How to choose the right senior living community
Choosing a senior living community for yourself or a loved one is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make. After all, it’s not just choosing a place to live and eat. It’s also about finding a good atmosphere and the right people who could become good friends. So, where do you start?
Before diving headfirst into all of the options (and there are a lot of them!), it’s important to prioritize your needs and know what you’re looking for. Remember, the goal isn’t to find just any community, it’s to find the right community. And what “right” means is going to be different for everyone.
Here are ten questions to help guide your search for a senior living community.
Security and Safety
1) What level of daily care do you need?
While senior living communities are generally for seniors who don't require intensive day-to-day attention, some still provide certain levels of support. Answering this first question can help you both narrow down options right away and double check that senior living is the best fit for you.
2) Do you need access to medical services regularly? If so, which one(s)?
Communities vary in the types of medical services that are available on a regular basis. Some have a nurse on-staff, while others provide free monthly checkups from a visiting doctor. Make it easy on yourself to stay in tip-top shape!
3) What safety measures do you need?
Senior living is all about safety. Finding what you need for a safe living environment, such as handrails, emergency pull cords, elevators and/or wide hallways, should be a high priority in your search.
Quality of Life
4) Do you have food requirements? If so, what are they?
When you're going to be eating somewhere three times a day, you want to make sure you'll enjoy it. Whether it's based around food allergies, diet restrictions or just personal taste, defining your ideal dining experience is a key step.
5) What kind of living space do you need?
Rooms and apartments in senior living communities come in all sorts of sizes and types. Do you need a kitchenette? Large closets? Big windows? It's important to figure out what kind of living space matches your lifestyle.
6) Do you have any preferences for scheduled activities and opportunities?
One of the keys to a great senior living experience is simple: not being bored! That's not a luxury; it's a necessity. Have a list of activities that are going to help you stay engaged and happy in your new community.
7) What can you afford right now?
No one likes this question, but an accurate financial picture can help you avoid stress and headaches down the road. Err on the side of caution and set a realistic budget for your search.
8) Is your financial situation going to change in the near future? If so, how?
Look down the road to see if there are any possible life events or changes, such as medical expenses, insurance costs or investments, that may affect your budget. The more prepared you are, the better.
9) How important is location?
Maybe you want to be close to family. Maybe you like a certain neighborhood. Regardless of reason, a community's location can dramatically affect your experience at the community. If it matters to you, make sure to prioritize it and focus your search on a specific area.
10) Are there any amenities or services that are non-negotiable?
If there's anything else that is absolutely necessary for your happiness, don't be afraid to make it a requirement! Remember, while senior living has many great benefits, it's ultimately about you enjoying your life.
As you work through these questions, don’t worry if you or your loved one can’t answer some of them. That’s completely expected. In fact, as you get deeper into your search, answers may become more clear or possibly even change.
The purpose of these questions isn’t to make the decision for you, but instead, help you make the right one. Ready to take the next step in your search? Seniors have been choosing Holiday Retirement communities for over 40 years and counting. Find out why.