How To Find the Right Senior Living Community in 2022

Dec 1, 2021

Sometimes, the very thought of finding a retirement community is overwhelming. Older adults are seeking a better quality of life and more advanced levels of care. But many have no idea where to begin.

According to data by the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care, the rate of new resident move-ins has increased in up to 55% of communities nationwide since May 2021. This means that you could be looking for a new home for your aging relative sooner than you think.

Luckily, we’ve compiled a quick guide to finding the perfect senior living community in 2022. Read on to determine which living options your loved one needs and what their care will require from day to day.

How Do I Choose a Community?

Use the list of questions below as a checklist when searching for the right senior community. It will help decision-making parties consider all the variables, such as:

  • Care models

  • Community location

  • Health services

  • Lifestyle amenities

  • Personal budget

  • Personal residences

  • Physical features

  • Social environment

  • Staff-training requirements

Senior Living Community Tour Checklist

This list will help you choose the proper level of senior care, decide on a price point, and build up a list of community options. Does your aging relative need help with medication management? How about personalized care? Are they ready for independent living, or do they need to be part of an assisted living community?

All these questions and more can be asked using the formats offered below. Get in the habit of visiting communities and speaking with a senior living advisor when on site. Tour the common areas with a family and a staff member.

Introductory Questions

  1. Is the community required to have a state license to operate?

  2. Is the resident bill of rights posted or available for review?

  3. Is there a suggestion and complaints process for residents?

  4. Why might a resident be asked to move out of the community?

  5. Is there a procedure for responding to a resident’s medical emergency?

  6. Does the community provide housekeeping services?

  7. Is the floor plan easy to navigate?

  8. Are all public spaces and rooms accessible to mobility devices?

General Questions

  1. Does the community have pleasant lighting?

  2. Is the community clean, free of odors, and at an appropriate temperature?

  3. Is an emergency response system accessible from the apartment or room?

  4. Are bathrooms designed to accommodate mobility devices?

  5. Are different sizes and types of apartments or rooms available?

  6. Are utilities such as telephone, cable and internet service available in each apartment or room?

  7. What is the payment or billing model?

  8. What are the move-in and move-out policies?

  9. Is your community’s executive director a Certified Director of Assisted Living (CDAL)?

  10. Does the community require special training for staff?

  11. Does the community train staff on elder abuse and neglect?

Care Model Questions

  1. Is the community licensed to provide assisted living or skilled nursing?

  2. What levels of care does the community offer?

  3. Is a residency agreement available for review before move-in?

  4. What is the process for assessing a resident’s need for care and services?

  5. Does the community offer specialized memory care?

  6. Is there medical staff available for resident visits?

  7. What are the policies regarding the storage and administration of medication?

Dining Service Questions

  1. Do dining menus vary from day to day and meal to meal?

  2. How many dining locations are available at the community?

  3. Can the community accommodate special dietary needs?

  4. May residents “take out” meals and eat in their apartment or room?

  5. Are mealtimes set, or can residents request a meal at any time?

Social Environment Questions

  1. Do you receive a warm greeting from staff welcoming you to the community?

  2. Does the staff call residents by name and interact with them?

  3. Do residents socialize with each other, appearing happy and comfortable?

  4. Are you able to talk with residents about how they like the community and staff?

  5. Do the staff members treat each other in a kind and professional manner?

  6. Are the staff members you meet helpful and friendly?

Lifestyle Amenities Questions

  1. What amenities and recreational activities are available?

  2. Is there a transportation service, or do staff manage requests for transportation?

  3. Are there salon services offered?

  4. Is there a fitness or wellness center?

  5. Are pets allowed in the community?

  6. Are there opportunities for organized activities such as volunteer work and lifelong learning at the community and outside of the community?

Abe’s Garden Community Innovates in Brain Health, Wellness and Purposeful Living

Abe’s Garden Community is a senior lifestyle offering independent living, assisted living and memory support services, as well as home care and engaging, supportive programming. The nonprofit organization’s mission is to establish a replicable model for senior life that is focused on brain health, wellness and purposeful living. Come visit us in Nashville and learn more about our unique approach and amenities.