What to Know About Senior Assisted Living Options in Florida

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By the year 2030, the number of US residents living in senior living communities will double from the current amount of 1 million to approximately 2 million. As more of the population begins to age into their senior years and retire around age 63, parents and children in Florida face difficult decisions regarding retirement, senior assisted living options, and care plans.

Most people think they will never need to use the services of a senior living community. Only 37% of people 50 years and older feel they will require assisted living in the future, but the truth is that closer to 70% will. Fortunately, Florida senior living options are plentiful giving families a wide variety of choices for their care. Here are some things to understand as you begin your search.

1. Senior assisted living care is not a nursing home. The definitions around senior care are important as different terms represent different levels of care. Florida assisted living facilities provide the lowest level of care for someone not living in their home. Typically, the center provides all meals, medication reminders, and ensures the senior is performing activities of daily living such as dressing themselves, using the bathroom, brushing their teeth, having exercise, and feeding themselves at meals. As your senior ages, there may be times when assistants will need to help with some of these activities. At a certain point, the level of care becomes too great, and a person may have to move to a higher level, such as nursing care or memory care. Ideally, you can find a senior assisted living center that has other wings or facilities attached to allow for the smooth transition from one level of care to another.

2. Assisted living centers are not depressing places. Most senior care centers are lively and active places with a lot of activities, exercise, events, and socializing. Choose a facility with an Activities Director and ask to speak to them about how they interact with the residents. Ask to come participate in an event and observe the other residents. Are they engaged? Is everyone participating willingly? While not everyone is naturally social or active, the best Activity Directors can find interesting activities for all the residents to enjoy on some level. Residents who participate in 3 or 4 activities per day are happier than those who participate in just 1 or 2. Keep in mind, an activity can be as simple as watching a favorite game show with peers in the sitting room, or listening to a volunteer play the piano or sing.

3. Talk with other family members at centers you visit. Family members of current residents are your best resource for finding a great senior assisted living center in Florida. Ask center directors to put you in contact a few if you don?t see any when you visit. Ask about any problems or issues they experienced and how they were resolved. There will be problems as there always are no matter where one lives. The key is how staff and managers handle various situations.

Finding a senior assisted living communities can be daunting and sometimes scary, but many people spend enjoyable, happy, and high-quality years surrounded by caring staff and peers. Do your due diligence to find a center where your loved one will thrive.

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