This blog is part of a year-long series aimed at addressing some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from family and adult children on the topics most concerning them regarding their aging parents or loved one. In 2012 Hebrew SeniorLife published the eBook "You & Your Aging Parent: A Family Approach to Lifelong Health, Wellness & Care," a compilation of answers from HSL geriatric experts in response to the many of the most frequently asked questions. We're reposting some of the most popular Q&A posts from our original eBook which was downloaded over 2,000 times. We're also adding new Q&As throughout the series that address topics not originally included in our eBook. Sign up to receive the blog series and download our original eBook at www.hslindependentliving.org.
I often receive calls from seniors or their family members saying “We need something, but we’re not sure what we need or where to start.” My first question is always “What is most important to you and how do you want to live?”
There are many options in senior living. It can be as simple as a building geared toward similarly aged people to communities with extensive coordinated services and health care offerings. What many people don’t realize is how much living goes on in senior living. Finding the right solution starts with asking the right questions and focusing on what is important to you.
Some things you might consider: Is it essential to stay in your current home in the neighborhood you know? If so, a coordinated package of home care, transportation, and connection to community resources may be the best option. Are you ready for a new, hassle-free community living situation where you or your children don’t need to worry about home maintenance? Then perhaps considering independent living in a supportive housing or continuing care retirement community makes sense. Do you want additional supports and assistance that are available 24 hours per day? It may be that an assisted living environment is the best solution for you.
Making that move shouldn’t necessarily be because you need to – it should be because you want to develop connections with others, you want to focus on easily accessible activities that are important to you, you enjoy sharing a meal with others, and the idea of coordinated senior social and health care services is appealing. Many senior living communities go well beyond bricks and mortar. By partnering with each individual who moves in, they create opportunities for personal connections, ensure access to senior services, and emphasize great food, arts, and culture.
At Hebrew SeniorLife, we focus on the whole person who moves into our communities. Central to every independent living community at Hebrew SeniorLife is our proprietary, state-of-the-art wellness platform, Vitalize 360. V360 is an innovative, person-directed approach to wellness coaching that engages and inspires older adults to live their best lives. More than 600 residents living at NewBridge on the Charles, Orchard Cove, Center Communities of Brookline, Jack Satter House, and Simon C. Fireman Community take part in this program of successful aging. Core to the model is learning about what is vital to each person, then partnering with them to achieve their personal goals.
Most importantly, when thinking about next steps in senior living - start with what you “want,” not what you or your family may think you “need.” Then you are sure to find the perfect match.