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An illustrious past meets an exceptional future. We are committed to creating meaningful lives of purposeful engagement for every resident as well as those who serve them.

Westminster At Lake Ridge Blog

WLR Blog
Posted: Wednesday, December 2, 2020

What to look for in an assisted living community

If you or a loved one is beginning to need more help with the daily activities of living, you might be searching for available options. One possibility – moving to an assisted living community – may be a solution that could solve all of your challenges.

But some older adults may be hesitant about this possibility because they fear it means losing their freedom and self-sufficiency.

If that’s what is holding you back, you may be surprised to learn instead that keeping or regaining your independence is one of the biggest benefits.

What you’ll also discover is a long list of advantages. So before you mark this option off of your list, you may want to consider all that your new life could be.

Who lives in assisted living?

The residents are typically older adults who just need a little help to accomplish the basic activities that have become more challenging, such as bathing, getting dressed, cooking, cleaning or managing their medications.

They may also be those who like to take care of themselves without relying on family or friends. They don’t require around-the-clock care. They just need a helping hand.

What to look for in an assisted living community

If you’re searching for the right assisted living community, you’ll want to become familiar with their services and benefits. Here are some questions to ask.

1. Where will you be living?

This will be your new home so imagine yourself living there. It makes sense for most older adults to downsize if they’re coming from a larger home, but you’ll still want a private living area and bathroom.

Visit a few communities in your area and see what each offers. Ask whether you can bring your furniture and decorating ideas to make it your own.

2. Is the community a good fit?

Before moving to an assisted living community, ask yourself if this is the place you’d be proud to call home. Is it welcoming for your family and friends to visit? Do the common areas encourage meeting other residents and spending time together?

Is the outside of the community well-kept and pleasantly designed? Are there walking pathways, gazebos or gardens to enjoy the outdoors? Is the community well-landscaped?  

3. Is there assistance for your personal care?

Confirm the services offered are what you need. Ask if there is help with maintaining personal hygiene, dressing, and mobility assistance if needed.

You’ll also want to make sure there is scheduled transportation and other supportive services such as shopping assistance.

4. Does the dining program encourage healthy eating?

We need energy to fuel our bodies and research continues to show that the right nutrients can delay or slow down cognitive impairment.

Ask to see a copy of a menu or better yet, arrange to have a meal in the community. For us to eat healthily, the food also needs to be delicious and appealing to the eye. Consider if you would enjoy meals and the dining environment in the communities you visit.

5. Does the community offer housekeeping and laundry services?

Inquire whether housekeeping services are available and what type. Having someone come in daily to assist with simple tasks such as making your bed or dusting will free up your time to spend as you like.

You’ll also want to ask about personal laundry services. This may be offered for an additional charge but it can also check one more chore off your to-do list.

6. What type of social activities are available?

One of the more vital aspects of living a healthy life is to avoid isolation and participate in activities with others. Relationships become even more important as we grow older.

Ask to see a copy of the monthly activities calendar. Make sure it has enough variety to appeal to your interests. How active you’ll be is your choice but social interaction not only contributes to a meaningful life but its longevity as well.

7. Is there an exercise and fitness program?

Exercise is one of the best ways to take care of both your physical body and cognitive health. But for most of us, getting motivated to commit to a routine creates quite a challenge.

Ask about the community’s exercise opportunities. Do they have classes and a fitness center where you could participate in a regular program? Are there other fitness options such as swimming, water aerobics or a walking group?

8. Are there medical services available?

Ask if there are services on-site, such as a pharmacy, nutritionist, or physical and occupational therapy? Is there someone who can help monitor blood pressures, heart rates and blood sugars?

Some communities offer a medical office on-site but you should also inquire whether transportation is provided to medical appointments or other services that can help maintain your health.

9. What type of staff and security is available?

Ask about the staff who will be on-site and the training that they have. Make sure to meet some of them so you can get a better idea of how they interact with the residents.

Familiarize yourself with the type of security the community offers. Do the private residences have their own system, such as personal alarms if help is needed? How is the community itself secured? Are there gates, personnel or alarm systems?

10. What is the cost?

Searching for the right assisted living community might also be influenced by its cost. Ask for the fee schedule of any additional services or amenities that you may want to use. Understand when payments are due and you may want to inquire about different financial sources available.

It might be helpful to compare the cost of assisted living with living at home with supplemental services. You can’t put a price on the social opportunities but make sure if you live at home that you’ll have those opportunities, as the cost to your overall health can be great.

Ingleside’s Westminster at Lake Ridge Assisted Living community

If you’re looking to maintain or regain your freedom, you won’t be disappointed if you make Westminster at Lake Ridge your new home. In fact, we often refer to our assisted living community as independent living with benefits.

Not only will you love your private and spacious living suite with its own bathroom and large walk-in shower, but you’ll find a variety of social opportunities, delicious chef-prepared meals, top-of-the-line amenities and scheduled transportation.

And of course, assistance whenever it’s needed.

Call (703)794-4631 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a personalized tour today.

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