There are many factors that may affect when you decide to live at an assisted living facility and which assisted living facility you choose to live in. Your medical needs, your level of independence, and the general atmosphere of the facility should all be primary factors. However, one important aspect that you might fail to consider is what type of transportation the facility you are considering offers. Below are five issues regarding transportation that you should be sure to ask about before committing to an assisted living facility.
Is Your Health Care Provider Within the Standard Transportation Radius?
Most assisted living facilities offer free transportation to medical appointments within a certain radius from the living facility. It's important that your primary physician and any specialists that you see regularly are within this radius. Otherwise, arranging transportation to medical appointments outside of this radius may cost significantly more each month, and you may be limited in which days you are able to arrange transportation to these more distant appointments.
Even if you do not currently have regular appointments, it is important to select a facility near your primary physician in case your medical needs increase in the future.
Do Your Appointments Coincide With the Transportation Schedule?
Many facilities only offer transportation to medical appointments at certain times or on certain days. These allows the facility to offer regular transportation to non-medical appointments and events as well. If you have a current schedule for visiting your doctor, make sure that it fits into the facility's transportation schedule or be prepared to change your regular appointments with your doctor.
What are the Costs Associated With Unscheduled Transportation?
While most facilities are flexible regarding their transportation services, unscheduled transportation may have extra fees. This may include appointments that fall outside of the facility's transportation schedule as well as emergency transportation needs. It is important to know what theses services will cost and whether you will be able to afford the occasional unscheduled transportation service while you are living there.
What Non-medical Trips Does the Facility Offer?
One of the reasons many facilities are strict about their transportation schedule is because they offer regular non-medical transportation to residents. For example, your facility may offer weekly shopping trips or fun field trips. These can include trips to natural settings, trips to local universities or colleges for classes, or excursions to sporting events. It is important to choose a facility that offers transportation to events and places that you are interested in going to.
It is also important to choose a facility that can support your interest and participation in outside activities. For instance, it may be important to you to attend weekly services at your current place of worship or attend a weekly bridge game with friends outside of the facility. You should look for a facility with a flexible transportation schedule that can accommodate these activities.
Is Personal Transportation Supported?
If you are still able to drive yourself or are comfortable taking public transportation, it is important to select a facility that supports or encourages these modes of transportation. For example, you may want a facility with a large parking garage if you intend to keep your vehicle at the facility.
Transportation may not be your first concern when you are looking for an assisted living facility. However, to maintain your independence and enjoy the world around you, it is important that you find a facility with a flexible and supportive transportation program that offers transportation to the areas you normally go to on a regular basis.
Be sure to contact several assisted living facilities, such as Grace Assisted Living, to gather more information on each and weigh your options.