The Senior Living Search: Key Questions for Making an Informed Choice

The Senior Living Search

When it comes to healthy aging, quite honestly, there’s a lot to do. You’re supposed to make sure to keep your body active and your brain engaged all while maintaining your social connections as well. Sure, the benefits to your overall well-being are worth the effort, but retirement is supposed to be a time with less responsibility on your plate, right? Well, it turns out that in senior living you can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here’s how programs like our Vivid Life make keeping active, engaged, and connected easy and fun! 

Benefits of Healthy Aging 

Good things happen when you focus on healthy aging. In addition to feeling better overall, which in and of itself is a win, other benefits of keeping active, engaged, and connected include:  

  • Improved ability to do everyday things ​ 
  • Reduced impact of illness and chronic disease​ 
  • Enhanced mobility, flexibility, and balance
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy level
  • Reduced feelings of depression and stress
  • Increased feelings of happiness and self-confidence
  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline 
  • Increased mental adaptability and cognitive reserve 
  • Improved memory recall and problem-solving skills 
  • Improved concentration and attention to detail  

How Senior Living Can Help 

At home, particularly when living alone, it can be hard to stay as active, engaged, and connected as you’d like. From lack of opportunity to lack of motivation to lack of transportation to mobility challenges, and more, it’s tough, we get it! That’s why we created the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. It’s composed of three parts: Vibrant Body, Vibrant Brain, and Vibrant Connections. Here’s what each entails:  

Vibrant Body We offer amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pool, walking trails, gardening opportunities, and even a dog park to help you stay active. A sample of activities includes:  

  • Walking club – Daily walks at different outdoor locations using pedometers to measure steps. 
  • Yoga – At least once per week for gentle yoga, and once per week for mindful breathing. 
  • Fitness classes – At least two times per week using a variety of hand weights, resistance bands, and circuit-type exercises. 
  • Tai Chi – At least once per week with a live instructor. 
  • Non-traditional exercise – Dancing, gardening, etc. at least two times per week. 
  • Physical games and sports – Golf, putting, bowling, croquet, bocce, and ping pong available daily with organized events one to two times per week. 

Vibrant Brain We offer monthly calendars filled with classes, events, creative arts, and enrichment opportunities to help keep you engaged. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Visiting lecture series – Twice per month with topics such as cultural, historical, local interest, career-oriented, etc. 
  • Creative art series – At least one per week with a theme that runs 3-6 weeks, such as poetry writing, storytelling, painting, digital photography, etc. 
  • Learning series – At least three times per month with an emphasis on learning something new such as foreign language, sign language, technology, hobbies, etc. 
  • Games – At least one time per week and may include poker, bridge, Scrabble, etc. 
  • Mindfulness – A meditation class once per week and gratitude discussion group twice monthly. 
  • Church service – At least once a week through visits by local churches. 
  • Stress reduction – At least once per month class that offers deep breathing exercises, nature walks, music appreciation, spa-type treatments, etc. 

 Vibrant Connections We offer resident-led clubs, social events, outings and volunteer opportunities for any interest to help you stay connected. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Outings – At least twice per month and may include going to concerts, art shows, museum visits, theatre productions, etc. 
  • Intergenerational programming – At least once per month and focuses on building relationships between young adults/children and residents. 
  • New resident welcome party – At least once per month to formally introduce all new residents, and includes ice breakers, social games, etc. to encourage connection. 
  • Philanthropic program – At least once per month provide residents the opportunity to give back to the community, such as volunteering for a local food bank or pet shelter. 
  • Resident-led clubs – May include game clubs, professional clubs, common interests, etc. that meet at least monthly.  

What’s more, it’s all right outside your door (or transportation is provided offsite) and all in a supportive environment with home maintenance, housekeeping, and restaurant-style dining freeing your time to make it even easier to stay active, engaged, and connected. 

Learn more about Vitality Living’s Vivid Life programs. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour. 



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.

For more information, download our Choosing a Senior Living Community Guide today! Or contact us today to schedule a tour.

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