Not all senior living communities are the same: Each has its own unique atmosphere, amenities and policies designed to accommodate seniors who are ready for a new lifestyle.
No matter which senior campus in West Seattle you are considering for yourself or your loved one, there’s bound to be concerns about potential challenges you may face during and after the transition.
Problems with Over-55 and Senior Living Communities
It is human nature to be wary of change, and senior living communities are not above experiencing internal issues that undermine their mission and create a less than optimal environment for senior residents. As you search for a new 55-plus, independent living, or assisted living community in the Seattle area, it’s important to be aware of these potential problems and evaluate how each community overcomes them. In doing so, you can gain more peace of mind about the future living arrangement facing you or an aging parent. Here is a look at some of the main concerns you may have on your mind while looking for a retirement community in Washington:
1. Change of Environment
Moving is stressful no matter your age, and the older you are, the more stress you'll face. Seniors may find it daunting to sort through their personal belongings, physically move them from one location to another, and say goodbye to their old home. Anxiety, stress and sadness are normal emotional responses that don’t indicate the move was a bad idea. It’s okay to take time to adjust. Daystar Retirement Village also helps ease the transition for new residents by pairing them with community ambassadors, which are fellow residents that volunteer to meet with you and show you the ropes at your new home.
2. Feelings of Loneliness and Isolation
While assisted living communities actually help alleviate loneliness and isolation for seniors in the long run, it’s natural to feel alone and uncomfortable upon initially moving to a new environment. At Daystar, we take measures to connect residents to the social advantages of living on a senior campus. We encourage you to share meals with your family members in the dining hall. Additionally, you have your choice among a variety of planned social activities and programs that give you an opportunity to get involved, meet new people, and spend less time by yourself.
3. Loss of Old Social Connections
Another perceived problem with over-55 communities in Seattle is loss of connection to old friends and family members. However, you are welcome to invite your loved ones to socialize with you in your apartment or on campus. Daystar has several communal indoor and outdoor facilities, including a tea room, parlors, the library, recreation rooms, gardens, and a courtyard. There is also a computer room you can utilize to connect virtually with your friends and family.
4. Lack of Physical Activities
Exercise and fitness are vital to overall senior health and wellbeing—both physical and mental. Seniors may worry about not having adequate access to facilities and programs that promote exercise. Walking trails and regular senior fitness classes help solve this problem at Daystar. As inclement weather can also be a challenge to getting enough exercise in West Seattle, our campus offers opportunities for indoor fitness, as well as options for chair-bound residents.
5. Physical Limitations and Restricted Accessibility
Another common concern is being stuck in a small area at your new home, but assisted and independent living communities are designed with senior residents in mind. No matter what level of care you require, you can choose from a variety of floor plans situated in town homes and apartments. All community spaces and amenities are also conveniently located and easily accessible.
6. Staffing Problems
Hiring, training, and retaining staff members is perhaps the biggest challenge facing retirement communities. Circumstances of life may cause a quality community caregiver to move away and replacing a beloved, skilled human is harder than filling any random position. With an appropriate recruitment and vetting process; adequate salaries and benefits; and ongoing professional training, senior living communities like Daystar are able to acquire and retain a highly qualified staff to serve your needs.
7. Senior Fraud
Senior fraud is rampant throughout the country and because senior living communities are inherently full of senior citizens, they can be targets for senior 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.
8. Lack of Transportation
When you move to a 55-plus community, you don’t want to feel stuck on campus. In reality, you have the option of bringing a vehicle and using the free parking on campus. Daystar also offers consistent bus transportation to scheduled doctor’s appointments, group shopping, field trips, and other outings. Westwood Village, which includes banks, groceries, retail stores, and restaurants, is also across the street from the West Seattle campus.
9. Issues with Other Residents
Personality clashes can exist in any environment that involves interacting with other humans, and senior living communities are no exception. When issues arise with your peers, you can work them out or address them to the staff and ask for intervention. There are also multiple spaces on campus where you can get peace and quiet, including your private residence and the exterior grounds. Being surrounded by peers in the same stage of life, you are likely to find numerous kindred spirits with shared experiences and interests.
10. Financial Issues
Another concern you may have as your aging parent relocates to an assisted living or independent living community is how they will stay on top of finances. Living on campus, however, actually enables to you to consolidate several living expenses and make a single payment that covers housing, upkeep and maintenance, access to onsite amenities, and other services you receive.
Easing Your Concerns About Senior Living
Moving to a retirement community is a major life change and it’s normal to feel some hesitancy about the decision, whether it’s for you or a loved one. At Daystar, we can alleviate many of your concerns about the transition thanks to the wide range of services, amenities, and housing options we provide for seniors needing various levels of care.