Assisted living apartments can give seniors the freedom and independence they have grown accustomed to even when their health begins to fail. But that is not the only benefit. The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal recently visited a local assisted living apartment complex in an effort to highlight the perks such an environment offers residents. Some of the things the newspaper uncovered were:
- Assisted living apartments exude the warmth, comfort and gracious surroundings of home so that guests feel like they are residing in their own house rather than infringing on someone else’s territory.
- The apartments afford residents a convenient lifestyle. From access to medical professionals and beauty/barber shops to transportation and therapy visits to companionship and activities, such communities simplify the logistics of the daily grind for their guests.
- They often feature their “own kitchen, dining area, living room, and laundry” as well as private baths and religious services; in other words, all the creature comforts of home.
- Regular encounters with the same care attendants day after day give a “very family-like setting”.
- “The level and quality of care provided… is the hallmark of an assisted living community.” Attending to “residents’ needs and desires” with the aim of producing the best quality of life is always a top priority.
- An assisted living apartment’s emergency and security features ensure residents remain safe and receive prompt attention in the event a physical threat arises.
All of these perks make the choice of an assisted living apartment sound like a win-win situation for everyone involved, and that’s precisely what residing in one can be… if you pick the right one. That being said, individuals who are considering living in such an apartment themselves or are contemplating settling a loved one into one should also be aware that not all of them are created equal.
The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch recently ran a cautionary piece titled “10 things assisted-living homes won’t tell you.” Therein, it cited such criteria as “hidden fees, untrained caretakers and misleading marketing” to be on the lookout when evaluating this type of apartment.
The publication specifically warned that “government regulations that could help protect families with a loved one in an assisted-living facility who is suffering from a chronic or degenerative illness are still few and far between.” Therefore, you should arm yourself with your particular state’s rules regarding assisted living. Why? Because “There is no national standard for training.”
Other “let the buyer beware” rules of thumb include:
- Make sure you read the apartment’s contract thoroughly before signing on the dotted line. Otherwise, you might find yourself or your loved one sent packing when the going gets rough. “People may be asked to leave because they are disagreeable, their health needs have become unpleasant, or they are transitioning to a less lucrative payment source.”
- Be vigilant about unearthing hidden charges. Everything from “bringing meals and delivering packages to making the bed and administering pills” can cost extra, and all these little bonuses can quickly add up for residents on a limited budget.