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Selecting a Senior Living Community; Research is Key

Deciding to move out of the homestead that you've been living in for 20+ years can be one of the biggest changes in the life of an older adult. Researching the senior communities before moving in is very important and the decision can change your life.

Using a senior housing referral service is very important. "Our advisors are experts in senior housing and care. They spend most of their time touring communities to make sure they meet quality criteria and to understand the dynamics of the building. We tour all types of senior housing including retirement communities, independent living, assisted living, memory care, supportive living and skilled nursing," says Jennifer Prell, president of Elderwerks.

Prell advises her families to make a list of the services and amenities they are seeking, along with any questions or concerns. “The families will use their list to compare each community visited and make notes as to what they like or don't like".

Cost is a major consideration when selecting a senior living community. “When you're touring a property find out what’s included with the rent and care costs, versus what you pay extra for. Typically extras you will pay for would included hair care, higher levels of care, special trips, classes, and a personal assistant" says Prell.

Touring the communities you are interested is the most important aspect of your research. "When you're visiting the community ask some of the residents if they like where they're living. Interact with the staff to see if they're warm and friendly. You want to find out the personality of the building so there aren't any surprises when you move in,” says Prell.

Other suggestions to observe when visiting a potential new home:

  • Would your loved one enjoy this community?
  • Is it clean and well maintained?
  • Is there a warm, friendly atmosphere?
  • How do the apartments look?
  • Does the food in the dining room meet your expectations?
  • Are their daily activities that interest your loved one?

Today there are wide ranges of senior housing options. Know what you are looking for before you decide which communities to tour. Analyze what levels of care are needed and then research what’s available. "Our older adults can age with other like-minded adults and thrive in the right setting," says Prell.

Elderwerks is a free senior housing resource and referral service operating throughout the Chicago area for seniors, their families and professionals who help older adults. Their advisors are experts on senior housing and care options, including retirement communities, independent living, assisted living, memory care, supportive living, skilled nursing, and in-home care. Learn more at or by calling 855-462-0100.

Contact Elderwerks

Finding assisted living or other types of aging care can be overwhelming. Let our dedicated team help you navigate your options.

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For your complimentary, person-centered assistance or help touring a senior community, call an Elderwerks Advisor today at 855-462-0100.


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