As our family members get older, we do our best to help them continue a comfortable life. You might stop by your parents’ house once a week to bring their garbage bin to the road, or pass by your grandparents’ to bring in their mail. Regardless of the scenario, when your family asks for help, you want to be there. But what happens when you can’t provide the level of care they need? For most people, it means considering professional senior care.
The decision to put a loved one into a care community is tough. When trying to find the right community, there are so many considerations, such as what amenities your aging parent or spouse may need, how the treatment compares to other options, and if it’ll be a comfortable home for them. We know how stressful the decision to move yourself or a family member can be, which is why it’s important to understand how to choose the right place for you.
We hope this article will help inform and guide you in your search for the right senior care and address questions you may have. However, we understand that there can be so many complexities based on your situation, and sometimes you just want someone to answer all your questions. So please feel free to give us a call and ask all the questions you need. We'd be more than glad to help you in any way we can; it's what we do and what we love to do.
Look for Amenities That Match Your Lifestyle
Many people start their journey into senior care with some type of home health care. Often, using home care providers is the most comfortable because you don’t have to move or grow accustomed to a new style of living. With home care services, a nurse or health professional can regularly visit to check on your health, administer medication, provide some social interaction, and sometimes assist with chores or light housekeeping.
In-home care can be great for people who don’t need a lot of caregiving or are just looking for companion care, but there may come a time when you or a relative require more assistance. To fill in the gaps, there are several senior living options to consider.
This option offers independent living for older adults with some useful services. You’ll often find these communities set up as apartment-style complexes where people can move into a unit with their own bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and dining area. They remain in control of their housekeeping and cooking, but it’s not uncommon for laundry services to be offered. There are amenities like a fitness center or pool, community activities, and you can even opt to have a home care nurse check in on you periodically.
Retirement communities offer similar independence as the luxury apartments, but with a little more help around the house. Some retirement communities offer light housekeeping and maintenance, as well as various amenities and activities like group classes, access to a dining hall, and even field trips.
These communities offer general medical assistance. The staff in these communities can help with medication management, daily exercise training and encouragement, and assistance with activities of daily living such as dressing and bathing. The dining room offers an alternative option to cooking and meal preparation, and laundry services take the burden of chores off residents so they can continue as independently as possible.
Nursing Homes and Skilled Nursing
This option is for people who need specialized care and help with basic activities. Nursing homes operate almost as an extension of a hospital, with skilled staff and qualified medical personnel tending to geriatric patients. They are designed to feel like home while giving residents as much support as they need to live comfortably. These communities can even offer hospice care for residents nearing the end of their life journey.
When you think about what type of long-term care home you or your family member will need, it can help to consider what amenities will be necessary to make life comfortable. Is it easier to let someone else do the cooking and cleaning, or does your aging parent or spouse still enjoy keeping your own house? Would they prefer to have everything they need in one place, or can they drive to town to run errands and grab groceries? Weighing wants against needs and finding a place that addresses both can help ensure your loved one is happy with the arrangement.
At Weatherly Inn, we offer a range of options, from independent and assisted living to more hands-on memory and Alzheimer’s care. Even if your family member can take care of themselves now, they might need a little more help down the road, and our transitional care allows you to have peace of mind that they will be well taken care of every step of the way. In these situations, it can be incredibly helpful to find health care that can adapt to your changing needs.
Especially if you or your family member is accustomed to being cared for in their own home, it can be difficult to determine when is the best time to transition to something more hands-on. A good rule of thumb is that if you have started to care more for a loved one at home it is smart to contact a local assisted living home. Not only can they prepare you to choose a community for your loved one but can also provide you with additional resources and support for your in-home care. Additionally, you might find there are benefits to switching to assisted living, such as round-the-clock care, lower costs than in-home options, and a plethora of amenities located conveniently on-site.
Finding Assisted Living in Washington
There are many different types of senior living communities in Washington, all with their own sets of specializations and amenities. Although it’s wonderful to have options, it can get difficult to compare communities that offer different services. You might be thinking, “I want the best place for my mom or dad, but I have no idea where to start.”
A quick guide to follow when reviewing your options is to consider these five facility factors:
Where an assisted living community is located can have a huge impact on your decision. For example, if you live in Tacoma, you probably want your loved one to stay close by so you can visit. Keeping your relative in the same town where they currently live can also significantly help with a smooth transition to assisted living. You’ll also want to think about the safety of the neighborhood as you want to ensure that they are able to walk around safely. Finally, determine if it’s close enough to you or your family member’s doctors, favorite restaurants, and other relatives.
Just like some people enjoy festivals and crowded events, and others prefer entertaining themselves at home, the optimal size of a senior care facility will vary from person to person. For someone looking for something with lots of social interaction and group activities, they might be more comfortable in a larger community with ample opportunities to meet new people. However, if they prefer more alone time and personalized care, they might feel better in a smaller community where they can get to know the staff and other residents personally. When choosing a new home for your relative, be sure to ask them what they’d prefer and try to accommodate their social needs.
