What to Know Before Researching Senior Living Online

searching for senior living with older parent on computer

Is your loved one beginning to need help with a few of the basic daily tasks? Has a parent been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia? Is around-the-clock support or attention now required due to a family member’s frailty or chronic condition? Or are you searching for an easier but more active lifestyle for yourself?

These questions illustrate the wide variety of services that you can find in today’s senior living communities.

If you or your family is researching senior living and how to find the right community, you’ll most likely begin your search online.

The following can help guide you with steps you can take:

What to know before researching senior living communities online

A great place to start is to understand the types of senior living that are available.

Types of senior living and services

If you’re unfamiliar with the different senior living options, there are generally four different types:

  • Independent living: communities for older adults who are still living independently but would like an easier, carefree, and more active lifestyle.
  • Assisted living: these communities provide the benefits of activities and social events and also assistance with the daily tasks for their residents.
  • Memory care: if your loved one is living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, the care needs can often exceed what can be provided at home. Memory care offers programs and 24/7 support.
  • Skilled nursing: these communities also provide 24/7 care and attention for those who can no longer take care of themselves. They may also provide short-term rehabilitation services as well.

What to know when researching senior living 

The following questions while gathering information will help you narrow your search to the type of services you or a loved one will be looking for:

1. What are your or your parents’ senior living needs?

Before you research individual communities, you’ll want to make an assessment of what services may be needed.

If this is for your parents, make sure they are a part of the senior living conversations and you have a clear understanding of what type of services they may require.

Do they need assistance with daily tasks such as bathing safely, grooming or having access to nutritious and delicious meals? Are they living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and their progressive care needs are beginning to exceed what can be provided at home? Or do they need medical care and 24/7 attention due to chronic conditions or the inability to take care of themselves?

2. What are the personal preferences?

Understanding your parents’ or your own personal preferences and what is most important to have in a new community should also be at the top of the list when researching senior living.

Beyond any healthcare or assistance needs, what activities or amenities would add to the enjoyment or fulfillment of life? If the future resident is artistic, you’ll want to look for communities that have a studio or strong art program available. If your loved one is an avid golfer or loves interactive sports, find senior living that provides access to a golf course or pickleball courts.

3. What is available in your area?

For many families, finding a senior living community that is nearby is a priority. This may be preferred so that their loved ones can remain near them or it might be because it’s important to stay in a familiar city or town, along with its services.  

For other families, some adult children may discuss whether their parent would be willing to move to be near them. Depending on what services might be needed and the number of choices in the area, you may find it easier to match up a specific type of community with your loved one’s needs.

4. What type of funding sources are available for senior living?

The level of care provided, amenities offered, as well as the city and state where the community is located all contribute to the cost of senior living. But it’s also important not to assume that it is more affordable to remain at home, especially if you need to bring in additional care services.

Another suggestion when researching the cost of senior living is to place a value on all of the benefits that are also included – especially when comparing what you have access to while living at home. And remember, the value provided extends beyond financial measures as a community’s advantages may also contribute to a better quality of life.   

Discover life at a Northbridge community

If you’re considering senior living for yourself or a family member, we hope you’ll visit one of our communities. You’ll find a maintenance-free, activity-filled and engaging lifestyle to help support your wellness goals.

You’ll also discover many benefits in a Northbridge Senior Living community, including our Signature Program S.T.A.R. Club (Sharp Thinking, Active Residents) – which offers our residents several activities to participate in with others, including:

  • Daily exercise group
  • Walking club
  • Tai Chi & Yoga
  • Nutritional classes
  • Library and book club
  • Museum outings
  • Artists in residence program
  • Multi-generational music
  • Genealogy Generations 

We’re here to answer any of your questions and would like to share with you our free guide: Choosing the Right Senior Living Community: A Step-by-Step Guide for Making an Informed Decision. Or, contact us to schedule a personalized tour.

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