Finding the Right Community, This Is the Fun Part!

April 2, 2014

The hard part is over. Your family has decided that senior housing is the best option for your loved one. This decision wasn’t made lightly; there were tears, upset and mixed emotions, some of which are likely still lingering. Nonetheless, you know this is the healthiest, safest, most responsible route to go, but now you and your mom or dad have to choose the right senior living community.

Think of this part of the process as being the fun part; it’s like buying a house but without the confusing mortgage paperwork, the stressful home inspections or the need to buy furniture – not bad, right?! Like anything though, there are things that need to be considered. We suggest you and your loved one create a checklist of community features and components that you’d like it to have. This will help you narrow down the field of potential communities, making it an easier, less stressful and more fun process.

When creating your list, consider these questions:

 Which location is best?

If you live in the same town as your loved one, then it’ll likely be that you look at senior living communities in the local vicinity. If this isn’t the case and you live far from your loved one, then choosing a community may be more difficult. The options will come down to these:

  1. Selecting a community close to you is beneficial because then you and your family can visit easily and often. It’s also convenient to be close by in case of an emergency.
  2. Selecting a community in your loved one’s home town is beneficial because they’ve likely created long-lasting friendships and community ties that are important to them.

As frustrating as it may be, you can’t underestimate how these sorts of bonds can affect ones livelihood, so it’s imperative that you listen to what your parent wants and needs.

Which community environment is best?

Making sure that the atmosphere is a good fit with the type of person your mom or dad is will make a difference in how they respond to senior housing.

  1. Do they prefer being outside, enjoying nature walks and wildlife? OR
  2. Do they prefer the theater and a more urban setting? 

Choosing the right community setting is critical to ensuring your loved one’s transition into senior living is smooth. If he or she feels uncomfortable or out of their comfort zone it may prohibit them from participating in community activities, making new friends and embracing this new chapter in their lives. It could even lead to depression, anger and/or confusion, a slew of emotions that you don’t want your loved one having to cope with. So, sit down, make the list of “musts” and then start your community research. Remember, thinking of this as the fun and exciting part can make a huge difference in your loved ones outlook on senior living =)