Even with the challenges caused by COVID-19, you’re probably still thinking about future plans for yourself or your loved one. The pandemic has caused a lot of people to second guess their senior living search because continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) are home to the most vulnerable population of the coronavirus — older adults with underlying health issues. Despite this fact, senior living communities are still often the safest choice for older adults who want to enjoy an independent, fulfilling retirement. And the benefits of senior living communities still outweigh at-home care. How to choose a senior living community comes down to aligning your lifestyle and health needs to what the community provides.
Living in a Safe Environment
While it’s understandable to have concerns surrounding COVID-19 in senior living communities, 24-hour security, quality care right where you live, and caring team members are all prime examples of the protection you or your loved one will get in a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). And they’re generally far more prepared to take on unpredictable circumstances like these compared to at-home care. Currently, many communities are taking extraordinary safety measures to ensure infection control. Extra safety steps can include, but aren’t necessarily limited to:
- Disinfecting the community’s shared spaces
- Temporarily ceasing external events and visitations
- Carefully screening community team members entering the community
- Sectioning off parts of the community for those suspected of infection
- Restricting access to those most vulnerable in every level of living
- Enforcing social distancing rules
- Providing proper personal protective equipment (PPE)
Care When and Where It’s Needed
One of the most valuable senior living benefits in a CCRC is having priority access to a continuum of care without having to leave the community. The sense of safety and freedom people get from knowing all their health needs are met right where they live can only add to their overall quality of life.
At CCRCs, there are constant opportunities for you or your loved one to live a fuller life. And making the move doesn’t mean forfeiting your independence. In fact, moving to a CCRC sooner rather than later actually helps you keep your independence longer. This is especially true for people who move to independent living before additional levels of care are needed. And so many older adults benefit from assisted living by getting the help they need with activities of daily living, giving them more freedom to spend their time in meaningful ways. Similarly, memory support, skilled nursing and rehabilitation provide all the resources needed to address specific health needs that simply can’t be matched with at-home care. Plus, you or your loved one will have all the added advantages that come with being part of a community and engaging in all its splendors.
The Value of Community
Many people move to senior living communities specifically because of the community atmosphere they cultivate. Isolation is a main factor in how well or poorly people age, which is exactly why joining a community is directly attributed to increased longevity. In a CCRC, you can develop lifelong friendships with like-minded people who share your interests and values. Generally, CCRCs encourage a true community spirit. People take pride in their community. They lean on their friends and neighbors for support. And most people find that they wouldn’t build this kind of bond outside a senior living community.
Time to Focus on the Meaningful
Senior living community residents typically live in private apartments or homes designed to maximize their independence. All home maintenance, including repairs and yardwork, is taken care of by the community, freeing up residents’ time so they can engage in all the activities the community offers. When you have no worries about the roof, calling a plumber, and all the other hassles of home maintenance, you or your loved one can focus on the important things. One of the greatest senior living benefits is access to a wide variety of hobbies, groups and activities. You or your loved one will finally have the time to pursue long-held interests and discover new passions. From gardening to book clubs to weekly social events, there’s practically endless things to do in most CCRCs.
Services and Amenities
On top of socializing, maintenance-free living and plentiful activities, senior living communities provide many services and amenities that can increase overall quality of life compared to at-home care. Standard senior living community services can include:
- Lifetime interior and exterior maintenance
- 24/7 concierge service
- Ground patrolled by security at all hours
- Housekeeping and linen service
- Valet parking
- Scheduled group and individual transportation
- Personal storage
- Residence personalization and moving coordination
Many communities also offer on-site amenities that promote vital dimensions of total wellness — physical, mental, social, intellectual and spiritual. Having these kinds of opportunities right outside your door not only fosters independence, but also adds unique experiences that allow residents to continue the life they love and enhance their lifestyle. Though they vary by community, standard amenities often include:
- Multiple dining venues directed by executive chefs
- Art gallery
- Fitness center
- Creative arts center
- Salon, spa and barbershop
- Lifelong learning opportunities, including classes
- Business center
- Card and game room
- Pet park
Whether it comes from having top-quality health care where you live, filling your days with things you want to do, or knowing your financial future is secured, peace of mind is a valuable senior living benefit. Of all the senior living options out there, Type A Life Care communities offer by far the most value and financial security. In these communities, you or your loved one pay an upfront entrance fee that’s often up to 90% refundable, that protects the rest of your future at the community. The entrance fee guarantees priority access to the full continuum of care and all services and amenities. Life Care contracts also make your monthly costs much more predictable and substantially less than open market costs. Overall, choosing a Life Care community means substantial savings and lifetime peace of mind.
Here at The Stayton, we’re making every effort possible to ensure the safety of our residents — both physically and mentally — during this time. If you’re on your senior living search, contact us through our website or call us anytime at 817.349.7140 and let us help guide your journey.