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Finding The Right Senior Living Community

finding the right senior living community

The process of finding the right senior living community can be daunting. When individuals or families come to a point of needing assisted living or memory care, it can be a decision that has to be made quickly. Regardless of whether the timing is right away or in the distant future, there are some fundamental tips for touring a senior living community, and ultimately finding the right senior living community. 

Tip #1 Determine Your Needs And Wants

Before beginning the journey of finding the right senior living community, an individual must determine and list out their needs and wants such as: 

  • Do I prefer a large or small community? 
  • What floor plan would best fit my needs? 
  • How much help do I need with my daily living activities? 
  • What activities are important to me? 
  • Will this community allow me to continue engaging in my hobbies and interests? 
  • Is location important to me? If so, what area would I prefer to live in? 
  • What type of training do I expect from the staff? 
  • What type of cuisine is important to me?
  • Do I tend to be more extraverted or introverted?
  • What type of community would meet my social needs best? 
  • What type of community would meet my physical needs best?
  • What type of community would meet my spiritual needs best? 
  • What type of community would meet my mental and intellectual needs best? 
  • What type of community would fit my financial needs? 

Once a person has gone through these questions and answered them, they will have a good start as to what they want and need from a senior living community.

Tip #2 Do Your Research

It is important to research the available options of assisted living and memory care communities that would fit your needs and desires. An individual can do several things to research senior living options. Here are a few steps. 

Step 1: Begin by searching on the internet for senior living communities in the desired area. However, don’t stop there. Once a person has found different options, it is good to go to the assisted living facility’s website and read about it. This will give a good foundation of the company’s mission, amenities, floor plans, and what makes them stand out. It will also be very helpful when you actually tour the community, to see if it coincides with what was portrayed  on the website. 

Step 2: Ask community health professionals who they would recommend. There are many health professionals that work in the long-term care industry that have experience with the various senior living communities. Find healthcare individuals who are experienced and have an unbiased opinion, then ask them who they would recommend. These individuals can be home health and hospice, skilled nursing, senior living, or hospital social workers, nurses, caregivers, and community liaisons. Oftentimes there are community healthcare social media groups that consist of healthcare professionals. Join one of these groups and ask for a recommendation. For example, if an individual is looking for an Idaho based recommendation they can join the Healthcare Share Treasure Valley page. This Facebook group consists of several thousand healthcare professionals, who readily give recommendations and assistance.     

Step 3: Call several of the communities that you have researched and get a feel for them. Depending on the community, you will have various individuals answer the phone. Some will have a receptionist, while others may have a caregiver or administrator answer. Pay attention to how they treat you over the phone and ask thorough questions. As questions are asked, it is important to see which ones align with your needs and desires.  

Tip #3 Tour Multiple Senior Living Communities

Once you do your pre-homework, it is time to tour the communities. What may have started as a long list, has likely been narrowed down as the previous steps have taken place. Oftentimes people will call the facility and schedule a tour. However, it is important to see what the day-to-day operations look like when no one is anticipating a visit. Therefore, it is recommended to stop by the communities that are being considered without an appointment. When you visit, consider the following: 

  • What kind of impression do you get as you drive up to the assisted living or memory care home? 
  • How are you greeted when you enter the senior living facility? 
  • Does the portrayal of the outside and inside of the community match what is portrayed on their website? 
  • Are the residents out and about and engaged, or are they all in their rooms? 
  • Is the staff friendly and engaged in their work? 
  • Do the residents appear well groomed and happy? 
  • Are the residents engaged in activities? 
  • Is the community clean and inviting? 
  • If a meal is being served, does it look nutritious and delicious, and can you sample it? 
  • What does their activity calendar look like? 
  • Does the suite fit your needs and desires? 
  • Do they take adequate time with you to answer all of your questions? 
  • Is the Administrator readily available? 

Figuring out which assisted living or memory care home is appropriate for a person or loved one can be a tough process. However, it doesn’t have to be. As an individual follows these tips and strategies, they will be able to find the senior living community that is right for them. 

Let Us Help You Today!

We welcome the opportunity to speak with you about careers at The Cottages and the care that our residents receive at our Idaho locations. We are experts in assisted living, memory care, respite, adult day care, and have been serving seniors for over 20 years. Our small home-like senior living homes and specially-trained team members offer an atmosphere that promotes the well-being of your loved one.  

If you have any questions, would like to tour one of the Idaho assisted living or memory care homes, or speak with one of our licensed administrators, please fill out the form below. Please mention which location(s) you’re interested in.