Not all senior living communities are created equal; each has its own unique atmosphere, amenities, and policies designed to accommodate seniors who are ready for a new type of lifestyle. That being said, when you're considering a move to a senior campus it's important that you look beyond a convenient location or a scenic view.
While there are checklists you can use to decide which particular living arrangement best suits your lifestyle it's also important that you have a good overview of the most common issues in retirement living. Here are three challenges seniors often face when adjusting to senior living communities and three challenges the community administrations most often contend with. Evaluating the ways each community overcomes these challenges will help you evaluate the overall campus when considering your future home.
1. Transitioning to a Senior Living Community
Moving is stressful no matter what your age is, and the older you are the more stress you'll face. Often seniors have a hard time sorting through their stuff in order to move and then have a hard time adjusting to a new home no matter how lovely it is or how excited they were when moving. It's important to know its okay to take some time to adjust to your new surroundings and that some anxiety and depression are perfectly normal. The community staff should understand this and make it a priority to help new residents transition smoothly. Not to mention, new residents are paired with Daystar community ambassadors, who are fellow residents that volunteer to ease the transition for new residents.
Related Resource: Seven Steps For Making a Move To Assisted Living In West Seattle
2. Feelings of Loneliness
Feeling lonely in a new environment can be challenging, so it's good to know this is a normal reaction. Your new community should welcome visits from your family and friends and have common areas where you can enjoy their company. At Daystar Retirement Village, we encourage that you and your family still share meals in our dining hall. At the same time there should be plenty of social activities to choose from and the staff should be encouraging, not patronizing.
The best way to overcome these feelings of loneliness from being in a new environment is to get involved and participate in the retirement communities planned and spontaneous activities and opportunities.
3. Lack of Physical Activities
Physical fitness is vital to senior health and also keeps elderly minds sharp. Your prospective new home should have plenty of options for staying fit so you can enjoy life to the fullest.
Inclement weather can be a challenge to getting enough exercise, so the campus should have many options for indoor fitness as well as options for chair-bound residents.
1. Independent & Assisted Living Staffing
Hiring, training, and retaining staff members are perhaps the biggest challenges facing retirement communities. As with any service, the people make the difference, and it is no different at Daystar. Circumstances of life may cause a quality community caregiver to move away and filling the position of a beloved human is harder than filling a position.
Inquire about the turnover rate of all employees as well as how they're screened and trained. Ongoing professional training should also be in place as well as incentives to promote job retention.
Related Resource: 5 Questions to Ask About Staff at an Assisted Living Home
2. Preventing Senior Fraud
Elderly fraud is rampant throughout the country and because senior living communities are by design full of elderly citizens they can be targets for elderly fraud. The administration must have policies in place to avoid internal fraud as well as informational opportunities for residents to stay aware of the latest ploys used to scam seniors like funeral and cemetery fraud and telemarketing scams.
Besides talking with your parent about these scenarios, you can help by encouraging them to monitor their finances closely.
3. Providing Transportation
It's common for seniors to often reach a point when they no longer drive transportation is a key issue faced by senior community administrations. There should be consistent transportation available to local areas as well as a system in place to chauffeur residents to appointments, so be sure to ask.