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Research Is Key To Selecting A Senior Living Community

Making the move to a senior living community can be one of the biggest life changes for an older adult, and one that warrants careful research throughout the decision-making process.

Elderwerks information and referrals can make the difference between finding the perfect new home or being in an inappropriate  Elderwerks employees are  experienced in the full range of senior living and care options, including retirement communities, independent living, assisted living, memory care, supportive living, CCRCs, sheltered care, group homes and skilled nursing facilities. 
We advise our families as a good first step, the senior and any friends or family involved in the process make a list of the services and amenities they are seeking, along with any questions or concerns. Use the list to compare and contrast as you visit potential new homes. Elderwerks recommends that seniors consider their medical issues, physical limitations, what amenities they want, budget, location and do you like and want to live in the same building as the people you have met? It's important to know what you like and don't like while touring. Make lots of notes. 
Perhaps more than ever, cost is a consideration in selecting a senior living community. For each property being considered, find out exactly what’s included, versus what you pay extra for. You will typically pay an additional fee for services such as hair care, special trips, classes, or extra personal care. Once you have chosen your new home have the contract reviewed by your attorney so that you know your costs, if there's a move-out clause and anything else your attorney finds pertinent.  
While a lot of research can be done via phone and online, nothing can replace a first-hand visit to a potential new home. Take a few moments to look around. Chat with residents about what they like and dislike about living there. Ask them and the staff as many questions as possible, so there are no surprises if you decide to move in.  Some suggestion of things to observe when visiting a potential new home:
  • Is it clean and well maintained?  
  • Is there a warm, friendly atmosphere?   
  • How do the apartments look?
  • Does the food in the dining room look and taste good, and are meals well balanced?   
  • Does the facility have activities in place that will interest the senior?
  • Do the other residents look like they enjoy living there?

An on-site visit is also a good chance to meet the staff. The staff will be responsible for the daily care of your loved ones and everyone should be completely comfortable with them, and the services they provide. 

When evaluating the staff, she recommends considering:

  • Is everyone friendly, caring, and attentive?   
  • Do they assist with distribution of medications, storage, and reminders?
  • Do they provide an initial assessment of a potential resident’s needs? 
  • Once someone moves in, are the resident’s needs periodically reassessed?
  • Are medical care providers available to residents?   
  • How does the community keep families informed of care?

Today’s wide range of senior living options has literally something for everyone in terms of care levels and costs. After a careful analysis of what’s needed and research on what’s available, an older adult can look forward to enjoying the next chapter of their life in a senior living community that perfectly suits their needs.   

About Elderwerks Educational Services
Elderwerks is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization offering complimentary information, referrals and guidance to seniors and their families. Elderwerks Advisors are experts in senior living, care, support and benefits for seniors. Senior living options include all levels: retirement communities, independent living, assisted living, memory care, CCRCs, supportive living skilled nursing facilities and home care agencies. If you'd like personal assistance please call 855-462-0100 or fill out the contact us form and we'll reach out to you.

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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