Are you helping your parent find an assisted living facility for them to move into? Here are a few features to look for that will help ensure a safe and pleasurable experience for them, and enhance their ability to maintain some much-needed independence.
Living Quarters With Kitchenettes
While it's important that the assisted living facility your parent resides in provides community dining options so full meal preparation isn't necessary, a kitchenette should be available in your parent's living quarters. That way, they can make their own snacks, tea, and coffee when they see fit. This will allow your parent to maintain some of their independence while receiving the meal prep support they need for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
At the very least, your parent should have access to the use of a microwave, a mini fridge, a sink, and some counter space within their personal living space. If you can't find a suitable facility that offers kitchenettes inside personal living quarters, look for one that allows residents use of basic kitchen tools in the common dining area.
Weekly Outing Opportunities
To ensure that your parent has an opportunity to pursue their favorite hobbies and explore their community, make sure that the assisted living facility they'll be residing in schedules regular outings. Whether it's a trip to a local park or museum, a day at the community center learning to play an instrument, or an evening at the movie theater, the facility should plan something exciting for residents to look forward to at least once a week.
Ask the facilities you consider moving your parent into to provide you with a copy of the calendar of outing events that have been planned for the coming year. This way, you can sit down with your parent and decide whether or not the activities being offered correlate with their personal lifestyle and interests. Your parent will be able to more easily determine which facility will provide them with the socialization and stimulation they need.
Overnight Guest Options
If your parent is family-oriented and has a concern about being able to spend enough time with their loved ones after entering an assisted living situation, it's important to find a facility that is willing to accommodate overnight guests once in a while. This will enable your parent's grandchildren to visit them for a weekend as if they were at their own personal residence, and help ensure that plenty of family time can be experienced on a consistent basis.
If guests aren't allowed in private living spaces for some reason, the facility you and your parent choose should feature guest rooms that can be rented by family members for overnight stays. There should also be a common family area for use during visits that features board games, movie viewings, a library, and a play area for young kids.
Access to Fitness Programs
It's crucial that your parent has access to fitness programs where they'll be living, as regular exercise helps to fight off chronic disease, helps keep your parent's mood high, and even decreases the chance that they'll injure themselves during basic daily activities. Look for an assisted living facility that schedules daily fitness programs that vary in practice so your parent won't get bored when faced with the day's fitness opportunities and end up skipping them.
Your assisted living facility of choice should offer engaging yet safe exercise sessions that include practices such as yoga, meditation, and sports games. Some facilities even offer exercise through video games, which can make indoor exercise more interesting and interactive.
These features will help your parent continue leading an active, healthy, and happy lifestyle as they get used to living in a community environment.