Things to Look for in Senior Living Apartments

May 7th 2016

The family home is typically large and expansive and as such can be a pain to deal with as you grow older. You probably enjoy living there for the memories, but maintaining a larger home becomes more work than it's worth with age. You can hire cleaning and yard services to handle most of the maintenance, but at some point, you'll probably feel better off moving into a smaller place. 

Senior living apartments are made with this situation in mind. These independent living communities provide you with a wide range of amenities, services and living configurations that make you feel at home. Outside of the standard apartment hunting considerations, here are five things to keep in mind when you're looking into senior living apartments. 

1. Walkability. The walkability of senior living apartments concerns how close essential businesses, like grocery stores, are to the apartment. A website called WalkScore calculates how close essential businesses are to a particular apartment. The higher the number, the easier it is to walk to businesses instead of needing to drive to them. The site indicates whether you don't need a car, you need a car for some errands or a car is almost essential for a particular apartment. 

2. Community events. It's hard to meet other people for friendship as you get older. If you don't have a set group of friends and you don't have hobbies that are conducive to group meet-ups, it's hard to meet new friends. Instead of getting frustrated with the lack of social time in your life, look into senior living apartments that host community events. These events feature games, dinner parties and other social activities that appeal to a broad range of people. You'll get to know your neighbors and hopefully make new friends through the social time. As these events are typically hosted within the community itself, you don't even have to drive anywhere to enjoy yourself. 

3. Apartment amenities. Some apartment amenities that make life easier as you get older include accessible bathrooms, single-floor apartments, dishwashers, front-loading washers and dryers, and apartment floor plans that make it easy to get around your living space. You also want to look into the community amenities, such as pools, tennis courts and recreational space on the property. Some properties also have hiking trails and other outdoor activities.

4. Assisted living services. If you want to live independently but still want some of the perks that assisted living communities give you, consider choosing an in-between option. This type of apartment allows you to have your own, private space, but also has nurses and other senior care staff on hand to assist you in the event of an emergency. These types of living situations may offer special features, such as pull cords in the bathroom for help and bathrooms set up for ease of use. These amenities help you live independently while still getting the help you may need without bothering your family. 

5. Transportation amenities. Some senior living communities have buses or shuttles coming through the community to take residents to grocery stores, local attractions and shopping centers. As you grow older, you may not feel confident about your driving abilities. A community shuttle helps you cut down on your driving time, which also helps save you money as you put less wear and tear on your vehicle. The shuttle may also be available for on-demand trips, so you don't have to worry about planning your day around a shuttle schedule and can summon it when you need it. 

Image Courtesy of TownePost Network via Flickr

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