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If you’re single with Parkinson’s disease, and nearing retirement, there’s a difficult crossroad you’re approaching that requires self-reflection, and certainly a sound mind. The choice is yours to make on how, and with whom to live your retirement years.

Figuring out where to live is a major decision. You may be able to live with family, or you may want to shop for a senior community. It’s a good idea to plan ahead before your health leaves you without choices. Your decision is about lifestyle, and most important, medical access and treatment for Parkinson’s disease.

If you’re looking for a senior community, you’ll need to know what lifestyle and health care requirements align with your needs.  Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory care, and Skilled Nursing are the basic stages of senior care.

Independent Living

Upon retirement, most of us are independent. Independent senior living communities, also known as retirement communities, senior living communities or independent retirement communities, are housing designed for seniors 55 and older. Independent senior living residents might use third-party home health care services to meet additional needs.

Assisted Living

Assistance needed to dress, bath, and maneuver around in daily living is known as assisted living. Assisted Living communities are designed for seniors who are no longer able to live on their own safely but do not require the high level of care provided in a nursing home. Assistance with medications, activities of daily living, meals and housekeeping are provided.

Memory Care

People who have memory issues such as dementia may benefit from a memory care facility. Memory care is a distinct form of long-term skilled nursing that specifically caters to patients with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other types of memory problems.

Skilled Nursing

Skilled nursing is necessary for patients who need care on a frequent basis due to a chronic medical condition, and monitoring of vital signs with medical equipment. Services are provided by a licensed nurse or therapist (physical, occupational, and speech) to individuals with disabilities or medical problems requiring daily therapy, nursing intervention, or observation—but who do not require the specialized care of a hospital setting.

Financial Considerations

Most major senior decisions have a financial component, and senior living is no exception. You need to look at your finances to see if you can afford to age in place in your home, or in a senior group care setting. This is a decision to share with your financial planner, and your family.

Every living situation has its own specialty. Some institutions offer assisted living and skilled nursing. Other situations offer independent living and assisted living. It is possible that you may outgrow your care environment if there are changes in your health status.

Lifestyle Considerations

When you’ve determined which basic category of senior living you’re in, then you are ready to see what choices are in your area. You’ll have even more decisions to make! Who said that searching for the right senior community would be easy!

2 thoughts on “Searching for the Right Senior Community

  1. My husband/ and i are having trouble deciding when is the right time to make a move like this..
    I beleve a senior community/assisted liiving community can reject a person given certain health conditions.My husband is independentbut has some disablities that will progress with time. i have Parkinson’s. We have both been retired for over 10 years. Where can I find guidance on when to move or criter8a that ilelp us decide when is tha “right” time. As you can telll by this noe, we disagree on timing.

    I appreciate your sharing your pwerspective. I believe we have been given a gift in that we have some notion of the future and we have time abd knowledge to prepare for it.

    • Hi Alice, I am not an authority on senior assisted living, but it is my understanding that independent living status is a biomarker for assisted living communities. In my own search, I told each of them that I have Parkinson’s disease and asked if it was going to make a difference in being accepted into their living situations. Each of the independent living places I asked said that having Parkinson’s is not the deciding factor on getting accepted, it is where you are with it that matters. The ability to get through the day without assistance is important for independent living. The degree to which you need help is important if you’re looking at assisted living. Skilled nursing will need to know what kind of special help you need. If you wait too long, you won’t be as independent, and you’ll need more help. In your application, they’ll rely on your doctor’s report. You might call into A Place for Mom, a privately held, for-profit senior care referral service that might give you some free advice.888-844-1632.

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