Chicago’s North Shore is a beautiful, serene environment with a natural charm that makes it desirable for senior living. Just minutes from the heart of Chicago and all of its cultural attractions and bustling activity centers, yet nestled in nature where true peace and tranquility can be found, it has become a top option for those seeking a luxury senior living community. While you may have made the decision on moving, or helping your loved one move, to a community in this area, there are still several decisions on the journey to finding the right one, as there are a variety of different types of senior living community options on the North Shore.

Know Your Options

The process of finding a new place for you or your loved one to call home doesn’t have to feel overwhelming if you take it one step at a time. Let’s start with a brief overview of three types of senior living communities to better gauge your needs.

Independent Living

There are many options to live independently on the North Shore. An independent living community is ideal for older adults who do not need assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) but desire an environment with socialization opportunities and a maintenance-free community with a variety of amenities. Independent living options may sometimes be found as part of a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) where assisted living, memory care and more are available on the property. We’ll take a look at those options next. 

Assisted Living

An assisted living community will offer everything found in independent living plus a number of care options to meet residents’ needs. You or your loved one would still have a comfortable, safe apartment to personalize while receiving assistance with ADLs. This is the perfect option for those desiring to live independently, while having the safety and peace of mind that their health and wellness needs are cared for by licensed professionals. From 24-hour supervision to medication management, assisted living communities on the North Shore are ideal for older adults who require some assistance. Additionally, when comparing the cost of aging in place at home or moving to an assisted living community, you might be surprised at the true value of the cost of assisted living, where many amenities are included. 

Memory Care

If you or your loved one requires assistance with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, a memory care community should be considered. Including everything in an assisted living community, memory care takes these services to another level with peaceful environments designed to support those with dementia through attentive care to keep them safe and engaged. Arbor Terrace Glenview even has a special option called the Bridges Program for those living with early stage cognitive decline where socialization options are plentiful and cognitive and physical wellness is top priority.

What To Consider Before Moving

Now that you’re familiar with different levels of senior living options, it’s time to evaluate a few of the unique qualities that these communities may have to weigh what’s most important to you or your loved one in the decision-making journey. This is where the process becomes personalized, as not all senior living communities are created equal. From dining to activities and that X-factor element of “feeling right at home,” here are key things to consider before making the move:

Does It Feel Like Home?

As you tour senior living communities in Glenview, be observant from the moment you park your car. Is the exterior of the community well maintained—you know, the way you or your loved one might like a front porch to appear when welcoming guests? Is the landscaping in order and the entryway clean? Consider how the team welcomed you as you approached the front desk. Was the person smiling and inviting? While these might seem like small details, you want to feel at home living there. You or your loved one deserves to be in an atmosphere that is positive and warm. 

Is Communication Seamless? 

Aside from selecting the right level of care, whether it be independent living, assisted living or memory care, it’s important to consider how communication flowed from the very first phone call with the community to the end of the in-person tour. In any relationship, communication is key, and once you or your loved one makes the move, this will be one of the most important relationships in your life. Pay attention to the team members’ responsiveness. Were your phone calls returned, did they answer all your questions directly and did they provide transparent answers? Additionally,  you may want your feedback heard. If so, a post-tour survey might be of value to you. All of these communications tactics are factors to ponder in the process.

Is The Culture Positive? 

Here’s another element that is sometimes an X-factor, as in, it’s hard to explain until you experience it. You can get a good feel for a senior living community’s culture through in-person tours. Pay attention to how the current residents appear when touring the property. Do you see socialization taking place in activity rooms, delicious meals being served in the dining rooms and smiles on people’s faces? Also, it’s important to gauge how employees interact with one another as well as with the residents. By getting to know staff over the phone and on tours, you’ll get a glimpse into the culture, and trust us, you’ll be able to decipher which ones are vibrant and healthy.

With a refresher on the different types of senior living communities and a few key elements to consider when touring your options, we hope you feel better prepared to organize which options are most important to you or your loved one. Evaluating senior living communities takes time and attention to detail, because some of the smallest details make the biggest differences, like a friendly smile that greets you at the front door or the beautiful flowers lining the building. 

At Arbor Terrace Glenview, we’re making it easy for you to compare senior living communities on Chicago’s North Shore with our Evaluating Senior Living Options Checklist. Take this checklist, and let it serve as your guide as you embark on your journey to find the right community. 

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