The decision to move to a senior living community is never easy. Leaving home is frightening, and the thought of losing a lifetime of freedom and independence can be heart-wrenching.
The good news is that the days of dark, stuffy, hospital-like “old folks homes” have been replaced with modern, attractive buildings, enticing landscapes, and various amenities that can ease the transition and ensure that every day is full and satisfying.
If you’re considering a senior living community for yourself or a loved one, take your time and consider which of the many options are most important. Every community is different, but here are a few of the most requested amenities:
Enjoy the great outdoors: Most senior living neighborhoods provide areas for outdoor enjoyment, which may be a woodland garden, a beautifully landscaped, park-like environment, a series of walking paths with benches for resting along the way, or a comfortable, inviting patio for basking fin the sun. Green-thumbed residents may even have an opportunity to do a little gardening,
Transportation: If getting out and about is a requirement, look for a community that offers free or low-cost transportation to errands, outings, shopping excursions, family visits, and appointments -- usually in ADA-compliant, wheelchair accessible vans or buses. Some senior living communities take it one step further by teaming up with Uber for on-demand transportation.
Community meals: Senior living communities pride themselves on providing residents with tasty, nourishing meals. Some may offer open kitchens and old-fashioned, family-style meals while others have an elegant, formal dining room with table service and gourmet fare prepared by a professional chef.
Eating in style: Residents frequently have access to a private dining room where they can entertain friends and family, or celebrate special events like anniversaries and birthdays. Most communities provide a convenient place where residents can help themselves to snacks, even if hunger strikes in the middle of the night. Although it isn’t common, some even have cafes, sports bars or bistros.
Pets: A number of studies have indicated that pets may lower blood pressure, relieve stress and lift depression. If you’re a pet owner, you may prefer a senior living community that allows you to bring your pet when you move in. Other communities have live-in pets for everybody to enjoy.
Looking good: Full-service beauty-shops and/or barbershops are on-site at many senior living communities. You can make an appointment for a shampoo, cut, style and color, with shaving and beard-trimming for the guys. Salons may offer extra-special amenities like manicures, pedicures and facials.
Medication reminders and pharmacy services: Medication reminders ensure that meds are taken on time and in the right amount, thus relieving worry and anxiety for residents who tend to be forgetful. Some communities have convenient, on-site pharmacy services with a trained person who has knowledge of possible drug interactions and other problems that may arise.
Activities and events: Nearly all senior living communities offer opportunities for participation in various recreational, educational and social activities and events, sometimes enough to keep folks busy every day of the week. Activities may include live music and concerts, special social events, educational seminars, games, or special outings and adventures.
Common areas: Residents may share certain common areas, such as a TV room, library, computer center or game room. Others may provide designated space for special interests such as a wood-working shop or arts and crafts room.
Spiritual life: Not all senior living communities provide a chapel and on-site pastoral staff, but many offer Bible study and various spiritual programs to to satisfy each resident’s particular needs and preferences. Many encourage residents to participate in enriching volunteer activities such as tutoring young children, serving as mentor to at-risk youth, or providing special assistance with computer programs.
Around the clock security: All senior living communities strive to maintain a high level of safety for residents, but some ensure on-site security staff or around-the-clock alarm systems with call buttons so residents can alert staff of any problems or concerns.
Wellness centers: Fitness buffs will love a wellness center, complete with all the latest exercise equipment. Love to swim? A pool, often with an adjacent hot tub or sauna, may be a feature at some communities. If you’ve overdone it a bit, a massage can relieve aches and pains, minimize stress and promote a higher level of agility and mobility.
Housekeeping services: Keeping up with household chores can be a major challenge for many folks who move to senior living. Most communities offer some level of housekeeping, but some pull out all the stops with full-service housekeeping that ensures every inch of the room or apartment is sparkling clean. Bed changing and linen services are often requested. In many regions, ice and snow removal is an important amenity.
If you'd like to learn more about the amenities that Heritage Villas offers, contact us today!