Not all senior living communities are created equal; each has its own unique atmosphere, amenities, and policies designed to attract 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. This will help you evaluate the overall campus when considering your future home.
Transitioning: 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 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.
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 the same time there should be plenty of social activities to choose from and the staff should be encouraging, not patronizing.
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.
Staffing: Hiring, training, and retaining staff members are perhaps the biggest challenges facing retirement communities. 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.
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.
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.