Top 7 Tips for Touring Florida Assisted Living CommunitiesNovember 30, 2022Florida is Great For SeniorsFlorida is one of the best states for active seniors. Florida seniors comprise more than 21% of the states population, or about 4.6 million seniors. And Florida seniors have the added advantage of living in a state their kids and grandkids love to visit. With some of the best beaches, world-class theme parks, and more than 240 sunny days per year, relatives love to visit the Sunshine State. Florida gets more than 120 million tourists annually. Many visit their parents and grandparents and sneak in a visit to the beaches, Disney World, Universal Studios, and many more.Florida Seniors are Active and Living LongerEveryone wants a long life, but no one wants to get old. There are many factors that contribute to a long life - including healthy food, rest, exercise, genetics, and happiness - but staying active is one of the most important. For example, the oldest poll worker in Florida is Vera Craig, who is 101 years old and has been working for Lee County for the past 20 years. Eventually, Everyone Needs a Little AssistanceNo matter how healthy we eat or how much we work or exercise, eventually, everyone needs a little help as they age. Some Floridians choose to age in place at home for as long as possible. Sometimes progressive diseases, like Alzheimers, dementia, or other conditions, result in the need for a nursing home or memory care facility.But more and more senior Floridians are choosing to live in assisted living communities, with plenty of amenities and trained staff, to get just the right amount of care and assistance they need.First, Decide Your Needs, Budget, and LocationIf assisted living seems right for you or your senior loved one, you first need to narrow your search. You and your family should decide on your medical needs, an affordable monthly budget, and your desired geographic location. Then, you can tour the communities to decide your best option.Florida Senior Consulting works with assisted living communities throughout Florida and will help you with this process without charge.NeedsDecide what assistance you or your senior loved one require now and in the future. Your needs will be specific to you, and each Florida assisted living community offers different services. According to the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living, the typical assisted living community offers the following:24-hour assistance and supervisionHealth, exercise, and wellness programsHousekeeping and maintenanceDining services and mealsMedication managementHelp with Activities of Daily Living and personal care servicesTransportationSome assisted living communities even specialize in serving individuals with specific needs, like Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and specific medical conditions, like Parkinsons disease.BudgetFlorida is fortunate to have more than 2,400 assisted living communities statewide. These communities come in varying sizes, with differing amenities and fees. According to Genworth Financial, the average assisted living community fee is about $4,500 per month. There are also more upscale units that can cost between $10,000 to $15,000 per month. LocationLocation is critical. Do you want to be near your current neighborhood? Do you have family in Florida? Will your out-of-state family be coming to visit? Once you have narrowed your search with the basics of medical needs, budget, and location, you can begin touring communities to see if they are the best fit for you or your senior loved one.7 Tips for Assisted Living TouringWhether you are touring assisted living communities in Sarasota, Ft. Myers, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Miami, or elsewhere in Florida, visiting these potential communities in person is an important step. Below are the seven top tips for touring.1. Bring Your Own ExpertTouring assisted living communities can be fun and exciting. After all, you are choosing a new home and neighborhood. But with so many choices and critical information, the process can seem complicated and overwhelming. How do you know you are asking the right questions?Assisted living communities welcome you to tour their properties. But bringing an unbiased senior care specialist and advocate will ensure you make the best choices for your situation. For example, Florida Senior Consultings team knows senior care, the communities, the amenities, the level of care available, how to coordinate care management, and so much more. Unlike the tour directors of individual communities, Florida Senior Consulting is not limited to one place, but instead is dedicated to finding the community that best fits your situation. And this service is at no charge to you. We work with these communities daily and can show you the pros and cons of each facility, so you can make your best decision.2. Compare Costs Equally (Apples to Apples)Every community has its own services, amenities, prices, and options. Making a financial apples-to-apples comparison can seem a bit complex. However, it is essential to know your actual living costs and precisely what is and is not provided for you in each community. Financially, you want to know if there are any annual increases, unlisted fees, community fees, and more. Also, how do the recreational amenities compare? How are the food plans different? What medical services are available? As you get answers to all these questions, you can compare the communities equally.3. Notice How the Community FeelsHome should be warm and welcoming. When you are touring, notice how the atmosphere feels in the buildings, grounds, and residences.Are the grounds green and attractive? Are there outdoor places to relax and meet with friends and family? Are there flowers, trees, and gardens?Are the halls wide and brightly lit when you walk through the buildings? Are the carpets well-kept and modern? Is the paint fresh and new? Are the community areas inviting? Is the dining area spotless and welcoming?Does the indoor air smell fresh and clean? Are the residences spacious or cramped? What are the views from the rooms and apartments? Are the window sills, baseboards, and corners clean? Do the amenities fit your lifestyle? Are there walking paths, exercise rooms, community rooms, and more? Are there places to socialize? Will you feel comfortable inviting your friends and family to your new home? Florida has gorgeous and well-maintained assisted living communities. Choose one that feels right for you or your senior loved one.4. Determine if the Staff is Friendly and QualifiedNo matter how gorgeous the building and residences are, a well-qualified staff is the backbone of an assisted living community.Are the staff members professional, helpful, and friendly? When