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How to Find the Best Independent Living Community Near You

Today’s seniors have plenty of options for choosing a senior living community. When you have this many senior living options to choose from, it helps to have a system to compare each so that you or your loved one can choose the best independent living community for your family’s needs. Research is key!

6 Tips to Find the Right Independent Living Community

Comparing community features is only part of the equation. Deciding what you or your loved one wants most from a retirement community is a major consideration too; know your desires and priorities to narrow down the search and keep focused on what matters to you.

In addition to the features you desire, do not forget to consider the following as you compare each senior care community:

1. Always Consider Location

Location, location, location—it really can be a make-it-or-break-it factor when deciding what place is the best senior living community for your family’s needs and wants.

Consider the surrounding neighborhood. Are there local shops, restaurants, banks, and places of worship in the area that you or your loved one would like to visit? Is there public transportation or on-site transportation services at your chosen community available, or do you need a car to get around? Perhaps most importantly, is the community close to family members? If getting around to nearby places and family is important, finding a local place is critical to your search.

If these factors are less of a concern and you want a destination retirement, location will play an even more prominent role. After all, you’re choosing to relocate somewhere you might not be familiar with. In this situation, you’ll want to find out as much as you can before about the areas while perusing your independent living options.

2. Review the Services and Amenities

What a community can offer for your monthly fee can determine a lot about your quality of life. Most independent living communities include home maintenance and weekly housekeeping for no extra cost.

After these basic services, each community can vary in what is included each month and what will be charged extra. Some independent living communities do not have meals as part of their fee, for example. As you compare your options, consider not just what services are offered, but whether they’re included in your fee.

Some of the popular services that independent living communities offer include:

  • Dining options
  • Concierge services
  • Laundry services
  • Hair salons
  • Scheduled transportation
  • Fitness centers
  • Guest lecturers
  • Social activities

3. Never Neglect the Power of Meals

Dining makes a big difference in quality of life at a senior living community. In addition to a well-appointed dining room with fresh, healthy food choices, residents can dine among friends old and new.

As you compare senior housing options, don’t only ask about their dining options—experience them yourself. Schedule each visit during the mealtimes. Try several menu options to get a feel for what your daily experience could be.

4. Find the Right Fit for Your Family’s Care Needs

If you’re looking into a community that offers continuing care, such as assisted living or memory care, evaluate these services as well. These continuing care retirement communities, or CCRCs, offer various levels of care in one location, so that older adults won’t have to move again, even if their medical care and personal care needs change.

If you’re moving into an independent living community and don’t yet need help with activities of daily living, it still pays for you to find out as much as you can about the community’s additional care options and their approach to care. No one knows what the future holds, so it can provide your entire family peace of mind that you’ll be satisfied with the senior care services you receive.

5. Don’t Forget About the Atmosphere

As you search for the right fit, ask yourself the following:

  • Do the values of this community match my own?
  • Are there enriching activities and outings?
  • Will there be assistance at move-in?
  • Are the residents kind people that I’d like to spend time with?
  • Are there open floor plans that feel natural?
  • Do I feel at home?
  • Do I see myself being happy here for years to come?

Sometimes, a community meets all your desires on paper but does not feel right in person. Every community has a different atmosphere, usually determined by the staff and residents. It is impossible to know what a community feels like until you visit. Please don’t make any final decisions or commitments until you see each community.

6. Decide Your Price Point

Senior living costs can vary wildly, from affordable to quite expensive for luxury communities. Avoid frustration and disappointment in the future by establishing a realistic price point that is based on your family’s available resources. Also remember that private long-term care insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid do not usually cover any costs associated with independent living. These forms of insurance typically only cover costs associated with skilled nursing facilities (nursing homes), memory care communities, and, sometimes, assisted living communities.

Finding the Right Level of Care at Avista Senior Living Communities

Finding the best independent living community near you might seem like an overwhelming task—but it doesn’t have to be that way. At Avista Senior Living, we know that choosing a senior living community is a big and, quite frankly, personal decision that your family has to make. We know how high the stakes are and how intricate this process can be. We want to make it as seamless as possible. When you’re looking for the right senior living community, contact the team at Avista Senior Living. We can help you find a community that matches your family’s needs.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only.

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