One of the main reasons older adults move into retirement communities is for a greater sense of security and peace of mind. Retirement communities offer such features as emergency call buttons in bedrooms and bathrooms, ADA-compliant living areas, and onsite security staff.

Staging a senior living community means sturdy furniture, no area rugs, no sharp corners, and leaving room to maneuver a wheelchair.

This was a two-bedroom unit with one bathroom.  There wasn’t room for a large dining table, so this fold-down table works perfectly near the window.

What do Seniors Want?

They want three things:  Community, Care, and Security.

They want to know if they will get along with the people there, and whether or not there are activities that interest them.  For example, BINGO and movie nights aren’t enough anymore.  Seniors want educational experiences, day trips to museums, historic places, or outdoor concerts.  The opportunity to be a part of a community of neighbors who care for another is one of the greatest benefits of any retirement community.

Access to medical or health care is increasingly important to older adults today who don’t want to pick up and move from an independent living facility to assisted living, or to a nursing home and back again.  With a push of a button or a call-string, they know help will arrive quickly.

Living in a secure environment is peace of mind for both the senior and their loved ones.  The “check-in” and “check-out” policies can deter wanderers or mildly-confused residents.  And there is no chance of leaving an item on the stove to burn if they choose a meal plan and eat with others in the dining room.

Independent Living v. Assisted Living

Assisted living is a good alternative for people who are no longer able to live alone, but do not need intensive nursing care. Independent living preserves a senior’s independence and does not provide access to medical or nursing care.

Assisted living exists on a continuum. Some communities offer more extensive care than others. Many provide a range of services that change with a senior’s needs and health. In assisted living, staff are there to monitor and check in on residents. Although they don’t diagnose medical conditions, they will stay in touch with seniors to ensure they’re thriving. If a senior appears to need more help, staff may drop by more frequently or talk to the senior’s family.

Independent living does not provide medical care or nursing support. The focus is instead on convenience and an active life. For instance, a senior might be able to order meals or eat at an on-campus cafe, but will be unlikely to get help making nutritional meals or remembering medication.  In an independent living community, seniors might not have regular contact with the staff, unless they sign up for a meal or other service. In these communities, a senior’s involvement with the staff is largely dependent on the senior’s preferences. And in some communities,  amenities may include a swimming pool, an exercise room, a beauty salon, a theatre room, or access to a nearby golf course.

Courtney Cook, Unsplash

You don’t have to be in perfect health to choose independent living and you don’t have to be ill to choose assisted living.  You should ask yourself several questions to determine which is right for you.

  1. Am I lonely, but otherwise healthy?
  2. Do I enjoy doing activities with other people?
  3. Can I perform basic daily tasks by myself?
  4. Do I need outside help to do errands for me or take me places?
  5. Do my loved ones worry about me living alone?
  6. Can I remember to take all prescribed medications correctly?
  7. Is my medical condition getting progressively worse?

Regardless of what your answers are, you will make the right choice for you.

Contact Gina Newell, Premiere Stagers & Realty at 608-345-9396