One of the more innovative choices of late is joining a membership program that acts as a virtual retirement community. Seniors continue living independently in their own homes, while accessing services and supports from a team of professionals, usually tied to a reputable continuing care retirement community.
But not all of these membership programs are created equal. Here are some things to consider when shopping for a membership program.
Reputation – Find out if the agency or organization has a strong community presence and positive reputation.
Customer Satisfaction – Be sure to talk with current members and let them share their experiences. They can give you first-hand knowledge of the way a program works when needs arise.
Flexibility – In order to serve the various and ever-changing needs of seniors, a supportive service provider must have the flexibility to adjust and provide personalized care based on your unique needs.
Care Coordination – A good caregiving organization should become a partner that walks beside you and allows you to maintain control. It is important to understand the process your supportive services follow when care coordination is necessary.
Socialization – Socialization is an important key to living a full and healthy life. Membership/support programs should offer a variety of options to keep you engaged.
Health/Wellness – A vibrant health and wellness program will contribute to your physical and mental health and often provides the added benefit of socialization, too!
Individualized Care – Membership programs should have a team of people who know you, not only from a medical perspective, but also from a personal perspective. This helps to build trust between the member and their caregivers.
Personal Assistance – Your membership program should be the “go to” resource for health and daily living advice and assistance. If they don’t have the answers, they should be willing to refer you to someone that does.
Long-Term Care Options – As we age our needs can change. Choose an organization that has a relationship with reputable and vibrant long-term care options. If your plans to stay at home change for some unforeseen reason, this makes a transition much easier.
Cost Commitment – Be sure you understand all the costs involved in a membership program. You will want to be sure you know what is included in your fees. Some programs may not include enough services while others may charge for services that you don’t want or need.
Cancellation – It is always important to understand cancellation policies for any program or service provider. If your needs change you will want to know your options.
Interested in growing older, independently in your own home? Check out the Judson at Home program.