The 7 Major Things To Look For When Choosing a Senior Home

Is time to make the jump towards moving to a senior facility?

Choosing the right senior home for you or a loved one can feel like an exhausting experience. This is a big choice; you want this to be a “forever home”, so how do you make the right call?

There are plenty of wonderful assisted living facilities made for seniors, but how do you know when you’re making the right choice for you or your loved one’s lifestyle?

Here are 7 things to take into consideration when you’re trying to find your perfect senior home.

1. Do You Love the Location?

When someone is going into assisted living they don’t technically have to stay in the local area. This is their home and they get to decide where they’re moving!

That being said, it’s helpful to know where you want the home to be. If you’re someone who wants to be by the beach it might not be convenient to pick a home that’s in a landlocked area. If looking at snow is important, consider avoiding the south.

More importantly, how important is it that friends and family can visit? Choosing a place that’s both in a place that the new resident is going to enjoy and a place that’s close enough that they can welcome their loved ones for visits is important.

You’ll be here for a while, make sure that you’re living somewhere that’s appealing!

2. Does It Fit In Your Budget?

Senior living can be expensive. Sometimes there are insurance options available, while other people have been saving up for their entire lives to contribute to their senior care. Either way, you need to make sure that the place in question actually fits into your budget.

You don’t want to underpay for a senior living facility either. In many cases, you get what you pay for, and some centers can just seem drab and sterile. This is supposed to be a home, not a hospital (even if medical services are available) and it’s important that the new resident is comfortable even if it means there’s an extra cost.

Ask about the costs when you’re calling around to different senior living facilities. Always be sure to ask about what’s covered by that cost and if there are upcharges based on different amenities.

Some senior care centers that have higher costs also have wonderful amenities for residents. You just have to balance what you want with what you have.

3. What Levels of Care Do They Offer?

Not all forms of senior care and living are the same. The kind that you need is going to depend on how much independence the new resident is going to want or be able to handle.

Many facilities have multiple types of care to support different needs. Be sure to have a hard conversation with the new resident (or if you’re the new resident, with your family) to make sure that you’re making the best choice.

Independent senior living is like living in a bungalow, apartment, or condo. These homes are solitary and seniors can move freely, talk to friends, and engage in fun activities. Great facilities might have things that make the independent living experience feel more like a lifelong vacation.

More serious nursing facilities are for seniors who need some extra help but still want to have their own space. They’re staffed with full-time medical personnel to make sure that residents are always safe and that their needs are always met. If the resident needs help with everyday tasks (like dressing, bathing, or anything else that needs to be done) they will have the help that they need.

Memory care is for residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s. These residents need around-the-clock attention from caring nurses and at a good memory care facility that’s exactly what they’re going to get.

4. Are There Great Amenities?

Like we said, some senior care homes seem like 5-star hotels. They have pools, fitness centers, and classes. You’ll want to move in even if you’re not ready to transition to assisted or independent living!

Check and see if the offered amenities suit the needs of the new resident. Are they interested in meals from real chefs? Do they care about having a thriving social life and experiencing fun activities? Maybe they’re more focused on staying fit during their stay!

Whatever the case, see if the offered amenities match the desires of the resident. They’ll be staying there a while!

5. Does the Staff Seem Attentive and Well-Trained?

A well-trained staff is the backbone of any good senior care facility. It can be helpful to take a tour around the facility before making your decision to see how staff members approach and interact with the residents.

Do they seem to have empathetic attitudes? Are there any red flags like perceived carelessness or patronizing behavior?

Are nurses cheerful and kind?

Overall, does the staff at this location give you a good and comfortable feeling?

6. Does the Facility Seem Up-to-Date?

While you’re taking a walk around the grounds, check and see if everything seems up-to-date. Homes should be clean and have modern appliances and amenities. Everything should be easily accessible by those with disabilities.

It’s a good sign when these facilities have vibrant outdoor “green areas”. This gives seniors somewhere to sit or walk outside and chat with each other to get valuable sunshine and fresh air.

The grounds should be welcoming, modern, and comfortable. Many of the best facilities take a lot of pride in the upkeep of their grounds. The care of the patients is reflected in the care of the property.

Have You Found Your Perfect Senior Home?

Choosing the right senior home isn’t easy. How do you decide where you’re going to spend your twilight years?

Going through our checklist can help you to make the decision that’s right for you. When you look at your budget, care needs, and desired amenities, you’ll be able to narrow down your options in no time.

If you’re looking for an assisted living facility with skilled full-time nursing staff in St. Louis, we might just be the home for you. Come visit us and take a tour of our grounds. We’re excited to meet you!