If you’re starting your senior living search, it can seem overwhelming. There are so many types of communities, and so many options within each senior living community that you may wonder where to start. And how you will ever make an informed choice? We can help with that. It’s simpler than you think really because it all starts with asking yourself or your loved one the three questions below.
What do you need in a senior living community?
First, take some time to honestly assess where things stand now at home; this can help you pinpoint areas in which you or your loved one may need additional support, and from, there you can narrow down the type of senior living community which would be the best fit. To do so, ask yourself these questions:
- Do you or your loved one have health issues or concerns?
- Are chronic conditions becoming harder to manage?
- Do you or your loved one have cognitive challenges or concerns?
- Do you have concerns about falling at home or other safety issues there?
- Do you or your loved one have mobility challenges?
- Can you or your loved one still perform daily activities and tasks independently?
- Can you or your loved one still maintain the house and/or yard?
- Do you worry about nutrition and/or is it becoming more difficult for you or your loved one to prepare healthy, fresh meals?
- Do you worry about you or your loved one managing medication without errors?
- Has driving becoming more of a challenge for you or your loved one?
What do you want from a senior living community?
Next in your senior living search, consider what you or your loved one want out of the experience. Beyond the type of community, this will help you narrow down the features, services, and amenities to be on the lookout for as well as the vibe of the community – relaxed, active, etc. These questions can give you a start:
- Would you or your loved one like to have more social opportunities?
- Do you or your loved one have as many active friendships as you’d like?
- Would you or your loved one like to spend more time pursuing hobbies?
- Are you or your loved one seeking more purpose in life?
- Would you or your loved one like to have more opportunities to try new things?
- Would you like to be free of the responsibilities of home ownership like maintenance, housekeeping, and yard work?
What are your priorities in the senior living search?
Lastly, now that you have a good understanding of what you need and want in a community, it’s time to prioritize what’s most important in your senior living search. Much like when buying a home, it’s nearly impossible to find the perfect community with every option you want, nothing you don’t, and that is in your price range. But you can get close! We recommend using these categories to prioritize.
- Must-haves – This could be outdoor space, a private residence, a pet-friendly community, and/or having someone else take care of the cooking, daily chores, along with home maintenance.
- Preferences – This could be staying in the same part of town, being near a park or within walking distance to shopping and dining. Other preferences in your senior living search might include having a 24-hour fitness center and an onsite beauty salon.
- Nice-to-haves – This category might include things like: concierge services, a spa, private transportation, multiple dining venues, and/or an onsite pool; things that you don’t really need but might put one community ahead of another if available.