You’ve probably driven past one or more of these shiny, new-construction senior living communities that have been popping up in recent years and thought to yourself, “Wow, those sure don’t look like they used to.”
It’s true; they don’t. And in fact, today’s senior living communities simply aren’t like they used to be.
They’re modern and luxurious, with amenities and designer touches, amazing food and service and the grandeur we’d expect from a high-end resort hotel. You’re almost amazed to the point where you have to remind yourself that it’s not a hotel—it’s home.
Indeed, so nice are these new senior communities that it’s easy to get caught up in all the marble and chandeliers and somehow lose track of what may be the most critical feature of all, and the question every senior and their families should be asking:
Can this community give me or my loved one the ability to age in place?
Aging in place is the ability for seniors to remain in their residence of choice—without sacrificing quality of life—well into their late or even final years. But recent data suggests millions of seniors may be going about it the wrong way.
The Institute on Aging reports that some 43.5 million U.S. adults are sole caregivers for an aging parent. And while that’s both noble and selfless, rising life expectancies mean today’s seniors are living long enough to experience multiple, simultaneous health issues and depend even more on their relatives for care that, let’s face it, they aren’t able to nor qualified to give.
It’s a Matter of Lifestyle Quality for Both Seniors & Families
Pleasing aesthetics and all the modern luxuries convey exceptional lifestyle quality. But you mustn’t be so enamored with them that you neglect to consider the future and how aging may escalate any chronic conditions or otherwise weigh on mobility or the ability to perform daily activities.
Plenty of senior living communities offer only an exquisite independent senior living option, which means that the emergence of memory-related impairments or worsening health issues would likely necessitate a move to an entirely different community that offers assisted living, memory care or other specialized services.
In that case, you and your family would be left to figure out the logistics, plan and execute a move to a more care-driven senior living community, one you probably would’ve considered in the first place had you foreseen the road ahead. The availability of expertise in developing personalized care plans and services like medication management may have impacted that initial decision.
It Doesn’t Require a Crystal Ball to Plan Ahead
When evaluating today’s broad spectrum of available senior living solutions, remember the ultimate value and sustainability of a community isn’t determined in the here and now. You began your search thinking of the future and what’s best for you and your loved ones. Remember to keep that top of mind. Fancy chandeliers and marble countertops are nice, but knowing your loved ones have the opportunity to age in place and be properly cared for, without the added stress of moving into another senior living community and losing that day-to-day consistency, is really what your search is all about.