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5 Things to Consider in an Assisted Living Community

Americans living in the twenty first century can expect to live long lives. Our lifespan has increased from 47 years in 1900 to 80 years in 2007 and the quality of that longer life has improved dramatically. The largest demographic groups in the history of the United States, the Baby Boomers, are hitting the retirement age in record numbers, and many are selling their large, family homes and downsizing.  Many are considering adult communities tailored to the needs and preferences specific to seniors and explore the option of moving into an assisted living community.

If you are considering moving to an adult living community, begin your search by getting the answers to the following questions.

1.  What different types of living spaces are available? Take into account if the community has apartments or condos, or if homes are an option. Also, do the living spaces come with full kitchens?  Are you required to buy the unit or can you rent? Can you have overnight guests or extended family visits? Are the units easily modified as your needs change? Have a clear understanding of how the community handles the needs of its members.

2.  Does the community provide transportation for residents who no longer drive? If you still drive can you bring your car? Staying active and engaged is integral to a healthy, happy retirement. A well run adult community either provides transportation for residents who no longer drive or has parking facilities for residents who still drive.

3.  What kinds of community activities are offered?  Adult communities have expanded their activities to meet the needs of a wide array of interests. Wellness programs, academia, physical fitness, cooking, travel, volunteerism; these are just a few of the offerings that are typical of today’s vibrant adult living communities.

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4.  What are the affiliated hospitals?  Your selected community should be affiliated with the hospital where your doctor has privileges or should be able to ensure that your care will be conducted at a hospital with a reputation for excellent senior care.

5.  Are qualified healthcare professionals on duty around the clock? Although this factor becomes increasingly important as your needs transition to your requiring more care, it is important to the well-being of the community at large. Qualified medical professionals must be accessible twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.

Once you have the answers to these questions, simply evaluate the answers and select a few assisted living communities that fit your criteria. Plan a few visits, talk to the staff, the residents, and research the community on the Internet to get opinions and feedback. Moving into assisted living can be both liberating and reassuring. It just takes some due diligence to get the right fit for you!

For more blogs by Jillian Johnson follow her @MissWritey.

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