Questions to Ask When Choosing an Assisted Living Community

It’s natural to feel a little overwhelmed when choosing a senior living community for yourself or a loved one. Who could blame you? There’s plenty to think about and many options, especially in Charlottesville!

When inquiring about senior living communities, these questions will help you find the right fit. We’ll answer each for the Linden House Assisted Living community, and you’ll see how the answers can help you make your choice—and picture life in your future home.

What would my home be like?

Linden House Bedroom

At Linden House, we have a variety of studios and 1- and 2-bedroom apartments. They range between 570 and 990 square feet, and all of them are light-filled and spacious, with 10-foot ceilings.

Each assisted living apartment has a kitchenette with a refrigerator, freezer, and microwave. Overall, the rooms are comfortable and calm, with all the features you need for peace of mind. For instance, the shower has safety bars, and there are emergency pull cords in each room, to supplement your personal safety pendant and set your mind at ease about any falls.

Your room is a place of beauty and comfort, perfect for resting or hosting guests. Of course, with all the activities and opportunities available, your room might not get much use when you’re awake!

What activities are there? What will there be to do?

There’s so much to do at Linden House that we can’t really cover it in one or two paragraphs. So instead we’ll give you an overview of the types of activities, along with examples for each.

  • Bodies in motion: yoga, group cardio exercises, dance classes
  • Group arts and crafts: painting, writing, needlework, knitting
  • Social games: poker and bridge foursomes, Scrabble, bingo, cornhole
  • Regular events: Movie nights, social group get togethers, visits from therapy dogs and the bookmobile from Jefferson Madison Regional Library
  • Outings: field trips, happy hours, musical performances, cultural outings

 Playing cards around the table, one of many activities

On our activities page you can take a peek at the current Linden House social calendar for a glimpse of what’s going on each day this month.

How’s the food?

Dining at Linden House

Good food makes for good health. It’s also an essential part of life’s daily pleasures. At Linden House we’re proud to make delicious, seasonal food from scratch.

Each meal presents plentiful and tasty options. At breakfast, you might have blueberry pancakes, bacon and eggs with assorted fruit, or hot cereal. At dinner you might choose between harvest vegetable soup and a garden salad, a corned beef sandwich with homemade pickles, or a fresh-made pizza Margherita.

At every meal, you’ll always have vegetarian and gluten free options. And our cooks love trying out residents’ own recipes.

As for the dining room, it has a restaurant atmosphere, complete with table service. You can dine al fresco on the patio, or beside the fireplace, or by a window with a scenic garden view.

Finally, we can also prepare food for cookouts and deliveries, if you prefer to take a meal in your room or elsewhere in the community.

How do payments work?

Assisted living means full-time access to care and assistance, plus housing, organized activities, and all the other perks of the community. Understandably, assisted living is an investment, and figuring out the finances is an important part of your decision. We’ll outline some important points related to payments.

When you come to live at Linden House, there’s a small one-time community fee, and then a monthly rent payment. Rent is payable by direct deposit, credit card, or check, whichever works best for you and your family.

The rental rate will vary depending on whether you have a studio, a 1-bedroom, or a 2-bedroom apartment, and it covers a whole host of services (see our next answer.) While we call it a rental rate, it’s really a monthly ‘everything payment.’ For the current Linden House rates for specific housing options, please get in touch.

Many communities will offer a “discounted” rate that unfortunately expires quickly. When you inquire about current rates, be sure to find out what the standard, long-term rate is, so that you’re not led to believe a temporary discount rate is what you would be paying long-term.

What services are included with rent?

All of the following are included at Linden House, with no extra charge:

  • All meals and food
  • Activities
  • Amenities (theater, exercise spaces, lounges, etc.)
  • Daily bed making
  • Transportation
  • Weekly housekeeping and linen and towel services

Mr. Pippin with the Genesis Rehab and Linden House Assisted Living team

The following are optional add-ons which will cost a little more:

  • Pet care
  • Salons
  • Physical therapy
  • Medication assistance
  • Personal laundry service

What happens if my care needs change?

It’s natural to think ahead. Moving into an assisted living community is a big change, and most residents, especially once they make the transition into a new community, aren’t eager to consider having to leave it and make yet another big change.

Assisted Living at Linden House is part of the broader Branchlands Senior Living community. Because Branchlands offers independent living, assisted living, and memory care options, changes in mental and health capacity rarely require a move outside the community.

Here, if residents’ needs increase, the provided levels of care can increase to cover them.

How do you prioritize resident safety?

Friends chatting in Manor House courtyard

While we’re located in a very safe, quiet part of Charlottesville, we still take safety seriously. This begins with thoughtful design, such as the architectural choices which minimize fall risks. We also lock our doors outside of visiting hours, and our lobby is always staffed.

Our memory care area has a keypad entry, and our full-time nursing staff are always on call to take care of any health issues which arise.

All the wonderful activities and perks of a community can only be enjoyed if residents feel totally secure in their safety and comfort. At Linden House we understand this, and we make sure you have complete peace of mind.

Can my friends and family visit?

Dining with the grandkids when they visit

Absolutely! We encourage visits. Your friends and family can join you for a meal in the dining room or out on the patio. They can make use of all the common spaces, participate in Linden House activities with you, and even stay overnight in your room.

For visitors who aren’t staying overnight, visiting hours are between 8 AM and 8 PM. Otherwise, there are no restrictions on your visitors.

As for your furry family member, not only can she visit you, but she can also move in with you! As a resident, Linden House is your home, and that means we make room for your pet. For a small pet care fee, staff will also help take care of this important member of your family.

One last family-related topic to mention: couples can share an apartment at Linden House. Whether your partner also needs assisted living services, or is more independent, both of you can make Linden House your new home.

Choosing the perfect fit

The best way to get a sense of an assisted living community is to visit. If you receive the answers to these questions over phone or email (or from a blog!), you’ll want to take the next step: schedule a visit and see it for yourself.

While you’re there, take the chance to talk to current residents and get the inside scoop. Then you can feel truly confident about choosing the perfect fit for you.