MAIN BLOG > POST: How to Research Your Senior Living Options

How to Research Your Senior Living Options

When considering joining a senior living community, there’s a lot to learn before making a decision. Even with friends already living in a senior community, it’s important to recognize that everyone’s needs are different, and understanding those needs and the suitable options available, will help steer the decision-making process to the right choice. To begin

In this article:
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    When considering joining a senior living community, there’s a lot to learn before making a decision. Even with friends already living in a senior community, it’s important to recognize that everyone’s needs are different, and understanding those needs and the suitable options available, will help steer the decision-making process to the right choice. To begin researching, take a look at the basic senior living options available:

    Independent Living – Offering the lowest level of assistance, independent living is for those who truly are independent. If the goal is to remain independent and spend more time enjoying life with fewer time-consuming chores, senior independent living might be the best choice. Among the many advantages of a senior living community are privacy, increased social interaction with new friends, entertaining activities onsite and off, and a feeling of “community” often lacking when living alone at home. Independent living options include apartments, condos or villas that help downsize living space, upsize life and embrace lock-and-go freedom. Services include onsite dining, transportation, cleaning and laundry, maintenance, and 24-hour on-call personal care. Independent living offers the freedom to continue to pursue those retirement bucket list items without all the homeowner worries!

    Assisted Living – When more care is required, assisted living is a great alternative to living at home. Senior assisted living relieves family members of the need to manage caregiving schedules, while providing a private apartment, and community spaces like common rooms, patios and dining rooms. Services include help with daily personal care like dressing and bathing, as well as assistance with daily medications. 

    Like independent living, assisted living offers daily activities including physical fitness, art, music, and crafts; religious services onsite; movies; and outings to local places of interest. Many also offer onsite beauty/barber salons and ample opportunities for family and friends to join the fun. Most important of all is the sense of safety and security, which is monitored 24/7.

    Memory Care – If memory is an issue, there’s no better place to live than in a memory care community where knowledgeable and compassionate professionals are there to guide and care for residents 24 hours a day. Because memory loss can range from occasionally misplacing a phone or car keys to mild cognitive impairment to dementia, such as that caused by Alzheimer’s disease, it’s best to base your decision on the recommendations of a physician concerning the level of care needed now, and into the future. Then, search for a community that can accommodate these specific needs and also enhances daily life. Look for a senior memory care community that provides personal assistance and healthy meals, but also provisions for maintaining cognitive health, such as ongoing assessments and activities designed to help residents on every level — physical, emotional and spiritual. Also notable is the security of memory care, which is difficult to achieve at home. It can literally be a lifesaver for those inclined to wander, a symptom that is associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

    Next, look into the costs and financing options for the level of care required. Keep in mind that costs go up as needs increase. Before comparing costs in the desired area, make a list of things that are mandatory, like help with personal care and medications; things that would be nice to have, like yoga classes; and things that may not be necessary, like pet-friendly communities. Then list all financial assets that can be used to pay for senior community life, including veteran’s benefits, pensions, long-term care insurance, and other resources available.

    Now it’s time to talk. Start with family and enlist their help researching available options that will fulfill all the necessary requirements now and over time. Also talk to friends who already live in senior communities and ask their opinions, as well as the pros and cons of their communities. Be sure to keep notes that can be used during the decision-making process…

    To help make the research manageable, download our “Family Decision Guide” that contains everything to know about finding the senior living community that’s a perfect fit. It contains helpful checklists, cost comparisons and other financial information, advice on talking to family, and much more. When the research is completed, schedule a tour of a 12 Oaks Senior Living community that meets your wants and needs, and get ready for a great new way of life!

    download our family decision guide


    Home vs. Senior Living: How to Choose


    When choosing between home and a senior living community, a thorough assessment of the current situation can help ease the way. An honest look at needs, help required and finances can go a long way toward making the best decision.

    touring senior living communities

    10 Questions to Ask When Touring Senior Living Communities

    CATEGORIES: , , , ,

    Would you like to tour senior living communities but aren’t sure what you need to know? 12 Oaks Senior Living tells you 10 of the most important questions to ask.


    5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Senior Living Community


    When deciding between senior living communities, the more you know the better. Find out the five things to do to make the right decision.


    Family Conversations: How to Talk to Your Parents about Senior Living Care


    When caring for a parent becomes too much, maybe it’s time to consider a senior living community. If you’re dreading “the talk” with a parent, take heart and check out our blog.


    Senior Living Now and Then: Not Your Grandma’s Rest Home


    Today’s senior living options have almost nothing in common with “homes” of the past. Find out why there’s never been a better time to join a senior living community.


    How to Make Senior Living More Affordable


    Don’t let the rising cost of care and resort-like feel of today’s communities fool you. Senior living can be affordable. Check out how you can make it work for your budget.


    Comparing the Costs of Aging at Home versus Senior Living


    Think your heart and head will always choose aging at home versus senior living? Put them to the test. Let’s compare the costs and value here.


    Comparing Buy-In vs. Rental Senior Living Communities


    Is a buy-in or rental senior living community right for you? Check out the pros and cons of each to help you decide.


    How to Pay for Senior Living


    How do you pay for senior living? Learn about costs, the value and the variety of ways you can stretch your budget as well as your options.


    COVID-19 Myth Busters from the World Health Organization


    As the pandemic intensifies, so too do the rumors and myths circulating online. Find out what’s true and what’s not from the WHO.




    If you're interested in learning more about 12 Oaks Senior Living, please call 214-871-2155 or click here to schedule a personalized tour.