10 important things to consider with senior apartments:
Seniors’ apartments are generally self-contained units for seniors, 55 years and over, who are able to live on their own. This is a good option for seniors who are looking for housing that is easy to maintain, costs less than a family home, and provides security and peace of mind. Here are ten important things to consider when choosing a senior apartment in no particular order.
When choosing a new place to live, one must always consider one’s budget now and in the future. Will the cost of the apartment go up? Will my income be going down in the coming years? Does the cost include maintenance? Do they accept subsidies or rent vouchers? Or do they have rent geared to income units? Do you rent or buy? Talk through the options with friends and relatives before feeling pressured to accept something that does not fit your budget. If you qualify for low income seniors housing, you will want to get your application in as soon as possible because many places have long waiting lists for this type of housing.
Does the neighborhood feel safe? Are there security features in place such as a front desk attendant or security guard? What do you need to get into the building? Are there security cameras that allow you to see who is coming in before you buzz them up? Are the parking lots well lit? What about garbage disposal areas? Are the fire escapes practical and secure? Don’t be afraid to ask questions about smoke detectors and alarms. If it is a safe building, they will be proud to tell you about these features.
When choosing an apartment, you will want to consider the location you want to live in. Is it far from family and friends? What about the places you visit frequently such as a place of worship, doctor or dentist? Will you need to change your banking branch, volunteer obligations or library? Is it far to go grocery shopping or to a restaurant? If you have a pet, do they need a dog park or veterinary services? Do they have public transit nearby in case you don’t drive?
4. Level of service and amenities
For the most part, senior apartments are for people who need a low level of care. They do not provide meals, or housekeeping. There is rarely any medical care offered at a senior apartment. For some seniors who require more care there may be independent living senior residences. They may provide transportation, or laundry services but not personal support services like dressing or eating.
5. Long term care
It is worthwhile to consider your own personal and health needs, now and for the future. You would not want to go through the stress of moving and adjusting to a new place, only to find out that your health status has changed and you need more assistance than what is available.
Talk to the neighbors and get a feel for the community. Do they seem happy with their choice or do they have any complaints?
What are the layouts available? Is there additional storage available?
8. Policies and bylaws
Can I bring my pet? Will my son or daughter be allowed to stay with me?
Do the grounds look well maintained, for example, snow/ice removal in cold weather, handrails and effective signage? Is it wheelchair accessible? Are the kitchen cupboards and counters accessible? What about the bathroom, shower and laundry facilities?
It is important to consider your lifestyle in your decision. Do they have social or community events? Do the residents use the common areas? Will you still have room to entertain if you choose? Do you have any particular hobbies such as woodworking, or gardening that require large items or space?
Consider all the options and you will be sure to find a place that meets at least most, if not all of your needs. See more information and find providers in your area in our senior apartments section.