Assisted Living Monthly Service Fee Incentive

Prioritizing Total Wellness: Five Questions to Ask when Choosing an Assisted Living Community

Life-changing decisions are fraught with stress and emotion, and choosing an assisted living community for yourself or someone you love is no different.

Many communities look similar on the surface. Their brochures boast of essentials like comfortable apartments, quality dining, convenient transportation, high staff-to-resident ratio and look-alike amenities. Not to say those aren’t important, but not all communities are equally equipped or committed to nurturing every person’s mind, body and spirit. Communities that do prioritize the total wellness of their residents offer a key point of differentiation.

To help determine the right fit for your loved one, here are five total wellness questions to ask when considering an assisted living community.

1. How does your community promote the benefits of physical wellness in assisted living?

A sedentary lifestyle can contribute to depression, heart disease and other chronic health concerns. As you consider assisted living communities, be sure to ask whether they offer tailored senior wellness programs that cater to different abilities and mobility levels. For example, activities such as weight training with light weights, chair exercises and walking groups can go a long way toward improving strength, flexibility and balance. They also promote the benefits of social connections for seniors.

You’ll find an abundance of engaging activities for seniors at Westerwood Assisted Living in Columbus, OH. Our robust programs include yoga, tai chi, Pilates and nutritional counseling, all of which promote the benefits of physical wellness in assisted living. And our 23-acre wooded campus is graced with beautiful gardens, walker-friendly trails and comfortable benches for taking in the fresh air and sunshine.

Plus, it’s a comfort to know that a full continuum of skilled nursing and long-term care is always available at our on-site health center, should the need arise. Our health center is also a familiar, supportive place where your loved one can receive rehabilitative care or physical therapy after an illness, surgery or hospitalization.

2. How does your community build social connections among seniors?

People are naturally interactive beings, and the benefits of social connections for seniors include better physical and mental health. That’s why it’s so important to get a sense of how an assisted living community provides a support system of family, friends, peers and professionals.

It starts with the people who will become your loved one’s new neighbors and caregivers. When you’re touring an assisted living community, ask to meet a few residents and chat with them about their daily life. What’s a typical day like? How friendly are the residents and staff? And what social enrichment opportunities for seniors are available?

By the way, we think you’ll be delighted with the answers you receive at Westerwood, because our life-enrichment programming and social events are driven by our residents with support from our energetic, well-trained team members, many of whom have been with us for years.

3. Does your approach to environmental wellness go beyond safety?

Safety at assisted living communities is always a major concern. When you’re touring a community, it’s important to ask about the steps they take to foster comfort and safety. For example:

  • What safety features, such as handrails and zero-threshold showers, are built into each residence?
  • Are accessibility features like wheelchair ramps, elevators and stair lifts located throughout the community?
  • Do common areas feature uplifting colors, art and comfortable furniture?
  • How often are the common areas cleaned and the grounds maintained?
  • Is the community inspected regularly and what’s the most recent rating?


But safety is only part of the story. Environmental wellness also means helping your loved one live in harmony with their surroundings, both indoors and out. At Westerwood, our assisted living suites and common areas feature easy-to-navigate open-concept floor plans with plentiful windows to create bright, airy spaces.

Outdoors, our pet-friendly patio gardens set the scene for reading or relaxing with family and friends. And our tranquil Friendship Woods, which was designed for accessibility, draws residents from every corner of our community to enjoy the birds, deer and other natural wonders.

4. Are your activities engaging, enriching and fun?

Most assisted living communities provide a monthly calendar of engaging activities for seniors to help residents maintain a sense of intellectual and occupational wellness through meaningful pursuits. Take a close look at these calendars, because they’ll give you a glimpse into how well the community accommodates resident interests while offering opportunities for growth.

When choosing an assisted living community, also remember to ask staff members which types of activities are popular. Gardening, arts and crafts and woodworking are all great sources of engagement and satisfaction, but it’s also important to make sure the community offers a wide variety of enrichment opportunities that foster purpose and promote the benefits of social connections for seniors.

Westerwood, for example, maintains strong ties with Otterbein University’s lifelong learning program, which features courses and lectures on diverse topics like social media, senior wellness and hazardous waste management. As part of our commitment to lifelong learning, our Life Enrichment staff also organizes more than 120 on-site concerts, art events, performances and lectures every year.

5. How does your community tend to the emotional well-being of its residents?

It’s not always easy for a loved one to sort through their emotions after making a big life change like choosing an assisted living community. That’s why it’s critical to seek out a community that places a heavy emphasis on all aspects of emotional health.

Emotional health means more than simply promoting positive thinking. It’s about finding ways to help your loved one reflect on their feelings and practice self-care so they can reduce stress and approach difficult situations with resilience. Studies even suggest that emotional wellness can help speed recovery from strokes, surgeries and other health issues.

Here at Westerwood, we offer a variety of senior emotional wellness programs that amplify independence, peace of mind and enjoyment every day. These programs include our in-house social worker, support groups, one-on-one counseling and religious services. Together, they empower your loved one to stay grounded, happy and balanced.

Still have questions about choosing an assisted living community? We’re here to help

At Westerwood Assisted Living in Columbus, OH, we have a saying: Our campus is your canvas. We recognize that each person is unique, which is why we personalize our total wellness services so your loved one can live each day with purpose.

From financial facts to questions about safety, medical care, amenities and socialization, our consultants can put your mind at ease and help your family chart the best course forward. To schedule a tour, call (614) 890-8282.

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We’d love to send you more information about us or answer any questions you have. The more you learn about Westerwood, the more you’ll want it to become your new home!

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