How to Prioritize Your Needs and Wants for Senior Living

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You’ve decided on a move to senior living for yourself or your loved one; now all that’s left is to choose a community, right? Not so fast! While we applaud you taking such a big step and know senior living will benefit your family tremendously; actually, the first thing you should do is to take a step back. You see, there are so many senior living features that the choices can become overwhelming if you haven’t prioritized your needs and wants before looking at communities. Here’s how to do just that so you can find the perfect fit.

Choosing the right senior living community

Start with Your Needs

What prompted you to consider senior living? Was it a health concern? Tired of cooking, cleaning, and home upkeep? Now living alone and want more social interaction? It could be any number of reasons and that’s where this checklist comes in. By assessing your current situation at home, you’ll be able to more easily prioritize what you need in senior living.

Health issues or concerns
Mobility challenges
Cognitive challenges
Challenges performing daily activities independently
Concerns about maintaining house and/or yard
Concerns about proper nutrition and/or preparing meals independently
Concerns about medication management
Transportation challenges and/or driving concerns
Safety issues in the home
Would benefit from more social opportunities
Would like to find a new hobby or learn something new

Find Your Type

You may not realize that there are actually different types of senior living. Think of it like a continuum with levels of care based on specific needs. Now that you’ve identified your needs, it’s easier to narrow your search by finding the type of community that fits them best:

  • Independent Living – A lifestyle choice for seniors who don’t typically require daily assistance, but rather are looking for ways to stay active with more social, fitness and enrichment opportunities than they may have at home as well as freedom from the hassles of chores and home upkeep. Not to mention resort-like amenities such as a pool, fitness center, restaurant-style dining, salon, and even concierge services.
  • Assisted Living – Here you’ll find a similar lifestyle with many of the same conveniences and amenities as above, yet assisted living also provides personalized care and support with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, and medication management. It’s an environment designed to provide just the right amount of assistance to empower independence and help residents enjoy an engaging, purposeful life.
  • Memory Care – This type of senior living is exclusively for those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Team members are specially trained in memory care and provide onsite support 24/7 as well as therapy, activities, and social opportunities that fit each resident’s cognitive abilities. It’s all in a secure yet comfortable and calming environment that’s easy for residents to navigate.

The Senior Living Features You Really Want

When it comes to senior living features, it’s like house-hunting in a way. The options are endless, but to save your budget and your sanity, the best approach is to identify your wants that are non-negotiable and those that are simply nice-to-have. Basics like meals, housekeeping, maintenance, group transportation, and activities will typically already be included in the monthly fee, but this checklist can get you started with some of the most popular features in senior living.

FeaturesNon-NegotiableNice-to-HaveNot Sure
• Private accommodations
• Washer/dryer in apartment
• Full kitchen
• Balcony or patio
• Ample storage
• Other:
• Multiple dining venues
• Outdoor spaces/walking paths
• Busy social calendar
• Offsite outings
• Range of enrichment opportunities
• Spa service
• Pet friendly
• Common areas to host family/friends
• Other:
• 24-hour onsite care
• Onsite medical
• Onsite rehabilitation
• Special diets
• Fitness center/classes
• Pool
• Other:
• Emergency Call Technology
• Keypad Entry/Exit
• Emergency Preparedness Plan
• Other:

Now that you’ve prioritized what’s most important for you or your loved one, you’re ready to research senior living communities. To get started, check out our Complete Guide to Choosing Between Senior Living Options. Or, contact us today to schedule your virtual tour!