So you’ve decided to move into an independent living community. Good for you! Tons of opportunities lie in wait for you in this new period of your life, and independent living can help you find the best opportunities to grow as an individual as well as within the community.
But how do you know which independent living community is best for you? There are so many out there, all boasting of the best living spaces and the best communities. How do you decide which one to pick?
There is no cookie-cutter answer. Everyone is different, so there’s no set equation to it. But we want to help, so we put together a few ideas on how to find the best independent living home for you.
How to Find the Right Independent Living Home
Research the community
This is the best place to begin. It is likely that you’ll be able to narrow down your search after looking at various communities online. There will be some that will pique your interest, and there will be others that instantly turn you off. Looking at pictures and lists of services is a good starting point.
Look at its values
Do their values align with your own? Choosing a new home that doesn’t support your lifestyle choices is a huge gamble: will you feel at home if you know that your community doesn’t share important qualities of your life? If you are religious, a religious community might be a good fit. It’s always nice to be surrounded by people of similar faith. Also think about for-profit vs. non-profit—there is a difference. Also consider their philanthropic responsibility: do they support low-income seniors at all, or do they leave them in the dust? Depending on your sense of civic duty, all of these could make or break your decision. It’s best to know these things before jumping into a commitment.
Tour the campus
The best way to know if you will like living in any particular place is to visit it. Can you see yourself walking through the flowered corridors, or does the layout cause issues? Ask yourself what problems could arise in every place that you visit.
While touring, make sure to ask to see every type of housing available. Even if you’re not planning to move into the assisted living sector, things do happen. It is better to be prepared for it rather than to hope for the best if it ever happens. You never know what the future holds.
Also be sure to check out all of the hotspots around your possible community. Is it lively or quiet? Do you feel at home visiting the local coffee shop, or do you feel like you’re intruding? These are all important factors in your decision.
Talk to a few current residents
What do they like? What do they wish was different? Ask about both pros and cons to avoid a biased answer—don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions! It’s the only way to get a full and clear picture of what your life would look like in any given community. Administrators are always willing to answer questions, but it is the community members that are the heart and soul of the communities. Interview them and make sure that they love it and that you love them: they might be your neighbors someday.
Look at common activities
Love music? Want to be around kids? Would you be heartbroken to leave your beloved pets behind? Find a community that will offer those things for you. Yes—they do exist!
Finding your perfect home can be daunting, but finding the perfect fit is something that you want to do fully. Finding the first community that sounds pretty okay is a huge disservice to you; in the end, it is likely that you will find yourself unhappy in that place. Do your research: you won’t regret it.
Eskaton offers a wide array of services, amenities, and options for seniors looking for a new home. We strive to help seniors find their best fit and recognize that it is an individual process. No two people are the same, and they are not treated as such within our communities. Explore Eskaton communities today!