When you are first beginning the search for senior living, whether it is for you or a family member, it can be overwhelming. Because there are so many options and different types of care available, you may not know how to begin your search.

Where do you start? What level of care is best? What do you need to look for in a community? Once you find a community, how do you initiate the move-in process?

Community Senior Life has senior living communities throughout Alabama, and we are here to answer these questions. Our team wants to help you start the process of finding the right retirement community for you or your family member!

Know the Terminology

As with any significant purchase or decision, you will likely take to the internet to do your research. A helpful tip for starting your senior living search is to understand the language of the industry.

If you are not familiar with senior living options, your first instinct may be to search “nursing homes.” While skilled nursing homes are a long-term care option, they are designed for those who require 24/7 care and attention by licensed staff. If you are an active individual simply looking to enhance your retirement, start by searching “senior living communities,” “retirement communities,” or “senior living options.”

What Level of Senior Living is Needed?

Your number one priority should be to assess your needs and goals. Are you still active and independent? Does your family member need some assistance with the activities of daily living? These and similar questions can help determine what levels of care you should be looking for in a community.

Most of our Community Senior Life locations offer varying levels of care within one community. These levels of senior living include:

Independent Living

This type of senior living offers individuals a maintenance-free lifestyle. The independent living lifestyle enables residents to enjoy their days and participate in community activities without worrying about cooking, cleaning, and home maintenance tasks.

Assisted Living

The assisted living lifestyle is meant for individuals who need extra care and support with the activities of daily living. Assisted living also provides a maintenance-free lifestyle and access to wonderful amenities but with additional support.

Memory Care

This level of senior living is meant for individuals living with a form of dementia or another memory impairment. Providing a safe and secure environment, memory care communities offer the care and stimulation needed to enable residents to live an engaged and comfortable life.

Create a Budget, and Stick to it

While the cost can vary depending on the community and the level of care needed, in some cases, it may actually be more cost-effective to live in a senior living community than it is to stay in your current home.

When it comes to senior living, it’s important to remember what’s included in the monthly rate. For CSL communities, this cost includes rent, utilities, home maintenance, meals, housekeeping, access to all community amenities, as well as the care that you or your family member needs.

This being said, when you are beginning your search for the ideal senior living community, take into consideration your financial limit. It is important to know your budget before you have your heart set on a community, only to find out later that it is not an option.

Know What You’re Looking for in a Community

Not all senior living communities are created equally. Community Senior Life communities offer compassionate, person-centered care, beautiful campuses, and exceptional amenities.

Create a list of “must-haves” for your perfect community and retirement destination. Figure out what amenities and services are important to you or your family member. By doing so, you will know right away if a community is right for you during the search.

Stop By for a Visit

Once you have narrowed down your search and have a list of potential senior living communities, visit and take a tour of each one. You can learn a lot about a community online, but you do not know how it makes you feel until you are there.

On your tour, you will get to see firsthand what life is like in the community. Does it make you feel welcome? Do the other residents seem happy? Does it feel like home?

Other things to be on the lookout for during your tour include:

  • The resident to staff ratio
  • The number and variety of activities and engagement opportunities
  • The quality and variety of meal options

Knowing where to begin your search and what to look for in a senior living community can feel overwhelming at times, but the important thing is to stay true to what you or your family member wants and needs in a community.

Community Senior Life has senior living communities throughout Alabama that offer exceptional amenities and provide compassionate, person-centered care. To learn more about the care and services we offer, contact a member of our team or visit our website.