a senior couple searches for the right independent living facility on wife's laptop

Finding the right independent living community

June 17, 2023

Choosing the appropriate independent community for yourself or a loved one can be
daunting – as there are so many factors to consider! Adore Mom’s complimentary placement and evaluation services are a great resource for finding the right location, care, community, amenities and medical considerations to accomodate your specific needs.

Even if you’re going to be using a placement service, it’s still helpful to have an idea of what you’re looking for, whether you’re planning ahead or needing a more immediate move.

senior couple on couch looks over finances while trying to find the right independent living facility

The financial consideration

Let’s get to the elephant in the room right away – a key factor is cost and discussions should begin with your budget as it will play a role in expanding or limiting your choices of independent living community options.

When it comes to considering the costs, it is imperative to be proactive.

Keep in mind that Medicare/Medicaid do not support independent living community costs. And while independent living facilities might be aligned to accept long-term care insurance, there may be specific requirements the insurance provider may have that could limit your choices.

Independent living is typically funded by one of the following sources: pension; savings; stocks; bonds; the sale of a home; reverse mortgage; etc.

Okay, now that we’ve briefly covered the financial aspect, let’s get into more of what you’ll want to look for in terms of the independent living community options.

senior couple holds a map wile walking down the street looking for the right independent living facility

Location is a good starting point

One of the many things things to consider with finding the right independent living community is location. How easy will it be for friends, family and loved ones to visit you?

For example, if you have kids and grandchildren that live in the same state but are 100 miles apart, perhaps you could find a location somewhere in between. Plus, you’ll likely want some help from them, at least occasionally, so making it a little more convenient for them to get to you should be a consideration.

You might want to stay close to your previous home to keep in touch with friends and neighbors. Or, if you have kids out of state, this might be the perfect time to relocate closer to them.

According to the article 9 Questions to Ask When Choosing an Independent Living Facility by U.S. News and World Report, “Some independent living chains allow residents to spend part of the year in one city and part in another.

a male nurse helps a senior woman determine the care she needs in an independent living facility

What kind of care do you need?

Independent living is going to require that you can do most daily tasks yourself, with as minimal help as possible. The goal of this type of living option is to allow a high level of autonomy while easing the burden of tasks such as: maintenance; meal prep; transportation; etc.

Some questions to ask here are:

  • Do you need quick access to medical care?
  • Do you want the option of having meals provided for you?
  • How much help do you need with daily tasks?
  • Would you like a place that offers a level of housekeeping?
  • What kind of transportation options do you need?

These questions will begin to help you narrow down your search and find the right care options.

senior couple looks out the window while looking for the right independent living facility

Get to know the facility

When you’ve narrowed down independent living facilities that meet your needs and expectations, you’ll want to take property tours. Adore Mom offers free transportation to, and arrangement of, property tours to help you find the right solution.

Here are some things you’ll want to look for when touring a property:

  • Assess the staff. Take the time to determine if they are the right fit for what you’re looking for, if they engage well with the residents, what the turnover rate is, what background checks are done, etc.
  • Find out about safety protocols. Is the facility well maintained? What happens during a power outage and what considerations are in place for natural disasters? Are there measures in place to prevent falls? Are there emergency call buttons and or pull cords and what happens when you activate one?
  • Talk with some residents if you can. Getting a chance to speak with some of the residents will help you get to know the facility better and get a sense of the community there. Often a place will have one, or a handful, of residents who enjoy meeting with new prospective neighbors and are happy to give you the details on what it’s like to live there. Friendly staff is important, but friendly neighbors are who you’ll be spending time with.

When you take the time to narrow down your choices, and then get to know the facilities you might want to consider, you’ll be well on your way to finding the right independent living facility for you, or your loved one. Of course, having a few experts by your side, helping you navigate your choices and options will make this process easier. That, of course, is the focus of Adore Mom!