What is a senior living center? You’ve probably heard of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. A nursing home is where you can put your older relative if they need lots of help and round-the-clock care, while an assisted living facility works better for older individuals who need a little help but can still do a lot on their own.
A senior living center is not quite either of those things, but it’s closer to an assisted living facility than a nursing home. The seniors live mostly independently, but they live together in communal harmony, close to one another. They might have onsite medical facilities and trained individuals there to help them if necessary, but they mostly live a quiet, retired life, interacting with one another and making new friends.
A senior living center might be the answer if you’re looking for somewhere to put your older relative who can still get around pretty well and retain most of their independence. As you’re looking at the different options with them, you’ll probably want to focus on three particular areas. We’ll go over them right now.
You and your older relative will need to look at alternative senior living arrangements if your relative is still in at least decent physical shape and they’re mentally sharp. They don’t need a nursing home that will confine them to a bed or wheelchair most of the time. They also don’t need an assisted living facility yet where they’ll have daily interactions with staff who can help them take their medication and serve them their meals.
Your active older relative will want to select a senior living center with the proper atmosphere that matches their personality and interests. For instance, if they enjoy sports, they might want to go to a facility with a fitness center, shuffleboard, racket ball courts and tennis courts, swimming pools, and so forth.
You’ll also want to find them a facility that has a cheerful design. Maybe you can locate one with gardens, lots of green spaces and sunshine, and outdoor recreation areas that your relative can frequent so they can stay in a happy mood. You’ll want to avoid drab, dreary locations that don’t have any art or anything else pretty with which your relative can interact.
Things to Do Nearby
Ideally, the older adult who lives at a senior living center can leave the grounds whenever they like to explore the nearby neighborhoods. These are not locations for individuals with dementia or reduced mental capacity who must remain there for their safety.
You and your older relative should look into locations where there’s plenty to do close by. You might find one that has nearby restaurants, bars, museums, cultural centers, parks, shopping opportunities, and so forth.
Your older relative might like riding their bike, so you could try to locate a senior living center with some bike trails nearby. Make sure you only tell them about ones that don’t intersect with any major thoroughfares that have a lot of traffic on them at all times.
Whatever your older relative likes, if it’s near to the senior living center, that location should go to the top of the list. Make sure to get their input, since they’re the one who’s going to live there.
You’ll also presumably want to see them pretty often, so you should look at your home’s proximity when you see some of the most promising senior living locations. Maybe you reside just a few miles away, which would be ideal. That way, if your relative wants to see you, or any of your family members wants to visit them, they are a short drive or even a walk or a bike ride away.
You might also have other family members who live nearby. It’s best if your older relative has a network of family members in the vicinity who can always be there for them either to spend some time or in case an emergency ever transpires.
Some older adults can live in senior living facilities for the rest of their lives. Others eventually transition to a more traditional assisted living facility or nursing home setup if they no longer have the mental or physical skills to care for themselves on their own.
The senior living facility can be a solution for individuals of a certain age who still have plenty of living to do and want to be around their contemporaries.