Transitioning from 55+ Community to Assisted Living: 5 Key Questions to Ask

For many, reaching the milestone of retirement marks not the end of an era but the beginning of a new chapter—one filled with the potential for leisure, learning, and a greater pursuit of happiness. And more often than not, retirees look for a 55+ community. However, as we age, our needs evolve, and sometimes, the vibrant 55+ community just isn’t enough. 

Understanding the Difference: 55+ Community vs. Assisted Living

A 55+ community, also known as an active adult community, is a residential development catering to individuals aged 55 years or older who are still able to live independently. These communities, such as The Villages, offer a range of amenities and programs that match the active and healthy lifestyles of its residents. Assisted living, on the other hand, is a residential option for older adults who may need help with activities of daily living (ADLs) yet don’t require the full-time skilled care provided in a nursing home. Assisted living provides a balance of independence and the reassurance of on-site help when needed.

The most significant difference between the two is the level of care provided. While 55+ communities require self-sufficiency, assisted living offers supportive services tailored to individual needs, such as medication management, bathing assistance, and even some medical care under the direction of a registered nurse.

HearthStone at Wildwood offers assisted living in Wildwood, Florida, where you or your family member can build a home where health and happiness are at the center of every day. But is it the right time to make the transition? Here are five questions to ask yourself in order to assess the necessity and readiness for the change.

Do I need assistance with daily activities?

It’s important to reflect on whether tasks that once were effortless, such as bathing, dressing, or managing medications, have become challenging. Assisted living communities offer various levels of support for these activities, providing you with the help you need while respecting your independence.

How often do I feel lonely or isolated?

At HearthStone at Wildwood, we are convinced that connection and community play critical roles in our overall well-being. This is why we provide the Salus™ wellness philosophy with a holistic approach, exceptional dining venues designed for socialization and entertaining visitors, and a schedule of social, educational, and spiritual events where you can cultivate new friendships, learn new skills, and find a new purpose each and every day.

Is my current residence equipped to meet my changing mobility and health needs?

Examine whether your current home can be easily adapted to meet potential future needs, including mobility aids or other modifications. At HearthStone, our assisted living community in Wildwood, Florida, offers wellness packages based on each resident’s situation. We provide assistance with daily living, 24-hour team coverage and health support, emergency response system in each apartment, a state-of-the-art Alis electronic health system (EHR), rehabilitation services provided by trusted agency partners, and many other services ready to meet your wellness needs at all times. 

Am I able to maintain my home without feeling overwhelmed?

Home maintenance can become more challenging as we age. Within assisted living, maintenance worries are taken care of with weekly housekeeping, personal laundry, and linen schedules. This allows you to focus on enjoying life and engaging in programs you love without the stress of home upkeep.

Do I have access to immediate help in case of an emergency?

Evaluate the speed and efficiency with which you could receive assistance during an emergency in your current living situation. At HearthStone at Wildwood, we offer peace of mind with 24-hour support, health monitoring, emergency response systems, visiting physicians and home health providers, and more, providing a sense of security and comfort in knowing help is readily available.

Reasons to Consider Assisted Living

Each of the questions leads to an overall evaluation concerning whether assisted living is the next logical step. Here’s why it could be the right choice for you or a beloved family member:

  1. Enhanced Support and Care Services: From 24-hour support to personalized care plans, assisted living ensures that residents receive the help they need while maintaining as much freedom as possible.
  2. Increased Safety and Security Measures: Assisted living communities are designed with the safety and security of elderly residents in mind, equipped with features like emergency call systems and team members who are trained in elder care and safety.
  3. Socialization Opportunities and Community Engagement: Assisted living communities foster a sense of belonging and provide a wide array of social programs that cater to various interests.
  4. Access to Healthcare Services and Medical Assistance: Assisted living neighborhoods provide easy access to healthcare services, ensuring that medical needs are addressed promptly and effectively.
  5. Improved Lifestyle and Well-being: Through the combination of the aforementioned benefits, assisted living aims to provide a quality of life that supports physical, emotional, spiritual, social, and mental well-being.

55+ communities offer a beautiful stage in continued growth and learning, but when the challenges of daily living become overwhelming, assisted living is a graceful and empowering option to explore. By asking the right questions and seeking transparent information, you or a close relative can make a transition that enriches life’s later years. Schedule a tour at HearthStone at Wildwood, and remember, this move is not a step away from life but a step towards a life with more personalized care, greater safety, and a community designed to celebrate the essence of individuality within a group of supportive peers.

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