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How to Find and Choose a Senior Living Community


Picking the right retirement or life plan community for yourself or your loved one is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. To find a new home that perfectly complements your unique lifestyle and care needs, you must learn what to look for in a senior living community — down to the important details.

This definitive guide explains how to choose a senior living community you’ll love, considering factors like vital social enrichment to expert medical support and beyond!

How to Choose a Retirement Community

When choosing the best life plan community for yourself or your loved one in their later years, comfort and happiness are the top priorities. Finding and choosing a senior living community that suits your needs depends on several unique factors. To make the best decision, follow these guidelines:

1. Consider Your Perfect Locations

The most pivotal decision when choosing a retirement community is where you want to live out your golden years. You may want to pick a location close to family and friends so you can visit with them often. Staying within your hometown keeps you connected to your roots and helps you feel grounded.

Older adults sometimes want to experience a new town or state to discover novel sights, unique people and natural wonders. Whether you are looking for a lively downtown area or a more private and natural setting, it is important to keep the surrounding area in mind to match your lifestyle and preferences.

2. Determine Your Budget

Although we all want the best care for ourselves and the special people in our lives, every family has a budget, and that budget plays a significant role in your decision. Research different residences in your favorite locations and weigh the benefits against the price to determine the best value for money. If you reach out, retirement living facilities can provide brochures and more information regarding pricing so you can make an informed decision.

3. Look for Facilities That Support Your Hobbies 

Whether it’s gardening, painting, cooking, crocheting, making music or keeping fit, hobbies enrich our lives immensely and form part of our identities. Many senior living communities offer clubs, micro-communities and events that allow residents to bond with like-minded peers over their favorite hobbies.

Life plan communities are also a fantastic way to explore new and exciting hobbies you’ve wanted to try, particularly ones with group participation, like board games, card games, Bible studies and book clubs.

4. Plan Around Your Lifestyle and Preferences

Everybody has preferences and priorities that underpin how they live their lives. Some people value varied, outstanding-quality meals. Some long for a quiet, private space to enjoy peace and quiet. Others care more about excellent security and facility maintenance.

Perhaps you or your loved one just want their living space to feel like home. Whatever your list of nonnegotiables, ensure the retirement community you pick values them just as highly.

5. Evaluate Your Care Needs

Senior living communities come with a long list of benefits, and the type you choose depends on the level of care you or your loved one needs. The three types of residential communities are:

Some senior living communities provide more specialized care for older adults going through illness or recovering from an injury. If you or your loved one needs skilled nursing or rehabilitation, pick a residence that offers extensive medical support and a team of clinically trained nurses around the clock. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that, according to new research, older adults in care facilities with medical support live longer than those who stay on their own or with relatives.

6. Think About the Future

When you choose a life plan community, you’re investing in a sanctuary for years to come. Many things can happen as time passes, and it’s crucial to anticipate how your or your loved one’s needs might change over the years. If you pick a full-service or continuing care retirement community (CCRC) like Elm Terrace, you can adjust your care without uprooting your living space.

Older adults may begin their stay in an independent living facility and then transition into memory care or personal care/assisted living as needed. We recommend a community with excellent health care and nursing services so you or your loved one can access immediate, compassionate treatment after a fall or a bout of illness.

7. Decide Which Living Options Are Essential

To get the best quality of life from your chosen community, ensure they can accommodate everything that brings joy, independence and comfort to your or your loved one’s life. Crucial questions to ask include:

Check out our detailed FAQ page to learn more about how Elm Terrace’s CCRC creates a welcoming, inclusive environment for its valued residents! Bring your furry friends, enjoy financial flexibility, choose between studio, one- or two-bedroom apartments and access many other perks.

What to Look for in a Retirement Community

Many retirement homes offer similar amenities. However, there’s often a marked difference in quality, from the competence and friendliness of the staff to the standard of vital facilities like security systems and mobility aids. To find yourself or your loved one the best possible new home, look out for these four essential markers of quality:

1. Quality of Care

Choosing a retirement community with exemplary nursing facilities and individualized medical care is essential. Ensure that the residence you choose employs certified healthcare workers and keeps a well-staffed team on-site at all times to attend to your or your loved ones’ needs. Look for licensed healthcare facilities with continued medical monitoring, physical and occupational therapy, injury care, laboratory services, therapeutic diets and consulting specialists.

2. Financing Options

Find out what payment plans are available to you. The best residences offer a variety of payment plans, including fee-for-service and contract options. With a fee-for-service payment plan, you only pay for the facilities you use, and the monthly fees change according to how much care you need. With contract or life care plans, you can access all services, including memory care, personal care and rehabilitation, without changing your monthly fee.

3. Nearby Locations

Pick a location close to exciting destinations like restaurants, parks, theaters, shopping centers, golf clubs and useful amenities like hospitals, ophthalmologists, hair salons and veterinary services. To ensure access to fun activities and vital services, pick a community in the heart of town that’s still peaceful and beautiful.

4. Accessibility Options

Accessibility becomes more paramount as time passes, so it’s essential you choose a life plan community well-furnished with aids that make living safer and more comfortable. Take an in-person or virtual tour of your chosen living community and check for all these crucial features:

How to Find Senior Living Options That Suit Your Needs

You can take a few steps to find the right senior living community for you or your loved one:

Come Home to Elm Terrace’s Enriching Life Plan Community

Now that you know what to look for in a senior living community, you’re ready to choose the perfect fit for yourself or your loved one. Our exceptional-quality residence is located in the heart of downtown Lansdale, Pennsylvania, and offers the whole package for older adults with various lifestyles looking to live a fulfilling, comfortable, safe life after retirement.

Come and enjoy a no-strings-attached free lunch and tour at our facility, or contact us online today to begin your exciting new journey with Elm Terrace!

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  • Independent Living
  • Memory Care
  • Personal Care
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