Seniors doing research on computer

When Should You Start Your Senior Living Search?

Timing is everything when you’re considering a move into senior living. Even if you’re not sure when you’ll retire or make your move, you have plenty to gain by starting your senior living search ahead of time. There’s a lot at stake here — we’re talking about where you want to live in the next phase of your life. If you’re like most seniors, you want to get the most value from selling your home, find a retirement community that fits your needs and move in on your own terms. 

It’s a big decision, and one that many people put off until the last possible moment. Unfortunately, if you wait until a crisis or health situation pushes you down that path, you may feel rushed into a decision and have fewer options. Being prepared can help you make rational decisions based on what matters most, rather than emotional decisions in response to a crisis. If you start your senior living search sooner rather than later, you’ll have the time and flexibility to explore all your options and choose what’s best for you.  

A Checklist for Your Senior Living Search 

Finding a community to meet your needs now and in the future is key. If you want an all-inclusive senior living community where you can seamlessly transition to higher levels of care, if needed, a continuing care retirement community may be a great option to consider. 

Here’s a checklist to help guide your search for your ideal senior living community:

  • Do your research. If you haven’t yet decided on a community, here’s your chance to comparison shop — visit websites, take virtual tours, explore social media postings, attend community events, request brochures and speak with staff. Look for reviews and ratings to get a sense for the community’s reputation as well as feedback on the quality of care and level of satisfaction with accommodations, services and amenities.
  • Ask for advice and referrals. Reach out to your network of family, friends and neighbors about their experience with senior living communities in your area. Engage in conversations about senior care with your doctors, religious leaders, financial advisors and other people you trust. It’s also helpful to chat with current residents and staff members at the communities you’re considering.
  • Take a tour. Pictures and videos can give you the flavor of community, but there’s so much more to see and experience when you take a tour. You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions, observe day-to-day life, walk the campus, get a taste of the dining options and see how team members and residents interact. 
  • Bring your questions. Moving into senior living is one of life’s biggest decisions, and you’re sure to have a lot of questions throughout your search. Naturally, you’ll want to know about floor plans, senior apartment options and pricing. It pays to understand the fee structure, entrance fees, and options for higher levels of care, such as assisted living or memory support, in the future. You might also be curious about what’s on the menu in the restaurant, when the pool is open for swimming or where you can catch a good movie. No question is too big or too small.
  • Focus on your priorities. Identify and rank the top priorities in your senior living search, such as location, pricing, floor plans, healthcare services, dining options, pet-friendly policies and other community features. Focus on what matters most to you and let your priorities guide your decision-making process. This is the key to finding a place where you’ll be happy, secure and living your best life in the future.

Explore More at Mary’s Woods

Mary’s Woods is intentionally designed to be a thriving and vibrant community where you can simplify and enhance your life. We’d love to have you visit our campus, treat you to lunch and answer any questions you may have. Learn more about our senior living options or contact us to schedule a personal tour.