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What to Know Before Researching Senior Living Online

Choosing the right senior living community is key to your long-term happiness in retirement so researching senior living should be thorough. Before you begin, however, take the time to assess everything you want, need and expect to make researching senior living a successful endeavor. Here’s a list of items to include in your assessment to get you on your way.

Where do you want to live?

Retirement is an open door to making a move to a place that better suits aging, whether that’s to a warmer climate, closer to family or a place with a slower (or faster) lifestyle. But before researching senior living it’s best to choose and prioritize a number of potential locations that suit your desires, even if you already have a good destination in mind. You can look online and compare apples to apples and even take trips to experience what each potential new home is really like. For an in-depth look at finding a new home town, the article, “Keys to Finding the Perfect Place to Retire,” is an excellent resource.

What type of community is best?

Senior living communities have changed considerably over the past several decades, and one of the biggest changes is the types of communities available. No longer the “nursing homes” of the past century, modern senior living communities offer one type, a combination of independent, assisted or memory care, or all three plus skilled nursing and even end-of-life care. Many allow residents to move to higher levels of care as needed and offer different types of housing as well.

Another option to consider before researching senior living is that of continuing care retirement communities (aka CCRCs) or life plan communities which require a substantial upfront investment and guarantee residents can remain in the community as their level of care increases. Learn more about the variety of modern senior living options in the article, “Types Of Senior Living Communities.”

What level of care is needed?

When care is needed it’s essential to research senior living communities that offer exactly what you need now and may need in the future. For example, if you need help with daily dressing, bathing and other simple tasks, assisted living is a great place to retire because you can get exactly the level of care needed and still live very independently.

When memory is a concern, assisted living may be the perfect place to begin but you will want to choose a community that also offers memory care which provides a high level of security and activities that can help improve quality of life. When researching senior living it is best to plan ahead so that you won’t have to move again if you need a higher level of care down the road. To best understand different levels of care, check out the article, “What Are the Levels of Senior Living?”

Which amenities are priorities or negotiable?

Before researching senior living communities another good idea is to list must-have items as well as those that are negotiable. Whether you’re moving with a spouse or alone you will want to consider the size of apartments available as well as whether they offer patios, porches or balconies. Another important aspect is onsite services like pharmacies, hair salons and barbershops, housekeeping services, laundry rooms and/or laundry services, and security systems. Of course, nutrition and excellent meals are also essential and today’s highest quality senior living communities now offer chef-inspired meals that rival top restaurants.

Lifestyle is also a big part of decision making so if having fun and staying active are priorities, be sure to list those activities you most enjoy whether that’s working out in a fitness center, playing games with friends, lifelong learning options, or experiencing local venues like museums and theaters. For a look at what you should expect from the best in senior living take a look at all that One Lincoln Park has to offer in services and amenities and then read our blog, “4 Questions to Ask to Decide What’s Important to You in a Senior Living Community.”

Don’t forget reviews

As you begin researching senior living communities based on all your wants and needs, be sure to check out online reviews on social media like Facebook. Not only will these reveal what others think about the community but will show what’s going on throughout the year. Many communities also provide resident and family reviews and testimonials on their websites as well, which can really tell a lot about residents’ happiness and satisfaction.

Researching senior living online is the easiest way to get a good idea about different communities but nothing is better than touring in person. Take a moment to contact us for information and schedule a tour to experience One Lincoln Park for yourself!

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