Seeing is believing- right? That’s why for most big purchases, we like to try before we buy: so to speak. You test drive a car. Go to open houses, tour college campuses, visit a furniture showroom to see which couches are most comfortable. The list could go on, and senior living is no different.
Realistically you likely can’t visit every senior living community you want to consider, especially if you live in a large city with a range of options; this is why you need to narrow your list. The best way to do that is by researching senior living online first. Here’s what you need to know to make your search the most productive.
- Understand your options – Many people don’t realize that there is more than one type of senior living. Options include active adult living, independent living, assisted living, and memory care. It’s important to identify which is the best fit for you before looking at communities because not all of them offer each type of senior living. Learn more about the types of senior living in our previous blog.
- Be specific when researching senior living online – With so many senior living options out there it’s important to be specific right off the bat. We recommend you search by the type of senior living (active adult living, independent living, assisted living, or memory care) that you determined fits best and your preferred location. For example, “assisted living in the city, state.”
- Look closely at community websites – Head to the senior living community websites that come up based on your search. Make sure to check out- not only their services and amenities, but also their videos, image galleries, activity calendars, and floor plans. Many will also have other resources available such as financial calculators, self-guided assessments, how-to guides, and even blogs like these to help you in researching senior living.
- Follow them on social media – You’ll find that most senior living communities are active on social media. This is where you’ll get a true sense of their personality, and what daily life is like for the residents there, so following the senior living communities you are interested in is a must.
- Consider online reviews, too – In researching senior living, don’t forget about online reviews. But, remember to consider them with a grain of salt in gauging the reputation of the communities you’re considering as you don’t want to base a decision on that alone, but rather as a piece of the overall picture.
Once you’ve completed researching senior living online, ideally, you’ve found two to three communities in which you’d like to tour. Most senior living communities now have the option to tour online or in person. Either way, you can schedule your tour by contacting the communities directly or scheduling through their website. Then, you’ll answer a few questions so the team can gain an understanding of your needs to personalize the tour experience.
For more information about researching senior living communities, download our Choosing a Senior Living Community Guide.