The thought of looking for an independent living home for yourself or a loved one can be very overwhelming, with many factors to consider. Although many places have similar features and services, there are also many differences. This might leave you wondering what to look for and how to decide which is best for you. Here are a few things to look for in your search.
The important thing to remember, says Lori Hannon, Senior Living Director at The GreenFields Continuing Care Community in Lancaster, NY, is not to put off deciding. “Don’t wait until you have some type of crisis to make a decision to move. When you come to GreenField Manor, our Independent Living apartments, you are coming because you are choosing to come, not because someone is choosing it for you.”
One of the first crucial decisions to make is whether you want to stay in your current area or relocate. Are you comfortable in your current city? Do you want to move to be in warmer or cooler weather? Should you be closer to family? Other location considerations might include the facility’s proximity to medical facilities and whether it is more rural or urban- based.
Cost is another important thing to consider in your search for an independent living home. Between mortgage payments, utilities, taxes, and property maintenance and improvements, home ownership is not free. Planning to age in place at home can add even more costs when factoring in modifications to your home that will be needed (installing lifts/ramps, widening doorways, etc.) and the potential need for home health aides down the line. These costs will vary for everyone. It is important to come up with a budget and weigh the costs of living at home against the price of independent living homes and what is included as a resident.
3. Level of Service
The services offered at a facility may also be important in your decision-making. Maybe your budget only allows you to move to independent living if utilities are also included in the price or they offer housekeeping to help clean up and change bedsheets. You also might want to know if there are independent living homes that include a washer/dryer in-unit. Maybe transportation is an important determining factor. Does the facility offer transportation service? Do they have distance limits or only go certain places?
A big perk of moving to an independent living home is being surrounded by others in the same age group. “There are so many opportunities here for residents to make friends, be a part of different activities and outings, and really to make their life more full,” say Hannon. “Often in their homes, they become very isolated and don’t have opportunities to get out and do the things you could do here at The GreenFields.”
This creates an opportunity for socialization that you may not have anywhere else. Activities are a vital way to get to know your new neighbors and bond over similar interests. While deciding on which independent living home is right for you, consider what activities the facility has planned and if there is something that you would be interested in joining. Do you like to go on day-trips? Look at their calendar or talk to their Activities Director to see if they plan excursions. Do you have a creative side? Check to see if they offer art classes. Other considerations while looking at a facility’s activities are if they plan all week (week days and weekends), and if they are well attended.
“One of the greatest things about The GreenFields, I think, is the social environment that the residents have come to expect” says Chris Koenig, President/CEO of The GreenFields Continuing Care Community, “it’s the things that they thought they would never get back, whether it’s a happy hour or it’s bingo, or it’s the support of each other during difficult times.”
To learn more about independent living apartments at GreenField Manor, please call The GreenFields Senior Living department at (716) 684-8400.
About The GreenFields Continuing Care Community
The GreenFields Continuing Care Community provides for the physical, social, and spiritual needs of residents in a Christian environment. In addition to skilled nursing, subacute rehabilitation, and outpatient therapy at GreenField Health & Rehabilitation Center, The GreenFields offers a variety of living arrangements and support levels based on individual needs. This includes independent living apartments in GreenField Manor; assisted living apartments in GreenField Court; and memory care and enhanced assisted living in GreenField Terrace. Residents at The GreenFields also receive priority access to all other levels on The GreenFields campus.