By Kimberly Quartieri
Exploring senior living communities is a process that’s best started while you’re enjoying life. Knowing which options can accommodate your needs and desired lifestyle before a health event forces your move puts you in control and offers peace of mind.
Our region is fortunate to have many senior living communities, so you have choices. These living spaces come in all shapes and sizes, from single homes and cottages to apartments and duplexes located in urban, suburban, or rural settings.
A worthwhile community provides the comforts of home without the responsibilities and worries of homeownership, as well as activities, programs, services and amenities. St. Ann’s Community, for example, roots its offerings in the Seven Dimensions of Wellness to help residents lead expansive and balanced lives.
Start your search by location. Do you want to be close to your family and support network? Also, consider the activities and destinations you currently enjoy so you can help yourself remain active and engaged in your community and nurture your social connections. Having easy access to public transportation may make it easier for you to get around town, connect with air and train travel, and be less dependent on a car.
Seniors thrive when they feel connected, engaged and included. In addition to offering a warm and vibrant environment, see if the residence welcomes diversity and cultivates interactions between staff and residents to build community.
Inclusivity also means giving residents a voice in decision-making. Ask prospective communities how they seek input from residents to meet their changing needs.
While independent living is your next step, what happens when your needs change? Communities with a full continuum of care give you easy access to different levels of care for more stability.
St. Ann’s Community offers its independent living residents access to personal supports and at-home services to age in place. If needs ever change, residents receive priority access to healthcare services including assisted living and skilled nursing care. Memory care for those living with Alzheimer’s disease or other cognitive issues, as well as on-site rehabilitation and hospice care, are available.
Speaking directly with residents and staff will tell you what you need to know. Most communities will offer you the opportunity to meet current residents to ask about their likes, dislikes, and other factors. Also, attending an event is an excellent way to experience the people and culture.
Look for a positive attitude among staff members about their work, employer, and day-to-day responsibilities.
Narrow down your list of communities to explore by visiting their websites first. Prioritize accredited communities because they can demonstrate their ability to meet or exceed a prescribed standard of care with transparency.
By keeping what’s suitable for you and your family at the center of your senior living community search process, you’ll be sure to find the place you can call home.
Kimberly Quartieri is a sales and marketing representative for St. Ann’s Community at Cherry Ridge, an Independent Living Community.
You can reach her at 585-697-6703 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.