touring, observe the interactions between the staff and residents.Are staff members qualified? What certifications and licenses do they have? How many registered nurses are on site? What are the ratios of staff to residents? What are the qualifications of the staff included in these ratios? Does the staffing ratio change at night?Staffing and level of care are significant factors in comparing community pricing.5. Observe the Other Residents (Your New Neighbors)Assisted living communities are just that: communities. As you tour the community, take time to notice the residents as they go about their day.Are they active, engaged, and happy? Are there enjoyable daily activities for them? Talk to some of them and ask questions about life in the community, like food service, card games, family visits, pets, alcohol, cooking, and more.The gorgeous building is your residence. The qualified staff takes care of you. But the residents are the community. You want to pick the most comfortable community for you and your lifestyle.6. Consider the Activities and Food Activities. An active assisted living community is often a happy one. Review the community's events calendar. Try and schedule your tour when activities are happening.See how closely the activities appeal to you or your family member's interests. When visiting, be sure to observe or even participate in an activity. Look for the range of resident participation levels and how much fun the staff seems to be having. Ask about the opportunities for trips off-site, shopping outings, and the location and frequency of nearby religious services.Food. Assisted living communities now pride themselves on their food and meal offerings. Find out what meal options are available. Visit the dining areas. Besides being nutritional and healthy, food should be fun and great tasting. When touring, make sure and try the cuisine.7. Ask about Safety and SecuritySafety and security bring peace of mind to you and your family.Ask about the community's safety protocols if residents need assistance in their living quarters or anywhere on-site at any time.Ensure the grounds and residences are always secure, with security cameras, sign-in policies, and security personnel on-site.Ask if there is adequate lighting throughout the community. Do the residents have call lights or pendants? What are the after-hour safeguards in place?The best assisted living communities have state-of-the-art security and are proud to share it with you on your tour.Your Next Best StepChoosing one of Floridas great assisted living communities may be your best choice for health, well-being, and living the best life possible. And it does not have to be confusing or complex.Florida Senior Consulting knows senior care and the available assisted living communities that have the best services and amenities for your particular needs. We regularly visit communities along with their management and staff. We know the pros and cons to help you make your best decision.Florida Senior Consulting has certified staff, licensed nurse advocates, and decades of experience in the field. We are a Florida-based company with expert knowledge of the Florida senior market. While senior options can seem confusing, this is all we do.Whether you are considering an assisted living community or aging in place at home, let us help.Senior living should be on your terms, and the choice should always be yours.Call us, and we will answer all your questions and help you decide what is best for you or your senior loved one.For peace of mind, call us at (941) 661-6196 or visit us at floridaseniorconsulting.com.
Perhaps your loved one doesnt want to have to stay in a skilled nursing facility after being discharged from the hospital. Or, other than needing daily medical care, they prefer to live independently in their own private residence. In such cases, they might be able to receive skilled nursing care right in their own home. Provided they have the financial means to do so, seniors and their families can hire licensed home health aides to help with various medical procedures, such as:Health monitoringOccupational, physical, and speech therapyBlood draws and injectionsFeeding tubes and cathetersIV dripsWound careThe national median cost of hiring a home health aide is currently $4,576 per month. Keep in mind that the types of home nursing care services that are available will vary depending on state laws, as well as the agency. Furthermore, custodial services such as assistance with ADLs, cooking, cleaning, etc. are separate from skilled nursing services and will cost extra.AmenitiesSkilled Nursing FacilityNursing Home CareMedical CareYesYesAssistance with ADLsYesNot typically available (unless part of the medical condition). Would have to arrange separately/pay extra.MealsYesNot typically available. Would have to arrange separately/pay extra.Activities & EntertainmentYesYes
These days, many people who are initially searching online for nursing homes in their area are actually a better fit for an assisted living community. But what is the difference?Assisted living communities are for seniors who dont need regular medical care but do require assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs). Residents live in private apartments with senior-friendly features like bathroom grab bars, barrier-free doorways (to accommodate wheelchairs / walkers), and alert buttons. They receive assistance with ADLs, enjoy three daily meals (plus snacks), and can participate in a wide array of different community activities such as book clubs, exercise classes, game nights, field trips, etc.Many assisted living communities also include on-site amenities like a library, beauty salon, gardens or walking paths, gym, etc. Residents may keep their own car, but many often prefer to make use of the communitys transportation service/public transit to shop or attend medical appointments.Nursing homes offer many of the same services and amenities as assisted living communities but are for seniors who have more comprehensive care needs or need daily medical care and 24/7 supervision by licensed medical professionals.As previously mentioned, nursing homes are the only form of senior living that can provide 24/7 medical services. Like memory care communities for residents with Alzheimers or other dementia related illnesses, many nursing homes also include increased safety measures for residents with memory issues / dementia.The level of medical care provided in an assisted living facility versus a nursing home is also reflected in the price. According to the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the national monthly median cost for assisted living is $4,429. Meanwhile, the national monthly median cost for a private room at a skilled nursing facility is $9.086.