Stairs Or No Stairs? Thinking Ahead When Looking At Senior Apartments
Moving into a senior apartment complex raises a number of questions that you wouldn't have normally thought about when moving in your younger years. One of these is living upstairs and taking the stairs. While many senior complexes have elevators, if there's a power outage when you're upstairs, then taking the elevator isn't an option. This may seem like a strange question now if you're currently able to take stairs easily. But if you're looking for a place where you can live as you get older, stairs are a legitimate topic of discussion.
Do You Worry About Stairs Becoming More Difficult as You Age?
First, if you do worry about stairs becoming more difficult as you age, and no ground-level apartments are available at the complex you're considering, you may want to think twice about moving there, at least for now. One option is to wait, if you have that luxury, for a ground-level apartment to open up. The other option is to ask whether you can be given priority to move to an open ground-floor unit if you're living upstairs and begin to have mobility issues. It shouldn't be an issue to transfer to a ground-floor apartment in general, but if you really begin to have trouble and don't feel comfortable relying on the elevator, you would want to move as soon as possible. If the complex has a waiting list, that could delay your move for a long time unless you could be given priority on a medical basis. Note that not every complex will be able to do that, by the way.
Where Are the Ramps on the Property?
Many apartment complexes have a sort of split-level property, where you might encounter flights of two or three steps as you walk along a pathway, say, to the mailboxes. There has to be a way around these steps for those tenants who use wheelchairs or have other mobility issues. Look at where the non-step pathways are. Are they easy to access and don't take you too far out of your way? Or are they placed farther away from the main path, requiring you to spend more time when you try to move around the complex?
What Do the Neighbors Say About the Elevator?
If you get a chance, speak with some neighbors living in the complex. Find out what they say about the elevator. If there are several elevators and most are usually working, that's great. But if there's one, and it breaks down every few weeks, that's a sign you'll want to avoid upstairs apartments in that complex if you still decide to live there.
Senior complexes are built to accommodate people who may not have full mobility, but not every complex will be one you think will work for you. By keeping the stairs and steps in mind, you can find a complex that has enough options to let you live there for years without it becoming hard for you to get in and out of your apartment.
For more information, visit senior living apartments near you.