Aside from the amenities discussed earlier, there are a number of different services you might benefit from when switching to senior care or assisted living. You might want to ask communities you are considering about their transportation services. It can be important to a resident’s sense of independence that they can still travel to religious services, doctors appointments, or excursions around town without having to depend on a friend or relative. Many people also want to know about how a community can keep their loved one physically active. Another question to ask if the community can offer one-on-one training or therapy to help keep residents mobile. Services like these are an important part of offering peace of mind that your loved one will feel independant.
It’s no secret that senior living can be expensive. Cost is one of the biggest hurdles for most families when choosing long-term housing, but it’s important to get the very best you can afford. Try to find a community that meets as many of your needs as possible and is also within your budget. Looking at a budget for a care facility can be stressful when you’re already paying for in-home care and everyday bills. It’s important to remember, though, that most of your day-to-day costs will disappear when you transition to assisted living. You’ll no longer be responsible for buying groceries, paying utility bills, or affording a personal nurse, which can free up a significant amount to go toward a safer standard of living. As far as alternative funding, some Medicare and even Medicaid plans may contribute a percentage or flat rate toward the costs of long-term care depending on what type is most appropriate and one’s finances. You may also want to ask a Senior Living Advisor about long term care insurance or veteran’s benefits.
A friendly, caring culture can help your parent or grandparent feel more at home than ever in their new assisted living community. Look for places that focus on social gatherings and exciting outings, so residents have the opportunity to make meaningful friendships and connections. Staying socially active in a supportive community can contribute to overall wellness and happiness, which is why it’s so important to find a place with a positive outlook and dedication to its residents’ emotional well-being.
When comparing these factors, you also want to keep in mind what needs you might have in the future. Moving a loved one who simply needs a little help now and then can be different than relocating someone with early Alzheimer’s or dementia. Investigate if a community can grow with your care needs and offer support at all stages of aging.
To get a truly comprehensive look at a care community, don’t be afraid to go beyond the brochure. You know every aspect of your home senior care, so get to know all the details of your new home too! You can learn a lot by visiting websites or reading handouts, but there’s no substitution for seeing a community yourself. Contact the facility you’re interested in and speak to the staff or schedule a tour. If possible, bring your family member with you so they can get an idea of whether or not the campus is conducive to their desired lifestyle.
Take a Closer Look at the Assisted Living Community at Weatherly Inn
Weatherly Inn has locations in the Tacoma and Kent area, and a third location in Renton coming soon. Our communities offer different personal care services to seniors and various programs to assist with a range of needs. In fact, each of our locations offers personalized care plans to ensure every resident receives the help they require. We can assess your care needs and create a blueprint to ensure you still enjoy some independence while we lend a helping hand.
There are a variety of care options to choose from at our locations, so you always know you’re in good hands. We offer independent living, assisted living, memory care, and day and respite care. Our memory care center specializes in working to keep your loved one's mind sharp and fostering social interactions to promote the best possible health. So whether you need to downsize, are looking for a little help with the housekeeping, or require more professional medical attention, Weatherly Inn can accommodate your needs today and grow with you as they change.
We offer top-notch nursing care by our qualified staff of licensed nurses, who work 24/7 to provide medical care and assistance to all of our residents. Our caregivers help with things like managing regular medications, assisting with daily activities and exercise, or being available in case of an emergency. The staff is full of friendly people who create a positive culture in our halls.
In addition to the wonderful staff, Weatherly also offers plenty of events and activities to allow residents a chance to mingle and make new friends. There are holiday parties, educational seminars, celebratory brunches, and even visiting entertainers!
On days without events, you’re encouraged to enjoy some of our serene outdoor spaces. There are plenty of courtyards on the grounds of all three locations where you can sit outside to enjoy the weather, participate in a small group activity, or take a stroll around the campus. To get a better look without leaving your home, you and your family member can even browse our amenities virtually!
We’re Here to Help
When it comes to choosing senior care, we know the decision can be stressful. Whether you’re transitioning from residential care or just exploring your elder care options, there are so many factors to consider to ensure you make the right decision and your family member is happy and properly cared for in their new home.
As you start the search to find the right type of senior living, remember you have a few different options, such as independent living, assisted living, or nursing homes, and choosing a place to grow with you can make the coming years much easier.
At Weatherly Inn, we offer a range of options, from independent and assisted living to more hands-on memory and Alzheimer’s care. For residents in Washington, our three locations make it easier to stay close to home and relatives, and our variety of care options make it easy to find the right fit for you. We have qualified medical staff on-site 24/7 and plenty of events and activities to create a better quality of life and keep everyone entertained. Our outdoor spaces offer a nice change of pace as a quiet place to enjoy nature alone or with friends and family.
Even if your family member can take care of themselves now, they might need a little more help down the road, and our transitional care allows you to have peace of mind that they will be well taken care of every step of the way. In these situations, it can be incredibly helpful to find health care that can adapt to your changing needs.
Comparing options can feel like looking at apples and oranges, so keep in mind the five factors: location, size, services, cost, and culture. If you can find the right mix of these aspects, then you can rest assured knowing you made the best choice for your needs.
We know there are so many factors to consider as you search for the right senior care for you or your loved one. We’re always available to answer any questions you have about our community or care in general. Contact us today to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members, or schedule a tour to see for yourself!