28 January, 2022 | 5 min read

What To Know Before Researching Senior Living Communities

If you’re looking for the highest quality of life possible as you or a loved one age, a senior living community could make all the difference. These communities are designed to support independence and encourage residents to remain physically healthy and socially engaged. Once you’ve determined that senior living is a possible option and begin researching senior living communities, it’s important to recognize that not all communities offer the same levels of care or amenities. You’ll want to make sure you choose one that provides the right kind of care services and meets your lifestyle preferences.

Researching Senior Living: What To Know Before You Start

If you’re just beginning your research of senior living communities, the following tips may help guide you in finding the best home for you or a loved one.

Researching senior living tip #1: Understanding the types of senior living available

Before you begin your search for a specific community, you’ll want to understand the different types of senior living available. These typically include:

  • Independent living: These communities are designed for older adults who are able to live independently, but are looking for a more social, convenient and maintenance-free lifestyle as they get older.
  • Assisted living: In addition to an abundance of scheduled activities, dining options and social opportunities, communities that offer assisted living provide residents assistance with daily tasks, such as dressing, bathing, grooming and medication management.
  • Memory care: 24/7 care and support are offered in these secure communities for those who are living with cognitive change such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Staff are specially trained to provide the necessary support and care to ensure these older adults are living engaged, purposeful lives.
  • Skilled nursing or long-term care: Those who need 24/7 medical support and attention due to chronic conditions or illness often choose this type of community. Rehabilitative care may also be provided for those recovering from an injury, illness or surgery.

Researching senior living tip #2: Assessing needs and preferences

Before beginning your search for the perfect community, you’ll want to assess what you or your loved one requires and prefers to have in a new home. Create and prioritize a list of these wants and needs, especially any pertaining to health, mobility challenges or social isolation.

These types of questions may help: 

  1. Are you living independently but want to make more friends or become more active? 
  2. Do you or your parents need assistance with bathing safely or shopping and preparing healthy meals? 
  3. Has a loved one been diagnosed with dementia and now requires more care than you can provide at home? 
  4. Does your loved one need around-the-clock attention due to a chronic condition or illness?
New call-to-action

Researching senior living tip #3: Knowing your “non-negotiables”

When looking at specific senior living communities, you’ll likely discover that many offer a wide variety of activities, programs and services for their residents. However, after making your list and prioritizing what is most important, you may find you aren’t able to check everything off your list at any one community.

Therefore, you’ll want to decide early on what is not up for discussion or compromise. These factors could include location, the level of services a community offers, or the type of activities and amenities that would make your or your loved one’s daily life meaningful and fun. This can help you determine which community will be the best fit.

Researching senior living tip #4: Defining the “nice-to-haves”

Many older adults have ideas about what they would like to find in senior living, but if not offered, these preferences wouldn’t necessarily eliminate the community as a possibility. But don’t make the mistake of assuming these “nice-to-haves” aren’t important, as some of them could be instrumental in helping residents fully engage with their new home and lifestyle.

There is no argument that quality care, security and healthy dining options are vitally important to the overall health and well-being of senior living residents. However, it is just as important to recognize that, for many older adults, the opportunity to spend time with friends, participate in a favorite activity or finding their creativity in an artist studio is what truly makes life worth living.

Researching senior living tip #5: Understanding what funding sources are available

For most people, a budget will need to be crafted and adhered to when choosing the right senior living community. You’ll want to have an understanding of the general costs associated with residency, and perform a detailed comparison to the costs of remaining at home.

You’ll find the level of care, services and location can greatly influence prices for both communities and in-home health care agencies. When comparing the cost of community life vs in-home care, make sure you’re accounting for all the services included in the cost of a senior living community that would need to be paid for separately if you or a loved one continue to live at home.

Life at Eskaton Communities

The word Eskaton means “dawn of a new day.” In our communities, we see each day as an opportunity to enhance the lives of our residents. We’ve been serving the Sacramento region and Northern California for over 50 years.

The Eskaton Difference starts with our life-enriching programs and collaborative partnerships. With a national reputation for innovation, we focus on creating communities that provide our residents everything they need for purposeful living.

We invite you to visit one of our award-winning communities to discover some of the benefits we offer, such as:

  • Private residences
  • Delicious and nutritious meals
  • Social opportunities to meet and make new friends
  • Creative activities and therapies
  • Fitness centers and exercise classes
  • Housekeeping services
  • Transportation services
  • 24-hour staffing
  • Pet-friendly
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • And much, much more!

If you’re considering whether senior living could be the best choice for you or a loved one, we’re here to answer any questions you may have. We also invite you to download our complimentary information, Choosing the Right Senior Living Community.

To schedule a personalized tour, call us at 1-866-ESKATON (or 1-866-375-2866) or visit eskaton.org.

New call-to-action