an online resource for baby boomers

Assisted Living for the Baby Boomer Generation

Assisted living facilities provide services to people in need of assistance with Activities of Daily Living (termed “ADLs”), who wish to live as independent and high functioning as possible. Selecting an assisted living community can be one of the most difficult decisions you’ll ever make for yourself or a loved one. Fortunately, there are many resources and websites available to provide guidance and checklists of qualities to look for in a facility.

But what if you’re a baby boomer who currently needs to choose an assisted living community for yourself? What do you look for specific to your age group, personal interests, medical, therapeutic and social needs?

Many assisted living facilities have an age limit, and do not accept younger adults. So that will be the first thing to check in order to narrow down your list of possible options. Then, begin to compare your choices with a basic assisted living checklist, appropriate for all age groups (items such as the staff/resident ratio, building maintenance, apartment amenities, meals, etc.) This can easily be obtained through an Internet search. However, it will be difficult to find such explicit information for a baby boomer.

For the purpose of this article, an informal focus group was held, consisting of nine baby boomers who currently live at Bridgeway Pointe, a multi-generational assisted living community in Cincinnati. This group was made up of men and women with varying socio-economic backgrounds. The purpose was to solicit the advice of these residents, based on their own experiences, to see what they would recommend to other “boomers” as they assess and choose an assisted living facility. The think tank session, which became a lively discussion, was quite enlightening.

The top of the list: Although assisted living facilities often highlight their new amenities, landscaping and beautiful buildings as their most main features, the baby boomers we talked with focused on the relationships within the building as being the most important attribute. They all agreed that it was important to live near and be connected to others in their same age group, and they all liked being with the older adults, as well. One woman commented that the friendships between the baby boomers and older adults is vital, stating, “We’re all part of the circle of life.”

Besides the obvious search for exceptional care, other items and suggestions for a baby boomer assisted living checklist included:

Remember, there is no “right” choice for everyone. As you consider this list, be sure to take inventory of the relevant issues and lifestyle that is important to you. The ultimate goal is to choose a community that will help optimize your life.

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Boomers Resource Guide is a special supplement to the Senior Citizen's Guide