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Assisted Living Communities: What Makes a Great One?

Assisted Living Communities: What Makes a Great One?

Caring.com recently released its third annual list of assisted living communities that were awarded Caring Stars in 2014. This award is given to the top-rated communities, based on the reviews of residents and their caregivers. For 2014, more than 400 facilities in 38 states received the award.

While there’s no template to follow to build the perfect senior living community, there are a number of factors that all these facilities have in common. These are the factors that are most often mentioned in reviews and are what set these communities apart.

They Excel at the Basics
The top 1 percent of assisted living communities in the country each have a number of reviews online. These reviews put the facility and staff at the top of their list for reasons the community is right for them or their family member. A friendly, attentive, and loving staff seems to be the foremost factor that makes a community great.

Second comes the community itself. The facility doesn’t have to be elegant, or even the most modern. Seniors and their caregivers value a clean facility, especially one without odors. Safety and security are a priority for seniors and their loved ones, as well. This is especially true in outdoor areas.

They Engage Seniors Socially
Moving into an assisted living community can be a lonely time for seniors. This is why facilities that work to engage all residents socially tend to excel. The top-rated facilities offer a wide range of activities for residents, including trips and outings, and they offer opportunities for residents to meet over common interests. They have a packed activities calendar, with plenty of options. This allows residents to enjoy a fulfilling social life, even if they can’t always participate in the social activities they used to do before moving to the facility. Reviews note that dining halls also play an important social role.

They Offer Seniors a Number of Choices
Having a facility that meets the different needs of a number of seniors at once requires a range of services and support. The top-rated assisted living communities offer residents and their families a wide range of choices at every junction, from their level of care to what they want to eat for breakfast.

The reviews of the 2014 Caring Stars show that these facilities allow seniors and their caregivers to make the choices that are best for them. This is evident from the beginning. They can choose the option to live alone or with a roommate, select their own floor plan, and decide the level of daily living support they may need. On a daily basis, seniors can choose to participate in services and activities that meet their current physical, psychological, or emotional needs.

Today, there are many more options for senior living than there were just a few years ago. Caring.com awards their Caring Stars in order to recognize the top facilities in the United States. If you’re looking to evaluate communities in your area, the Assisted Living Federation of America offers a checklist to help you determine the baseline for a typical assisted living community. Using this checklist, in addition to considering the factors mentioned here, can help you decide between potential assisted living communities. By doing this research, you can choose the facility that is best for you.

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