When families are considering the move to senior living, our goal is to make the process as simple as possible. We know this decision isn’t one that families take lightly, and this journey is different for everyone. By starting the conversation early, families are able to choose the senior living community that is the best fit for them ahead of time. But this phase requires research, so we want to make sure your mind is at peace and all your concerns are addressed. Here are five of the most common concerns we’ve heard from helping thousands of families over the last 20 years:
Concern: Senior living is expensive, and the prices keep getting higher.
Answer: Senior living is one of the largest investments most people will make. It is comparable to purchasing a home or planning for college. Imagine almost every element of daily life being provided (food, shelter, care, housekeeping, socialization, and activities). The cost of senior living can also vary depending on the amount of care an individual needs. These different levels of support are called level of care charges. The total cost for Assisted Living or Memory Care would include the base rent of the suite of their choice in addition to the level of care established by an assessment with our Resident Care Director.
Regarding rising prices, the senior living industry rates increase nationally at an average rate of 5-7% each year. At Commonwealth Senior Living, we traditionally stay between a 3-5% annual increase, depending on the cost of living, market conditions, and geographic locations. We pride ourselves on proposing the bare minimum annual increases to provide for raises for associates, updates to the community, amenities, and programs our residents and families value most. We often hear from families concerned about their funds running out. This is an understandable concern. This helpful article can provide guidance to how long finances will last and what happens when they are running low.
Concern: My loved one will be bored without us being able to visit each day.
Answer: Our communities offer residents the opportunity to enjoy an engaging lifestyle while aging in place. This means that while their care needs may change, their home, hobbies, and interests don’t have to. We have award-winning programming such as our Expressions Art Program which gives our residents the opportunity to draw out meaningful self-expression through art when their verbal or other communication skills become compromised. Our SMILE technology is a communication tool we use for families to stay connected with our residents and resident programs team. Through SMILE, messages can be sent, pictures uploaded, and music or videos can be shared. Check out a sample activity schedule at the community nearest you.
Concern: I’ve had a bad experience with a skilled nursing facility in the past and am worried that senior living will be similar.
Typically, when individuals hear the term “senior living,” they lump all the care options into the same category based on their experience. Within senior living, there are the care levels of Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care. The below points are a few of the major differences between senior living and skilled nursing facilities.
|Commonwealth Senior Living: |
-Provides personalized care in a home-like setting.
-Provides a worry-free, independent lifestyle, maximizing the quality of life.
-Engages in extensive, award-winning programming and activities, including life stations to help your loved one reconnect and engage.
-Provides specialized memory care neighborhoods with caregivers who are certified dementia practitioners.
-Provides emotional and moral support to families through methods such as support groups, family nights, and one-on-one attention
|Skilled Nursing Facilities: |
-Provide personal care in a clinical setting.
-Provide less privacy and common areas.
-Provide limited programming and activities.
-Provide no specialized memory care neighborhoods.
-Provide limited one-on-one attention and family support.
Learn more about the differences in level of care at Commonwealth Senior Living versus skilled nursing facilities here.
Concern: We believe it’s time for Mom to move, but we’re not sure how to come to an agreement before she has to.
Answer: You may have already attempted speaking with your loved one about the possibility of moving to senior living. Sometimes those conversations can be frustrating, and it may seem easier to avoid it all together but doing so can lead to bigger challenges in the future. One impactful way to approach the topic with your loved one is to focus on building a plan rather than jumping into action. This can give everyone the power of choice and the feeling that they’re in charge of their future. Learn more of our tips for initiating these important conversations here.
We know choosing the right senior living community comes with many questions, just like any other big decision in life. If you have any other questions, please reach out to the community nearest you to have them answered.