As with most big decisions in retirement, timing is everything. Knowing when to look for senior living options can mean having more time to make a thoughtful decision and to downsize without feeling any stress. Waiting too long to find senior living during retirement can sometimes mean your family will be making the best decision for you while you are recovering from a medical emergency or other crisis situation. It’s best to begin searching for your new home sooner rather than later so that you can make the most confident choice.
Benefits of Looking for Senior Living Early
There are myriad benefits that come with looking for senior living communities sooner in retirement. For example, when you take time to research senior living options for yourself, you have more control over the decision you make. You can take your time to thoroughly research options in your desired location that offer the assistance you will need now and in the future.
When you begin to look for senior living options early, you can also make better financial decisions and plan accordingly. Before heading out to search for communities near you, make an appointment with your financial advisor to review your current expenditures and savings and gauge how senior living could fit into the mix. Use our cost calculator to prepare for your meeting, writing down your current bills so that you can determine how much you can afford to spend monthly in a senior living community.
Finally, choosing to look for senior living before a crisis situation means you have plenty of time to tour and explore senior communities in your desired location. You have the time to ask questions and to attend meals or activities at the communities you are considering. This additional time will give you the opportunity to see if you feel comfortable in the community and to observe the staff and residents during different days and times.
How to Choose a Senior Living Community
Choosing a senior living community is a personal decision, but the process can be more enjoyable and productive if you enlist the assistance of a few trusted family members or friends. When you are ready to begin searching for communities, here are a few questions to consider:
Where do I want to live?
There are senior living communities in a variety of urban, suburban, and rural settings around the country. Begin your search by picking your desired town or neighborhood to find communities nearby. You might choose a specific area because it makes it easier for family to visit on their way home from work or because you’ve always loved that particular neighborhood.
What type of assistance do I want or need?
Each senior living community offers a specific type of care of assistance. Assisted living communities, for example, feature caregivers on staff round the clock who can help with personal tasks as well as emergencies. For more specialized care for those living with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia, a memory care community is an excellent solution for short- and long-term planning. If you aren’t sure which senior living option may be the best for your current and future needs, talk to your physician about it for guidance.
What is important to me?
Every senior is unique, which means your list of must-have items will vary from your neighbor’s. However, exceptional senior living communities will offer a lifestyle that provides easy access to more than just quality care. In Arbor communities, for example, you will find in-house wellness resources and fitness centers, engaging activities and events, and outstanding dining three times per day.
It’s never too early to search for a vibrant senior living community that will make your retirement even sweeter. Download our free resource, “Finding a Safe and Comfortable Senior Living Community,” to get more tips from our experts that will guide you to making your most confident decision.