As providers of senior housing in a CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community), we are often in the position of helping people choose where they are going to live. It might be helpful for you to review some of the reasons we feel are very important in helping all seniors make this decision.
The Residents – Look for a community where the residents are interested in their lifestyle, health, learning, leisure activities and volunteerism. A community where the residents are striving to be engaged to the fullest extent possible in activities that are satisfying, challenging and fulfilling.
The Staff – Look for staff that recognizes that the community is the home of the residents. Staff should be respectful, courteous, and competent, and willing to go the extra mile to provide the quality of life you expect and deserve.
Service and Trust – Look for a marketing department that provides accurate and honest information. Review the longevity of the organization and review any financial information that is provided. Get to know the people who live there and ask questions. Look for flexibility in services, such as dining and other programs.
The Site – Look for your preferred location. Is it close to those things you enjoy doing? Activities such as shopping, cultural events, medical services, and church are all things that should be within a short distance. Think ahead to a future need to utilize public transportation and recognize its availability.
The Building – Explore spaces and uses for those spaces in the physical plant. Ask yourself if those spaces meet your needs. Are there opportunities to enjoy nature, to engage in gardening, and to enjoy walking paths, quiet spaces, and fitness opportunities? Are there spaces for group activities and social interactions? How is the maintenance? Are the grounds well maintained? Do you like the way it looks? Remember this will be your home and a place where you will invite friends and family.
Focus – Does the community focus on meeting the challenges and expectations of the residents? Is the theme to merely survive or is it to consistently try to recognize the changing environment and how to best address those obligations. Is the community focused on providing quality services and quality health? Does it provide a continuum of health services that will provide for you throughout your remaining years? Does it promote aging in place.
Accreditation – Finally, it is very important that a CCRC be accredited. Accreditation means that the organization and community have met standards concerning governance, resident health care and services, and financial matters. Look for the seal that designates Accreditation and you can be assured the organization has addressed these areas.
Obviously, these are difficult questions, but finding the answers will help make your life enjoyable in your new home.
Source: Marketing Department at Terwilliger Plaza, 503-299-4242
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