Thrive In Place Blog

How to Choose a Senior Living Community

Choosing a senior living community is one of the most important decisions most people make. Your future quality of life depends on selecting wisely, and the options can be overwhelming.

With many types of senior living communities available, it pays to take your time and ensure that you feel comfortable with your decision. Consider the following steps to assist with your decision-making process.

Choose your geographic area

This can be a tough — and very personal — decision if you live in one area and your children live somewhere else. Think about your personality and what will make you happy. Is it more important to you to be near children and grandchildren or to remain in your familiar locale?

Pinpoint your preferred style of living

Senior living communities come in many varieties with unique advantages. From active adult to continuing-care retirement communities, independent living and others, you’ll find a range of contract types offering varying amenities at varying costs.

senior man riding cycle

Talk with neighbors and friends

Do you have friends or neighbors who have researched senior living in your area? Better yet, do you know anyone who has moved into a senior community? First-person accounts provide the most accurate information, so take advantage of your network as you research. In addition, marketing staff at communities often can introduce you to a resident for lunch and a chat.

Do your online homework

Nowadays, just about everything you could want to know about a community is online. Be sure to peruse the community’s website, and check with the licensing agency in your state for additional information. You should be able to read communities’ contracts, disclosure statements and other important documents through the appropriate licensing bodies.

Visit the community

Before you get too far along in your decision process, you’ll want to visit all the communities in which you have interest. For the best service and a thorough tour, schedule your visit with marketing staff. Ask to have lunch or dinner at the community and to meet a resident or two. On the day of your tour, be sure to wear comfortable shoes, because you likely will be doing a lot of walking.

Your marketing representative should be able to provide you with detailed information about the community’s amenities, including technology solutions. Be sure to ask if the community features IndependaTVe™, which will provide you with a user-friendly, simple way to stay in touch with loved ones through video chat and messaging.

couple visiting a senior community


Don’t wait too long

Once you’ve done your research, don’t delay your move. Residents of your community of choice likely will tell you they wish they’d moved sooner. And with technology like IndependaTVe™, you can virtually “take along” your loved ones. With so new many people to meet, things to do and vibrant life to live in today’s senior communities, what are you waiting for?

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  1. Ridley Fitzgerald - Reply

    My mom is getting to old to stay home, so thanks for these tips. She wants to stay home, but I know she needs to stay in a senior community, for her own safety. I know a few friends who have taken their parents to a community, so I’ll ask them for their opinion.

  2. Judy Wilson - Reply

    My mom seems to be feeling pretty lonely living at home by herself, so I feel that moving her to a senior living community will help her make new friends and live a better quality of life. You’re right about how I should take her preferred style of living into consideration. She’s usually pretty active, so putting her in a community with other active seniors would probably be a good idea. Thanks for the tips!

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  • Our guests use the video chat and photo and message sharing features of Independa to stay connected with their families. In fact this week we admitted a guest who has a daughter in Georgia and another in Italy. I spoke with the daughter about how to share photos and messages and to make video calls from her Independa device, and later went to see the guest about how it was going. She said to me “Kelly this video chat is so cool! I don’t care how long I have to be in here now because I can see my daughters!” It’s just amazing to see one of our guests be able to connect with a loved one all the way from Italy!

    Kelly Miles, Director of Rec Therapy
  • You don’t need to keep calling me now to remind me, my TV just told me to take my medication!

    93 Year Old Independa User
  • I love that Dad can get digital photos now. He didn’t want a Facebook account so the only time he would see any photos was when we came over to visit and we’d show him on our iPhone. Now he gets them himself on the TV all the time, and when people come to visit him he proudly shows them his photo album on the TV.

    USA Properties
  • I’ve been using video chat and it has opened up my world – my family who live close by still visit once a week, but now I get to see them every day. I also get to see the rest of the family who live interstate and can’t come to visit. I also video chat with old friends who I haven’t seen for years. It has made such a big difference to my life, I don’t feel isolated anymore. I highly recommend this to other people; it really does change your life.

    USA Properties
  • I live in California, my 80 year-old dad lives in Texas and my 21 year-old daughter lives in Colorado. My daughter spends all her time on social media using her smart phone, whereas my dad spends all his time watching TV, he doesn’t understand social media and doesn’t have a smart phone. Independa is great because not only does it bring us closer despite the geographical distance between us, it bridges the gap between the generations because it uses the technology they are most comfortable with.

    USA Properties
  • We use the video chat feature in the resident’s TV to get the entire circle of care together at once; we will have the nurse and the physical therapist in the room with the resident, and we will then video call their family. That way everyone who is involved in their care gets the same message at the same time and can ask questions while we are present so there is no confusion. One time when we were working with a deaf resident, we were able to arrange for her daughter to sign via video chat and translate what we were saying and the questions her mother had; it made such a huge difference.

    Wellbridge at Brighton
  • My dad was on the Honor Flight to DC today. An amazing trip for a veteran. I was able to meet him at the Korean War Memorial. He is a Korean War veteran. I was able to send pictures of the entire experience to my mom at home throughout the day. Mom was thrilled, and when my dad gets home he has all the pictures from his trip on his TV and can even play a slideshow. Amazing!!! Thank you!

    Kendal At Home
  • Video chat on the TV is great! I was using FaceTime on my iPad to see the grandkids and I thought that was the greatest thing, but seeing them all on the big TV is truly incredible, it’s like they are in the room with me. I love it!

    USA Properties
  • When Lillian broke her hip a week before her Grandson’s wedding, she and the family were broken hearted because they thought she would have to miss this very special day. Thankfully, she had chosen Wellbridge of Brighton for her short-term rehab. “I’m going to my Grandson’s wedding” she proudly told the staff as she received the video call through her TV and was instantly ‘seated’ in the front row for the ceremony!

    Wellbridge of Brighton
  • I travel a lot for work. I used to worry myself sick about not being able to be there if Mom needed me. She says the smartphone I got her is too small, too complicated, and hard to see, but she loves using Independa. Now she can see all her shows and we can video chat so I can make sure she’s taking her medicine. It’s such a relief to check in anytime and know she’s OK.

    Laura P.