Cher Haack: Spend time visiting assisted living communities before choosing
Assisted living communities have changed so much over the years. Twenty years ago if you walked into an assisted living community it may have been a little unsettling or even scary. These days assisted living communities have several options to offer and most communities hold very high standards for their appearance and quality of care they provide. Assisted living communities try to help you live as independently as possible and there are many assisted living options available today to provide services to the senior population.
Assisted Living options: Private apartments with kitchenettes; common areas to enjoy such as libraries, bistros, family rooms, billiard rooms and media rooms; restaurant style dining and services; on sight beauty salon and spa; personal call pendants to request staff assistance; daily/weekly housekeeping services; weekly laundry services; daily activities throughout the community; trips and outings around Nevada; transportation to and from appointments; personalized individual service plans to meet your needs; 24/7 staff on duty; homelike environment; friendly, caring staff that take pride in providing great care and respect for their elders.
There are so many beautiful assisted living communities in our area it can sometimes be hard to choose who may provide the best services for you or your loved one. When the time comes to make that choice, I encourage you to visit all of the assisted living communities in your area and spend a little time in the community.
Stay and have a meal in the community. This will give you a better idea of the community’s overall atmosphere.
Visit with other residents and see how they enjoy the community.
Have a list of questions ready to ask the staff.
Speak to several staff members, not just the individual providing you the tour and information.
Stay and have coffee in the front office area or common area and see how the community functions and demonstrates good customer service.
Respite stay is also available in several assisted living communities and this will give you or your loved one the opportunity to stay at the community for a few days and really see if this will be the best place for you or your loved one.
Communities offer several of the same services, however each community is unique in their own way and you may feel more comfortable in one place then the other. You may prefer the way one community is furnished compared to the rest in town. The apartments may suit your needs better in one community then the others you toured. You may enjoy the food in one community over the other communities.
Whatever the decision you make, make it for what is going to suit you or loved one’s lifestyle and needs. The initial move and transition into an assisted living community can for some be a stressful decision and move, so try and make your first move into assisted living your only move. Most importantly enjoy yourself, socialize and try to be involved in the community events and decisions. Not just for you or your loved one but also for family, so they can also observe the community’s atmosphere and operations.
Cher Haack is administrator of The Lodge Assisted Living & Memory Care Community in Carson City.