How to Determine the Best Senior Housing Option

Preparation is the first step in securing your loved one the best home possible. When deciding on the best senior housing option for your loved one, save yourself time and energy by discussing their wants and needs, considering your own needs as the caregiver, and doing your research before you start to contact facilities.

Step One: Consider the Needs and Wants of Your Loved One

The very first step you should take in this process is to discuss what is important with your loved one. List each and every need that will have to be met. This includes absolutes, such as medications, daily task assistance, and physical accommodations. You can also communicate with your loved one’s  doctor to make sure final choices fit their healthcare needs. Review current features of their home that they enjoy and try to match those in their future home. Ask about features they wish they had or hope to have in their next place.

While it’s easy to remember things like medical needs or accommodating physical ailments, don’t overlook the importance of services and programs. Ask your loved one about their hobbies and interests. Social interaction can work wonders for psychological and physical health. Hobbies, classes, and community activities provide an outlet for emotional expression and present opportunities for social interactions. Perhaps they are into specific hobbies or always wanted to take a particular class. Anything they’ve used as a way to relax or have fun should be listed as well as any other preferences, such as a swimming pool or entertainment options nearby. If nature has always been a passion, add preferred scenery or rooms with a view to the list. Write down everything that comes to mind; you can narrow the options after further review.

Step Two: Consider Your Needs as a Caregiver

As a caregiver, you probably understand the importance of quality care as much as your loved one. Taking care of someone you love brings on stress, regardless of circumstances. As you make your list, present ideas that will benefit yourself and others who care for your loved one. An example of something that may be important to you would be the location of the facility. Although proximity to a friend or loved one is important for both sides, always remember the big picture and choose based on compatibility without compromising on distance.

Step Three: Do Your Research to Find the Best Senior Housing Option

Now that you’ve evaluated and listed every deciding factor, research the different types of care communities to best choose the right fit. Caring Village has a great breakdown of the different types of facilities in their blog Residential Care Options for Aging Adults,

Once you’ve landed on the type of facility that would be best for your loved one, conduct a thorough internet search. Some sites allow you to view thousands of facilities across the country. You can find reviews, photos, and lists of amenities to help you choose the best senior housing option. Narrow down your choices according to the checklist then schedule a visit. Have the checklist ready to make sure you ask the right questions and remember to take notes for each tour.

As you work through these steps, keep everyone important involved in the conversation. Be sure to weigh the pros and cons as you compare possible residential care options to the current living situation. There are many different types of care facilities that are all unique in their own way.

Using a checklist helps prioritize and organize every important aspect. Even if you can’t find a place that features everything on your checklist, you should have enough options and researched performed to determine the correct move.



Rebecca Everett Susko works for Senior Advisor. Senior Advisor provides senior care reviews to help guide family and loved ones to find care that fits their needs. Rebecca has grown up in the senior care realm, watching her family run a home hospice company. Rebecca comes from a background in senior care insurance and has since worked in internet marketing for all aspects of the senior care world.