about a senior living community for your parents, you need to ask specific questions. These questions will help you determine what amenities to expect and how this type of living supports an older adult population.

To understand how a senior living site operates, you first need to make a distinction between the two types of living facilities – assisted living and independent living. Sometimes, people use these terms interchangeably but there is a difference in how they operate.

Benefits of Independent Living Facilities for Seniors

In comparison, an independent living facility is designed for someone who is still able to live independently but has access to help when needed. Therefore, these communities offer residents easy access to medical care, entertainment, and dining. Not only do residents live in a safe environment, they can do so with minimal assistance.

Hospitality is offered in the form of laundry services, meals, and housekeeping, usually added into the monthly rent. Therefore, when you compare an assisted living site with an independent living community, the difference lies in the services.

That means assisted living offers more services to support a person’s activities of daily living (ADLs), such as dressing, showering, grocery shopping, toileting, and eating. When you make the choice for a senior living site, or an independent living facility, you need to ask the following questions. Making an informed decision is critical when making this type of lifestyle transition.

How do they compare with assisted living communities?

If someone has difficulties with daily living activities in their home, they can find support at an assisted living community while enjoying an independent lifestyle. Assistance comes in the form of housekeeping, maintenance, transportation, laundry services, utilities, and meals.

This type of maintenance-free lifestyle allows residents to take part in outings and social activities as well. Additional care is featured in the management of medications or in provind help with daily living activities, such as showering or dressing.

The 6 Questions You Need to Ask

So, where do you begin with your inquiries?

First, you need to find out more about the community and what to expect. This will help you pose the first question on the list.

What Is Included in the Rental Price?

A highly desirable independent living site offers all-inclusive amenities for one price.

An all-inclusive site is favorable, as it includes a host of benefits, some of which includes the following:

● A spacious and private apartment

● All the utilities paid, including water, electricity, cable, and Internet

● A calendar of events, classes, and social activities

● Delicious menus and on-site dining

● An on-site hair styling salon and barber shop

● Gated courtyards

● Storage facilities

● A pet-friendly community

● A workout site

● Restful common areas

● Wellness programs

● Transport available to shopping malls, doctor offices, and community activities

Again, it’s important to check what is included in the rental price for an all-inclusive residence. The facility should be as maintenance-free as it is user-friendly.

You’ll also need to find out what extra services are not included at an all-inclusive site. For example, what are some add-ons and how much extra do they cost?

2. Where Is the Location and Is It Easy to Get Around Town?

The location is an important consideration as well. Is the community close to friends and family? Is it accessible to shopping and dining? Can residents enjoy their favorite activities, whether on-site or close by? Does the city fit the profile of the potential resident?

Also, is transport easy to get? When do residents have access to transportation and is there a limit on the distance they can go?

3. What Meals are Provided and When Are They Scheduled?

Most independent living communities feature one or two meals daily. Therefore, you’ll want to know more about what is regularly served and what hours are set for meals. Are seats assigned in the dining room? And, how are dietary restrictions handled?

You can find out more about daily meal planning simply by sitting down and eating a meal in the facility’s dining room. This will give you a better idea of the atmosphere and the quality of the food.

4. What Activities Are Featured and Who Usually Participates?

While you may be impressed by a facility’s activity calendar, some events may not turn out to be all that popular. In some cases, the activities may not interest a potential resident. Also, some activities may take place at hours that may be hard to add to a daily routine.

You’ll also need to check on trips to shopping malls or similar activities. These are all important considerations, as they can add to or detract from a resident’s quality of life.

When asking this question, it also helps to find out the average age of the residents and the male to female ratio of the residents, both of which play a part into what pastimes people regularly pursue.

5. When Might You Have to Move to Assisted Living?

You’ll also have to determine when you might have to make a move to another facility. What options do you have with respect to your level of care? What would have to happen for a resident to move to assisted living?

6. What Are the Terms of the Rental Agreement?

It’s vital you nail down the terms of the rental agreement. Read the fine print and have your financial advisor or an attorney review it. It also may help to have your financial representative take a look at a community’s financial statements.

Be forewarned – some communities offer certain services for a specific time, then feature pay-as-you-go services later. While a fee-for-service agreement has a reduced buy-in charge, you’ll still get assessed market rates if you move to assisted living. Make sure you know what you’re getting before you sign the contract.

Make Sure You Know What to Expect

If you’re seeking an independent lifestyle as a senior and a maintenance-free way of life, you’ll want to closely examine senior living facilities that offer this plan. Maybe you’re searching for a residence for a parent. If so, an independent living facility might fit into your and your parent’s residential goals. Whatever you choose, make sure you know what to expect before you or your parents sign on the dotted line.

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