If you’re a senior or retiree looking for a new home, chances are, safety is of particular importance to you. You’re excited and ready to go! So – the ability to stay independent is crucial. Maybe you’ll be living alone, or your hearing just isn’t quite as good as it once was. Well – a security system might help you sleep at night. Perhaps you use a wheelchair or another form of mobility assistance. Hmm – accessibility is definitely important! Whether choosing apartments, a retirement community, or any other senior housing option, how do you ensure your health and well-being will be a top priority?
Here are 4 questions you should be asking about safety before moving in.
Will my new home have security?
Most senior apartments, retirement communities, and other senior housing options will offer security. But how much? Here’s what you should be asking:
- Are there security guards or a front desk attendant?
- Is the community gated?
- Is a key card required for resident entry?
- What is the visitor policy and how are they permitted entry?
- Are parking lots well-lit at night?
- Are there security cameras?
- What type of alarm system is installed and how senior-friendly are the settings?
How senior-accessible is it?
Adults in the 55+ community deserve to live as comfortably and independently as they’re able to. This means any home for older adults should be senior-friendly and accessible to all kinds of needs. Here’s what you should be asking:
- Are there wheelchair ramps?
- Are doorways wide?
- Is there safety hardware, such as grab bars and hand rails, installed throughout the building or individual unit?
- Do units have bathrooms equipped with features such as zero threshold showers, raised toilet height, shower chairs, and detachable shower heads?
- Are home modifications ADA-compliant?
- Does the kitchen have plenty of low cabinet and counter space?
- Are the grounds regularly maintained by staff members?
- What do the floorplans look like? Are individual units open and free of fall-hazards?
Sure, my new home is close to the grocery store, but what’s safe about its location?
Location is always important. You want to be close to family and friends. You also want shopping to be a breeze. But, how is location important to a senior’s safety? Here’s what you should be asking:
- Are there emergency services close by?
- Is your personal physician within a short driving distance?
- How’s the weather? Is the area prone to lots of rain and flooding? And, if so, is your house or building constructed on high ground?
- Are tornadoes, hurricanes, or other natural disasters common? And, if so, does your home have a storm shelter?
- Is excessive heat a condition you are sensitive to? Make sure your home has air conditioning!
I’m moving to a home where residents are close to one another. So, what types of health guidelines are in place?
Taking care of your personal health is one of the most essential ways to live a long and happy life. If you’re planning to move somewhere where residents live in close proximity to one another, there are a few considerations to be mindful of. Here’s what you should be asking:
- What are the most current COVID-19 protocols the staff adheres to for cleaning, sanitizing, and masking?
- What are the most current COVID-19 protocols for when residents are outside of their individual units?
- How often does building staff clean and sanitize under usual, non-pandemic, circumstances?
- Are personal physicians, nurses, or other care providers permitted inside the residence for in-home treatments?
- Does the building or community offer 24-hour emergency services?
How To Choose Senior Housing: Resources
Choosing the perfect home can be easy with the right knowledge and tools. Visit these resources for a helpful start!