Senior woman looking at laptop with adult son researching senior living communities

8 Tips for Finding the Best Senior Living Community

As you slowly make your way towards your 65th to 70th year, you will notice that things are not as they used to be. Grocery shopping becomes laborious, maintaining your home becomes complicated, and driving begins to be an impossible task.

Soon, you’ll need to face the hard truth that most seniors dread–accepting that it’s time to move to a senior living community. 

Don’t wait for your health to decline before planning about your future. Plan ahead so you can enjoy the perfect facility for you. Here are eight tips on how to find and land the best senior living community in your area! 

 1. Get the Help and Support of Loved Ones

Planning and finding the right senior home is not an easy feat. It will take a lot of your time, patience, and energy. But why do it alone when you have loving family members to help you?

Get the help of your adult child or a loved one whose opinion you value. Enlist their help and support in your journey to find the best senior care for you. 

For family members who want to find a community for their senior loved one, it is much better to include your senior in the planning process. This way, you’ll know what he/she prefers, thus allowing him/her to enjoy their stay.

2. Decide the Level of Care You Need

There are many types of senior care facilities that exist. Each one specializes in providing a particular level of care for seniors who need it. Some of the most common types include:

  • Independent Senior Living Community
  • Assisted Living Community
  • Skilled Nursing Care
  • Memory Care Facility
  • Continuing Care Retirement Communities 

To determine what kind of long-term care you need, list down all the things you need help and support in doing—for example, cooking and meal preparation or taking a bath. List down everything, no matter how simple or insignificant you think it may be. Also, identify what kind of services and support you think you will need in the future. 

After that, you and your loved one can talk to your doctor so they can suggest the best kind of senior care for you.

 3. Consider the Costs

Price is a crucial consideration in this matter. Different facilities come at different prices depending on the amenities they provide. It’s vital to set a specific budget or price point when looking for a senior living community.

You can also explore other funding options available, including:

  • Senior citizen assistance from government programs
  • Veterans benefit
  • Life or healthcare Insurance 
  • Pension or retirement income
  • Social security
  • Medicare
  • Family contributions, properties, and other assets

 4. Do Your Research

After picking the right kind of senior care and setting a budget, it’s time for the essential part–the actual work of finding the best community for you!

There are many ways to search for a prospective community. You have Google, recommendations from doctors and friends, and the feedback of senior peers already residing in the facility. 

After rounding up some of the best facilities in your target area, it’s time to pick the top 3 that stand out the most.

Senior couple talking with caregiver at senior living community

 5. Make Safety a Priority

Once you have your top facilities, you can proceed in doing thorough research of each one. You can let your younger loved ones handle this as they know better how to navigate the internet.

A trusted family member should visit their website and social media pages. Take a look at the community’s pictures, their specific location, and feedback from loved ones of residents. You can also check state records for any complaints received against the organization.

Also, check how the facility ensures the safety of your loved one. For example, do they have 24/7 security personnel guarding the area? Does each home have an emergency button installed?

Safety is a primary concern. So it’s essential to dig deep and make sure that your senior loved one is safe from external and internal dangers.

 6. Create a List of Preferences

It would be better to create a list of the things you would like to have in your chosen community. Aside from care assistance and services, what do you want to experience in your new home? For instance, do you want a place that features a green and peaceful environment? Or one that has a large living space?

List down your preferences, so you can easily cross them out once you do your senior living community tour. Some of the best facility feature or amenity you can consider, such as:

  • Fitness centers or sports complex
  • An in-house diner or cafe
  • In-house malls or beauty salons
  • A facility that features a diverse list of social activities
  • Unlimited visitation hours

Every facility differs from another. Just make sure to prioritize your non-negotiable amenities first.

 7. Schedule a Senior Living Community Tour

After gathering much intel, you’re ready to visit each community with your loved one! Community visits and tours are essential because you get to experience the place first-hand. You get to watch a preview of how your future life would be.

The key is to ask the right questions. Don’t hold back. Ask the staff everything you need to know, from the floorplan to their house rules. Observe the residents and how caregivers interact with them. Do they get along well? Are the seniors happy?

You can also give the floor to your loved one if you’re not comfortable asking their staff. Your loved ones can also voice their concerns, so give them a chance to air out their questions.

 8. Select the Perfect Option

Sometimes, seniors can tell if the senior living community is perfect for them during the tour itself. If you can already imagine yourself living your best life there, then the search is over!

The best facility does not need to have a large jacuzzi and spa house. One that provides the best care you’re looking for is already enough. Make sure to consider your budget when deciding on a community. But not to the point of compromising quality services and assistance.