What to consider when choosing independent living homes for seniors

What to consider when choosing independent living homes for seniors


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Many elderly people of all abilities want to live life as independently as possible, often with little help from their family members.

As a caregiver, you may feel a bit hesitant about having someone else support an elder under your care. However, you may have many other aspects of your life that you’ll want to focus on, such as your career, taking care of children or running a household.

Like many others, you may have a full plate, and this could make giving the person under your care their best life very challenging. 

The good news is that Australia has independent living homes for seniors. These are communities where elderly individuals can receive the care and support they need to live independently on their own terms.

There are many support services like this available in the country, but you’ll want to pick one that perfectly suits the needs of the elderly person under your care. Here are a few aspects of independent living homes for seniors you should consider during your search.

Location

You’ll want to have the person under your care as close to you as possible, even if they will be living separately at an independent living home. The closer the place is to where you live, the easier it will be for you to visit the person under your care.

Ideally, the independent living home should be 40 minutes or less from your home. Any further would mean that you’ll have to spend more time on the road, and this could use up time that could be used for other essential things, like running errands.

Distance aside, you’ll also want to know what kind of area your independent living home will be located in. Consider the following:

  • Is there a lot of traffic in the area?
  • Is it a safe location with little to no crime?
  • Are there any places of worship?
  • Is there a hospital nearby?

Also, try to visit the location and see if the area is accessible for people with all abilities. This is very important if the elderly person under your care uses a wheelchair or any other mobility device.

Depending on the independent living home provider, the type of accommodations available may vary between single homes for one occupant or an apartment for multiple residents. Choose an accommodation that the person under your care will be most comfortable in.

Amenities and services

Depending on the provider, many independent living homes may offer a range of different services and amenities. These can include dining areas, recreational centres and outdoor activity sites.

These kinds of amenities can enhance the person under your care’s experience and make their time at the facility more enjoyable. 

The ideal independent living home provider should have many different types of amenities. They should also give the person under your care the ability to choose which amenities to be included in their care plan.

Make sure to look at the costs involved, as more amenities would mean a higher cost.

Apart from amenities, you should also consider looking out for some vital services like transportation for doctor’s appointments, group peer support , qualified and experienced nurses, therapists and financial consultants who can help the person under your care manage their finances.

The culture

Individual living communities are a great place for the elderly person under your care to meet new people and build meaningful relationships. This is an important part of making their stay at the home more interesting.

The overall culture of the place must be suitable for the person under your care. For example, if the person under your care likes to go outgoing, a community that has their beneficiaries regularly taking part in social activities would be ideal for them.

The staff

When leaving the person under your care at an independent living home, you might worry about how they’ll get along with the staff. The person under your care will likely interact with the staff members every day, and you’ll want to know if they will be compatible with the person under your care. 

Poor relationships with the staff could make the person under your care’s stay less enjoyable, and this may cause them to feel stressed and lonely.

Pay the independent living home a visit and ask for a tour. During the tour, observe how the staff interacts with beneficiaries and decide if they may be suitable for the person under your care. Also, ask the staff about how much time they spend with the residents every day.

Flexible planning

Elderly individuals are very likely to change their requirements quickly; this may be common among seniors with conditions like dementia. 

The independent living home you’re looking for should have flexible planning mechanisms that can evolve according to the changing needs of its residents. This will help reduce stress and help the person under your care through the training process.

Reviews 

Before going ahead and visiting different independent living homes to see which one is right for the person under your care, you might want to go online and look at a few reviews.

Reviews on a provider’s website may not be very reliable as they only show positive reviews—try Google reviews instead. See what people have to say about them, both positives and negatives, to get an idea of what you could expect from the provider.

Choose the right independent living home for seniors

You want the best for elderly individuals under our care, whether your parents or grandparents. It can be difficult to give them the care and attention they need when you’ve got many other responsibilities.

By choosing the perfect independent living home for the elder under your care, you can ensure their twilight years will be full of joy and happiness.

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