What to Look for When Searching for Assisted Living in CT

What to Look for When Searching for Assisted Living in CT

In the state of Connecticut, seniors account for nearly 18 percent of the population, according to Caring.com. Accordingly, recent surveys indicate an abundance of assisted living communities throughout the state with numbers ranging from approximately 100-300 locations, including Arbors of Hop Brook –  a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in Manchester, CT and catering to seniors in the surrounding communities. So, how do you know which one to choose? As you search for assisted living communities in CT or in another location near you, the following factors can help you refine your list of potential communities.

4 Factors to Assess During Your CT Assisted Living Search

While you may first look for assisted living near you or a loved one, location isn’t the only detail that may impact your final decision. Importantly, there are other major aspects to consider, such as the available levels of medical care, cost, size and services when evaluating assisted living communities.

1. Level of Medical Care Provided

As you assess the offerings available at the various assisted living communities in CT, be sure to account for current medical needs and anticipate the care, services, and support that may be needed in the future. If you aren’t sure where to begin, A Place for Mom.com has created a guide to senior care planning that may help you with this process.

With a clear understanding of these medical needs in mind, search for a community that will be able to accommodate them. Although most assisted living communities provide some level of medical care, the extent of their services and amenities will vary.

  • Low level of care: For residents who need minimal assistance, communities that offer this level of care may be perfect. In these locations, most individuals can still get around on their own either by walking or using a walker or wheelchair. While they may need some assistance with activities of daily living like housekeeping or transportation and may benefit from assistance with medications, they do not require complex or continuous medical monitoring.
  • High level of care: In CT and in other locations across the country, assisted living communities that offer a high level of care are intended for individuals who need more hands-on support and supervision. From mobility support to assistance with bathing and dressing to navigating memory loss, residents in these communities may need greater monitoring of their medications, health conditions, wellness and safety.
  • Memory care: These services may be available in some assisted living communities. For residents experiencing dementia or Alzheimer’s or who are concerned about this possibility, choosing a comprehensive care community that can facilitate memory care may be the best choice.

2. Cost

For some individuals, choosing an assisted living community may come down to cost. According to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of assisted living in Connecticut in 2024 is $5,605/month, although this price tag may vary depending on available services and specific locations throughout the state. For example, a higher level of care typically means a more expensive monthly bill. Memory care or ongoing rehabilitation and therapy, for instance, may cost double or even triple the average assisted living cost.

For those looking for supplemental insurance or other financial support as part of their senior care planning, here are some financial assistance options:

  • Veteran’s benefits: As per the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans who receive a VA pension and have one of the designated conditions may be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit, a monthly cash allowance that veterans receive in addition to their standard pension amount.
  • Long-term care insurance: Seniors who already have long-term care insurance may be able to use it to pay for assisted living.
  • Reverse mortgages: Seniors who own a home may be able to use a reverse mortgage to help pay assisted living costs.

3. Size

From only four beds to as many as 500 residences of multiple styles and layouts, the size of assisted living communities can vary greatly. Like cost, size can also significantly impact the scope of care and support services, the number of available senior activities, and other community considerations.

  • Staff-to-resident ratio: Why is this ratio important? From daily wellness check-ins to medication management, having more staff members usually means that residents are more likely to receive greater consistency and frequency of care and attention. Especially if you or your loved one needs a higher level of care, this detail may be particularly important to you.
  • Available services and amenities: Larger communities are more likely to offer additional services and amenities like massage therapy, beauty salons, or specialized memory care units. Since social engagement and activity participation also support senior health, don’t forget to check out the community calendar or otherwise ask about programming or spaces for crafts or hobbies.
  • The overall “feel”: Smaller communities may have a sort of “bed and breakfast” feel to them, whereas larger facilities may have more of a larger hotel atmosphere. In choosing an assisted living location in CT or anywhere else, being comfortable in the next place that you call home is key!

4. Services

In addition to your in-depth assessment of medical care offerings, make sure that you also look into the included or optional services that are provided for free or for an extra fee. The typical assisted living community offers dining services, housekeeping, exercise and wellness programs, and medication management support. Based on what you or your loved one enjoys, consider asking about services like transportation to a local store or friend’s house, as well as on-site or off-site events, coordinated by the assisted living community’s staff. From art and pet therapy to computer rooms and garden beds, knowing as much as possible about what each assisted living community on your list offers can help you make the right choice for you!

For More Help Finding the Right Assisted Living in CT

For more help finding an assisted living community in Connecticut, consider these resources:

  • SeniorLiving.org: They offer a search option where you can input your zip code and receive a list of assisted living communities near you. They also offer search options for finding communities suitable for residents who may be blind, deaf, or disabled, or who may have suffered from a stroke or Parkinson’s disease.
  • AssistedLiving.org: This website provides another online directory that you can use to find assisted living near you. Start with your zip code and then further narrow your search by finance options, property specifics, amenities, health services, or activities.
  • PayingforSeniorCare.com: In partnership with Caring.com, access personalized care assistance that can help guide and match you or a loved one with screened, available, and affordable assisted living.
  • SeniorHomes.com: Search for assisted living in CT by popular location or find communities by city/state or zip code. You can also fill out a form and be connected with a family advisor, who can assist you with your search.
  • Caring.com: Here, you’ll find a list of communities with multiple search filters, as well as other helpful information about assisted living in CT.

As a CCRC, Arbors of Hop Brook offers several levels of care – including independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, and often memory care – on the same campus. As such, you or your loved one can transition easily between levels of care as needed without leaving the place that has become home. To learn more about our assisted living community in CT, schedule an in-person tour, access our floor plans and virtual tour experience, or call (860) 467-0651 to speak with one of our team members. We look forward to connecting with you soon and welcoming you into our community, once you learn all that Arbors of Hop Brook has to offer you!

Common FAQs About Assisted Living Facilities

How do assisted living facilities in Connecticut cater to residents with specific dietary needs or preferences?

Experienced assisted living facilities take dietary needs seriously, with chefs and nutritionists often working together to create meals that are not only nutritious but also cater to various health conditions like diabetes or heart disease. They also consider personal preferences, offering vegetarian or culturally specific options. 

What types of social and recreational activities are typically available in Connecticut assisted living communities, and how do they cater to different interests and abilities?

Assisted living facilities typically provide a diverse range of options for social and recreational activities. Based on the amenities and property landscape, then everything from gardening and yoga to book clubs and painting classes may be available. It is important to ask the staff, along with the residents, about these programs to ensure they match your general interests and physical abilities. 

How do assisted living communities in Connecticut support the emotional and mental health of their residents, particularly those who may be adjusting to a significant lifestyle change?

To address mental and emotional health, quality assisted living communities offer some sort of counseling services, support groups, and programs designed to ease the transition into assisted living, fostering a sense of belonging and mental well-being. To ensure the facility offers programs that meet your needs, then ask the staff and residents while touring the community.