Just Like Home: How Seniors Can Thrive in Assisted Living

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Moving to an assisted living community can be traumatic for someone who’s used to living independently, even for a person who understands that they need help with the activities of daily living. It can be a deflating realization for some people, but if you’re afraid that moving to a senior living facility means surrendering all notion of autonomy, you can stop worrying. Assisted living facilities are vibrant places full of many different opportunities to learn and grow, make new friends, and enrich your life in ways you never thought possible.

Here are a few thoughts on making the transition as smooth as possible.

Community Living

Seniors also move to assisted living communities because they want to meet people, make new friends, and enjoy opportunities to learn and have fun every day. Others prefer to socialize on their own terms, interacting with other residents when they want to. You can jump into a program of self-enrichment, taking advantage of exercise, educational, and music programs that let you further a lifelong interest — or start a new one. Thriving in assisted living can be easy when it means enjoying a lifestyle that caters to your interests in a setting where daily help is available for activities like bathing, dressing, and preparing meals.

In Jacksonville, where assisted living range from $1,500 to $8,150 a month, there’s a lot to choose from in a welcoming community where 70-degree weather is the rule, not the exception. In fact, A Place for Mom lists 44 assisted living facilities in Jacksonville for seniors who need help with tasks like doing laundry and getting dressed. And they can pair you with a senior living advisor who will help you find the right community for you.

If you need help covering the cost of assisted living, consider finding a roommate to help you defray monthly costs and expenses. Selling your home is another great way to make assisted living more affordable. Be sure to look for a real estate agent who has experience working with senior clients, someone who can help you get the price you want.

Ease Into It

Take your time finding the right community. Each one is different and offers its own special blend of amenities and activities, so you’ll have plenty to compare as you go from one facility to the next. Assisted living communities also vary in terms of cost, another reason to comparison shop. Talk to residents, and find out what they like and don’t like. Check everything out, from the dining facility to the living accommodations — and ask lots of questions.

Respite Care

Many facilities offer respite care, an opportunity for you to stay with them temporarily and get a feel for the place before making a decision. You enjoy all the amenities of a full-time resident without having to make a long-term commitment. A week or two in respite care can help allay many of the fears and misconceptions you may have about assisted living.

Make It Feel Like Home

Feel free to decorate your new surroundings the way you want. Assisted living staff want you to feel at home — in fact, they’ll help ease the transition by making your new place feel just like home, so bring along your favorite furnishings and keepsakes. Downsizing is often the hardest part for older adults. Think of it as an opportunity to start a new life minus the stresses and strains of keeping a cluttered living space clean every day.

Take the time to learn about assisted living facilities near you; find out what they offer and how much they cost. Assisted living can be an ideal solution for older adults; it’s an opportunity to stay active doing what you enjoy without worrying about daily tasks that have become difficult. It’s a great way to avoid isolation and enjoy peace of mind in safe and comfortable surroundings, among people who have your best interests at heart.

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