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What to Look for When Choosing a Senior Living Community

There are few decisions as important for your family as ones associated with the care and comfort of your older loved ones. And making the decision to move into a senior living community is an especially important one.

In many cases, the move into a senior living community comes directly from a longtime home, perhaps one where your loved one has lived for decades. The transition is understandably fraught with emotion, and can be pretty stressful. This is even true despite excitement for a move into senior living, and all the benefits that come with that move. It’s a lot to process and handle.


Making the Right Senior Living Community Decision is Everything

Avoiding unnecessary stress and ensuring not only a smooth transition, but many happy years to come, starts with choosing the right senior living community. But where do you start? How do you know what to prioritize?

We speak with seniors and their families every day, and have found that these are the most important elements to consider when choosing a senior living community:


We go through a lot of changes as we get older. Many are physical changes, like surgeries, or illnesses, and the older we get, the more changes seem to come along with each passing year.

But, as our needs change, having some stability is essential. As touched upon earlier, our homes often provide that stability. When loved ones move into senior living, there is extra peace of mind that comes with knowing that a senior living community will be “home base” for a while.

If your loved one has chronic health conditions, or anything else that you suspect may mean a change in care over the next few years, you may want to look for a senior living community that offers some flexible levels of care. This will help ensure your loved one can stay in his or her new home as long as possible.


Of course, cost is always going to factor into making the right decision. It’s up to you and your family over which you prefer to work out first -- your budget, or a baseline of costs for the level of care and amenities you’re seeking in a senior living community.

To avoid “sticker shock” and help you plan the most effectively, we’ve found that identifying your budget range is a strong place to start.

Then, don’t be shy -- ask about costs up front and early in conversations or meetings with potential senior living communities. If the cost is too far outside your budget, this will save you a considerable amount of time, and could save your relative from “falling in love” with a community, only to later learn it’s not a budget fit.

That being said, if costs seem close, but just outside your range, talk to the community. There may be a way to make it work.

The Look and Feel

This may sound a little bit like “warm fuzzies,” but let’s be honest -- a senior living community is about to become your loved one’s HOME. You want to feel warm fuzzies! The look and feel of a community is absolutely important. That can include anything from decor and furniture inside common areas, to how a community makes you or your loved one feel.

Factors that can influence how you feel about a senior living community include how employees answer the phone, how they greet you at the door, how receptive they are to your questions and concerns, how happy other residents feel when you visit, general cleanliness.

Although writing a list of your wants and needs is of the utmost importance, hunches and gut feelings are also extremely important. Don’t automatically discredit a feeling if your loved one just “doesn’t feel right” about a particular community. It bears repeating, but this is going to be your loved one’s home! If it doesn’t feel right, you may be better off looking at some additional senior living communities.

Activities and Amenities

Whether your loved one is a solitary soul who loves cooking and reading alone, or is a social butterfly that loves a good game of chess and watching the football game with friends, you’ll want to verify that a senior living community offers the types of activities and amenities that will offer value and give extra meaning to every day.

Here at Winnwood Retirement Community, our amenities and activities are influenced by our team of experts as well as our residents and their families. From concierge services to assist with daily tasks like doctors’ appointments and transportation, to beauty salons and a putting green, to a movie theater, libraries and game rooms, it’s VERY hard to be bored here! And we are truly proud that the level of involvement and activity is extremely personalized. Take advantage of whatever activities and amenities suit you or your loved one. We are here to serve all our residents and help you live your best life.

And if we aren’t currently offering an amenity or activity your relative loves, let us know! We’re constantly assessing our offerings to ensure we’re meeting the needs of our residents.

We’re Here to Help You Find the Right Senior Living Community

At Winnwood Retirement Community, our team is proud to help you navigate this important and sometimes overwhelming decision. Give us a call at (770) 830-3806 or contact us through our website - we’d love to meet you!

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