55 Plus Senior Living Communities South Florida

55 Plus Senior Living Communites 55 Plus Senior Living in South Florida is always expanding and new places opening.  Currently there are a little over a million beds available between Independent, Assisted, Memory Care, Group Homes and Nursing Home Living Facilities in the United States. Do the math, with ten thousand baby boomers currently turning 65 daily and people living into their 90s, well we will need more Senior Living communities. People living with Alzheimer’s disease in the U.S. number over 5 million so when the Boomers reach their eighties, something will have to change. Hopefully, and it is a big hope, science will save us with either a way to slow down or even cure Alzheimer’s or other dementias. Since there are so many retirees in Florida, we have lots of choices of 55 Plus Senior Living  communities and facilities. Prices range from two to about fourteen thousand dollars a month. The range covers level of care, from lower end to high end accommodations and services. In the Northeast, prices are even higher.

Levels of Care

Independent Living (Facilities – ILF) communities offer a communal meal (or 2), housekeeping and lots of activates. You rent or buy in an apartment and go about your life.

Assisted Living Facilities (ALF) offer more services such as twice or three times a week showering assistance, generally 3 meals a day, medications management, laundry and housekeeping services and of course lots of activities.  A licensed Nurse is on site. Always look at what is included in monthly rent and what services are “add on” packages. Memory Care and Group Homes tend to be specific for Memory Care and have a higher classification and staff to resident ratio and training.  You can expect to pay around $3000 or so a month for a nice ALF in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Nursing Home Care is the highest level and to even be considered as qualifying for a Nursing Home, you or an elderly loved one will require 24 hour nursing care.

Each place and type of 55 Plus community has rules to follow as part of their particular license and may vary on some of their qualifiers for admission – such as use of a scooter or wheelchair, continence care and so forth.

You may also consider a Continuing Care Residential Community (CCRC) is a “buy in”. You move into the community at one level of need and are covered for the rest of your life as your needs change, you move to the next level of care or into rehab.  You pay an upfront amount and then monthly maintenance.

Who are the Players?

There are privately owned facilities or communities and many regional and national players. The newest company to come to South Florida is Sonata Senior Living. Currently, they are in central and northern Florida but have bought four properties from Brookdale Senior Living: Brookdale Boca, Brookdale Delray, Brookdale Boynton, and Brookdale Coconut Creek.  Other players are Holiday Retirement, Sunrise Senior Living, Five Star Premier Residences, LifeSpace Communities, and ACTS Retirement-Life Communities among others. The Jewish Federation has opened its own senior community and there is of course the high end, Morse Life.

How to Choose the Right Community?

The Internet is a great help in looking at various 55 Plus Senior Living Communities and the parent companies. There are many Placement Specialists who will meet with you, assess needs and your wishes, narrow down the search of places to visit, and even take you to look – at no fee to you. If you choose a place they showed you, the Residence pays their fee. Another handy tool is New lifeStyles- The Source for Senior Living. They are all over the country and breakdown each type of care and community with all the contact information. Look them up at www.NewLifeStyles.com.

In Florida, one of the first questions is whether to remain in Florida or return north where a family is likely more plentiful. Each person must decide first where they wish to reside, then the level of care/assistance needed and then the amenities and type of “crowd” they are most comfortable with. Some places are more formal than others.  Always make an appointment for the first meeting and tour. You will not “surprise” them by showing up but you may not get the tour or time of the sales representative.  Make no mistake, today you are met by salespeople.  Once you have narrowed down the search and feel you have found your new “home” or residence, and then you can visit at mealtimes, evenings, and weekends to get a fuller opinion of the property.

This is a move, a change of locale, in some ways like past moves and in other ways, unlike any past moves. Some properties will allow you to move in for a trial period. Most places are month to month, but know that each company has its own protocols and ways of working.

55 Plus Senior Living in South Florida offers many choices and considerations. Nothing is written in stone so if you are unhappy with your choice or things change, you can relocate. It is recommended to have your attorney look over any lease or Agreement you will have to sign. Prior to making such a move, a hired caregiver in the home will assist with safety, hygiene, nutrition, medication compliance, transportation, and respite time for the spousal caregiver. Home Care buys you time before the move.