If your parents can no longer keep up with their home's maintenance, or they're just looking for a change of pace in retirement, they may be considering moving into a senior apartment at a living complex. Senior living can have numerous benefits, but it can also be a significant life decision. Of course, choosing the right place to live is never easy, and that's no less true with senior-focused communities.
Fortunately, you can work with your parents to help make this process easier and ensure they select a community that's a good fit for their lifestyles. These three tips will help you guide your parents towards a community that can improve and enrich their lives.
1. Understand the Difference Between Senior Living and Long-Term Care
Many people mistakenly believe that long-term care facilities (or nursing homes) are similar to senior living complexes. In reality, these two living options differ substantially. Long-term care facilities are medical buildings that closely monitor and care for their residents, most of whom may no longer be able to live independently.
On the other hand, senior living apartments are typically fully-independent communities. They're similar to any other apartment building but often include many community-oriented amenities. These features may consist of active community rooms, on-site medical staff for emergencies, and options for easy transportation to local events and attractions.
2. Consider Transportation and Mobility
Moving into a senior-focused community can be an excellent way to make new friends and feel more connected, but it's still critical to consider transportation and mobility. If your parents still drive, be sure they're considering apartments with adequate parking and easy access to parking areas. This latter point is especially crucial if one or both of your parents have any existing mobility issues.
If your parents don't drive, you may also want to consider transportation options provided by the apartment complex or any local services. Are there nearby bus routes? Does the senior living apartment offer a shuttle service? These amenities can go a long way towards ensuring that your parents remain active without feeling more isolated.
3. Discuss Your Parents' Goals
Not everyone moves into senior living for the same reasons. Your parents may still be fully independent but simply find it too challenging to maintain their home. Alternately, they may be looking for a way to connect with more people of their own age. Living in a detached house can often be isolating, especially for retirees, so many people choose senior living arrangements to discover a sense of community.
Since these apartments can often vary in the services and amenities they provide, it's crucial to understand your parents' goals. By learning what they hope to achieve by moving into a senior living community, you can help them find one that will be a perfect fit for their lifestyle.