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June 7, 2024

Choosing an assisted living community for yourself or a loved one involves many considerations, and unfamiliar terms and concepts can make the process overwhelming. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve taken the time to break down the essentials of what you should look for in an assisted living community and the terms that will help you navigate the processes.

Common Senior Living Terms

When entering senior living, it can be easy to feel like you don’t know what you don’t know – especially when you begin to hear the different terminology. An important part of making an informed decision on where to go for senior care is understanding what they offer. That’s why mastering the language can be crucial to making that decision.

ADLs - Activities of Daily Living 

Activities of daily living refer to the services that assisted living communities provide to residents, such as bathing, dressing, and transferring. These activities are considered essential to care and are present in all assisted living communities. This is distinct from many independent living communities, where a third-party caregiver may privately provide these services to a resident. In assisted living communities, these services are provided by the community’s in-house team.

CCRC - Continuing Care Retirement Community

A CCRC is a type of community that offers varying degrees of care within their one family of communities. A resident is able to enter as an independent living resident and move to assisted living from there. Many of these communities will even offer skilled nursing and memory care services. CCRC communities are perfect for residents who are considering their long term plans for care.

IADLs - Instrumental Activities of Daily Living

IADLs are distinct from ADLs in that an assisted living community is not required to provide these types of services to remain an assisted living community. These services would be in the realm of shopping for residents or managing finances. Though they can be essential to the overall quality of life for a resident, these services will typically be provided by a third-party.

Click here to learn if now is the right time for senior living.

What to Look For in An Assisted Living Community

Once you understand the common terms and how they apply to assisted living, you can begin to determine which community is right for you. When choosing a senior living community of any type, there are several characteristics to look for that can help you determine if it will be a good fit for you or a loved one. Across the board you will see standard practices in many communities. However, there are several amenities that can make a campus stand out.

An Emphasis on Lifestyle and Wellness Programs

Remaining active is a contributor to a better senior living experience and a healthier lifestyle all around. That’s why a community that provides a well-rounded wellness program is going to give you or a loved one an advantage as they transition into senior living. At Shannondale, we offer a variety of different fitness programs, therapies, and events to keep our residents active and engaged.

Social Opportunities

Isolation among seniors can be particularly harmful, leading to mental and physical health issues. That's why finding a community that promotes social engagement is crucial. At Shannondale, we prioritize social interaction by offering a variety of programs and outings that encourage residents to connect with each other.

We provide opportunities for engagement with a full slate of social events. Our communal spaces are designed to encourage spontaneous interactions with family and fellow residents, and our dedicated team ensures everyone feels included. At Shannondale, social interaction is a priority, helping our residents thrive in a supportive and lively environment.

On-Site Amenities

Once you or a loved one moves into a community, transportation can be difficult. This makes on-site amenities something that can provide residents with a significant advantage. Our on-site auditory, and podiatry services, as well as therapy options, offer residents quick access to necessary amenities and peace of mind by eliminating the need to arrange transportation Additionally, our on-site barber and hair stylist are examples of quality-of-life amenities that are available solely for the convenience of our residents.

Navigating the search for an assisted living community can be overwhelming, especially with the abundance of new terms and considerations. Understanding the essentials of what to look for in a community and familiarizing yourself with common senior living terms are critical steps in making an informed decision. Contact us today to learn more about assisted living and explore your options and take the next step toward a vibrant, supportive community for you or your loved one.

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