How to Choose a Senior Living Community
Senior living communities are wonderful places to live, offering residents a low-maintenance lifestyle, amenities that make wellness more convenient, and personalized service tailored to their unique needs. However, finding the right senior living community can be an overwhelming task for most seniors and their adult children. There are so many choices out there — how can you know you are making the best decision?
Here are a few tips from our experts that you can keep in mind when beginning your senior living search. These tricks will decrease the chances of feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and confused, instead helping you feel in control and empowered during the process.
Start with Location
Just like other real estate purchases, your senior living hunt begins with narrowing down your preferred location. Your loved one might want to stay in the city they have lived in for the past few decades, or you might want your loved one to move closer to you in order to make visits more convenient for the whole family.
As you talk about your desired location, don’t forget to take into account proximity to public transportation and/or a specific highway (if needed for visitors or guests). While you might not find a community in your specific desired neighborhood or area, you can begin your search by looking for senior living communities within 5-20 miles of that point.
Learn About Levels of Care
Now that you have narrowed down your location, it’s time to find communities that offer the right amount of support or assistance that your loved one needs now and might need in the future. There are five main types of senior living care: independent living, assisted living, residential
care, memory care, and skilled nursing.
Take some time to jot down what your loved one needs support with, such as personal hygiene tasks or housekeeping chores. This can help you determine what level of care might be best for them. Get your loved one’s physician involved as well; they are there to guide you based on their knowledge of your loved one’s health and prognosis. Then, cross off any communities from your list that don’t offer that type of care.
Look at the Amenities
Services and amenities are a part of the senior living lifestyle. You’ll find a variety of amenities and services from community to community, including swimming pools, bocce ball courts, pet-friendly accommodations, and transportation.
Chat with your loved one about what services or amenities are “must have”, which ones are “would be nice to have”, and which ones are “not needed”. Look for communities that feature as many services and amenities off the “must have” list as possible. This will help you both from feeling overwhelmed by all the highlights and features on a community’s website or during a tour.
Don’t Forget the Price
Of course, you must keep your loved one’s budget in mind. Fortunately, there are senior living communities that meet most budgets and there are options that can offset costs through Veterans Aid & Attendance or other benefits.
Ensure you know a realistic monthly budget before you begin your senior living search. Then, ask pointed questions during your interactions with community staff about monthly rent and what fees cover so that there are no surprises when your loved one moves in.
Choose Experts to Help Along the Way
Perhaps the best step in finding a senior living community is to enlist the help of experts. The right financial advisor, real estate professional, and organizer can make choosing a senior living community and getting settled in easier.
Forming a partnership with an advisor at iNavigate Senior Living Solutions is also a crucial part of the search process. Our team is ready to learn more about you and your loved one in order to narrow down your choices and provide you with a list of options that are tailored to your specific situation and preferences. We’re here to help you through the touring process, the moving process, and will even check in to be sure your loved one is getting settled in. Even better, our services are provided at no charge to you.
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