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What to Look for in an Assisted Living Community

Senior researches assisted living with daughter

Are you ready to start researching assisted living communities, but don’t know how to compare one community to another? It can be intimidating at first, but just like when you bought your first home, having a process and plan will make things easier.

In this post, we're going to break down several key considerations to help you decide on where the next chapter of your retirement is going to be.

5 Considerations When Selecting Assisted Living

1. Location, Location, Location

Finding a great location will definitely be high up on your list. Many seniors want to stay in their current community or be close to friends and family. But there's more to consider when it comes to location, including the nearby amenities.

Google Maps is a great tool to explore new neighborhoods. You can use this program to locate any community that you're considering. From there, you'll see what attractions, businesses, healthcare facilities and amenities are nearby. Remember, there's no perfect location since everyone has different preferences, but this will give you the big picture view.

Next, create a list of what your preferred location would look like and start comparing it to communities you're considering and what you’ve seen on Google Maps.

2. Think About the Size of the Community

Remember when you or a loved one went to college? There were huge campuses with a big city feeling as well as more intimate colleges that mirrored a small town. The same logic is true for assisted living communities.

Just like colleges, there are pros and cons to both. Larger assisted living communities are likely to have more amenities like movie theaters or multiple dining rooms.  They may offer access to other services, like skilled nursing care and rehabilitation. Smaller communities may have a cozier feel and be easier to navigate. Take some time to figure out which community size would be ideal for your lifestyle, passions and future needs.

3. How is the Community's Reputation?

We all know what it’s like to go to a restaurant for dinner and be completely let down by the food or service. Don't let something similar happen with an assisted living community. Once you have a list of potential communities, take time to research their reputation.

You can explore online reviews posted on Google, Yelp or other sites. By reading these reviews, you’ll get a feel for the experiences of residents and family members. Talk to friends and family about what they’ve heard. And feel free to ask questions of current residents when you do a tour of the community.

By the way, taking a tour is one of the best ways to check out a community. Once you're done touring, ask yourself if you'd enjoy coming back.

4. What Activities are Available?

When you are looking at assisted living communities, it’s important to determine what services they provide, such as meals, housekeeping and medical assistance. But you also want to have a vibrant lifestyle and enjoy the hobbies you've developed over the years.

Find out what activities and outings each community offers. You might be able to view an activities calendar online, or you can always ask the community to send you one. 

Next, head over to the Facebook page of each assisted living facility. Most communities will post pictures of their activities, outings and events. You'll be able to see what they are doing and get an idea of how much the residents enjoy them.

5. Can You See Yourself Living There?

You might find a community that fits all the other boxes, but for some reason you can't picture your life there. There's no one-size-fits-all assisted living community. And when you're making a choice this important, it's natural to get cold feet.

Once you've narrowed your search down to a few top contenders, see if they offer adult day care or respite care. By staying at a community for a few days, you'll know when it feels like the right decision. During this stay, you'll also get a closer look into how friendly the staff is, if the community is pet friendly, how the food tastes and more.

Discover Caring and Supportive Assisted Living Near You

At Willow Brook, we're committed to helping all residents live a fulfilling life. We offer many opportunities to be social while maximizing your independence in a homelike environment.

Our focus is on quality care. In fact, the Ohio Department of Aging ranked our Delaware Run assisted living facility #1 in Delaware County for resident satisfaction and in the top 3 percent in the entire state of Ohio.

Our assisted living communities at Willow Brook Christian Home and Willow Brook Christian Village also have earned top reviews from families and residents. We’d be glad to help you on your journey. Contact us today for more information.

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