When touring luxury senior living communities, there’s more to consider than just impressive lobbies, amenities and common areas. Most people seeking luxury senior living don’t plan to move again, says Bandklayder.
“Look for a community that could handle whatever needs could arise going forward as your loved one ages,” says Bandklayder. Consider:
- The benefits of a senior living community that offers the full continuum of care, limiting the potential need to switch facilities in the future if care needs increase
- A community’s rent payment structure
- A community’s proximity to high-quality hospitals and other health care facilities
- A community’s proximity to family and friends
- The availability of scheduled and unscheduled transportation services
- Whether the community accepts long-term care insurance
- The level of staffing within the community
- Dining options and the community’s ability to accommodate a range of dietary needs
- The availability of visiting doctors, physical therapists, nurses and other health care providers
- Whether the community offers residents a trial period in case it’s not a good fit for them
During your tours, it’s also important to speak with residents who currently live in these communities to learn about their experiences.
Luxury senior living communities abound in urban, suburban and rural areas. Many are located on or near desirable natural settings like beaches, lakes, deserts, mountains and lush pastoral grounds. Luxury senior living communities are often close to restaurants, theaters and city attractions as well.
The long list of amenities offered by most luxury senior living communities helps keep residents active and engaged, which can have a clear impact on both physical and mental health. Luxury senior living amenities may include (but aren’t limited to) the following:
Housekeeping and Laundry Services
“In most luxury communities, staff will do a resident’s laundry in their apartment for them,” says Bandklayder.
Salon and Spa Services
Most luxury senior living communities offer hair salons, and many go a step further, offering manicures, pedicures, massage therapy and other spa services.
Luxury senior living communities typically offer a selection of fine and casual dining options. Residents typically choose chef-prepared meals from full menus rather than limited options. Some luxury communities provide room service as well.
Fitness and Wellness Activities
Residents can often enjoy well-equipped fitness centers, yoga and other fitness classes onsite. The community may provide wellness and nutrition counseling and physical therapy, too.
What’s more, many luxury senior living communities have heated swimming pools, tennis courts, walking trails, golf courses and other resort-style activities and amenities.
Residents can typically go shopping and attend other local events and appointments by using the community’s scheduled or unscheduled transportation services.
Onsite Cinema and Library Access
Many luxury senior living communities offer theater-style movie viewing and a library with luxurious furnishings, fireplaces and other cozy appointments.
Pet Care Services
Some luxury senior living communities offer dog walking, grooming and/or pet sitting services as well.
“Luxury senior living communities have a higher level of social stimulation than the average senior living community,” says Bandklayder. For example, the staff might invite professors from local universities to speak or conduct advanced brain exercises to help residents sharpen their cognitive skills.
“They may hire a former cruise director or someone with a similar background who can really take charge of the social hour and bring a higher level of entertainment than the average senior living community,” adds Bandklayder. “They may bring in pianists or other instrumental music, singers, dance recitals … all kinds of things.”
When choosing a luxury senior living community, look closely at its accessibility features. As your loved one ages, they may need to use elevators, wheelchair ramps, handrails and other tools to help with mobility challenges.
Most luxury senior living communities are well-staffed, says Bandklayder. The number of staff and the hours they work is less important in independent living environments because the residents don’t need hands-on assistance. When it comes to other types of senior living, however, staffing is crucial.
When choosing a luxury community, make sure the staffing exceeds your state’s minimum standard for assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing, says Bandklayder. To find your state’s staffing requirements, contact the state department responsible for assisted living regulations.
Many luxury senior living communities offer basic health services like health monitoring, and some may have visiting doctors who see residents on a rotating basis. The community may have a nurse on staff 24/7 as well. Other health care services may include rehabilitation, physical therapy, in-home care and assisted living services like medication management.
In a life plan community, the continuum of care includes more extensive health care services for residents in memory care and skilled nursing settings.