How to find the right senior living community for you

Plus, how to know when it’s time to start considering your options

Staying active and engaged can lead to a more meaningful life, and as you or a loved one grows older, it becomes even more important.

Senior living communities can offer a lifestyle that is fun, entertaining, enjoyable and supportive.

An expert at Samaritas offered insights about what people should consider when picking their new home.

First of all, when should someone start looking into a senior living community?

According to Kelli Dobner, Chief Advancement Officer at Samaritas, it is always best to move into one of these facilities before it becomes a necessity. Changing a home is a big deal, and a lot of stress comes with that. It is best to do it when someone is feeling good and can adequately prepare for such a move.

It’s also important to consider what’s important to someone and their lifestyle, so they can find a community that shares those values and allows them to live the life they want.

People also want to consider the kind of care that is needed. Not just what is needed right now, but what might be needed in the future. The benefit of a senior living community is that the care is always right there, as opposed to living alone.

A senior living community can also provide amenities that make someone’s life easier. For example, not many people have a personal chef at home, but at a senior living community, people don’t have to lift a finger to make dinner.

Another benefit to moving into a community is the fun of it. At times, living at home can be quite isolating. At a senior living community, there are many other people and a whole calendar full of activities residents can participate in.

If moving into a senior living community sounds like a good next step for you or a loved one, here’s what to consider when picking out a place, according to Dobner.

The vibe - What does it feel like when you walk in? Are you greeted right away? Do you get a feeling of friendliness? Are people interacting with each other and seeming like they enjoy each other’s company? Is it a bustling community or is it more quiet and low-key?

The space - Is it clean? Is it bright? Is it cheerful? Is it cared for and well maintained?

The amenities - Do the amenities available match your lifestyle? For example, if you love to take walks, is there an outside area to do so?

The levels of care - How much care do you need now? How about later in life? Does this place suit your needs?

The costs - Is the price shared up front? Is this within your budget?

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About the Author:

Michelle Oliver is a multimedia Journalist for the 10 a.m. lifestyle show, "Live in the D." She is known as "the food girl" because of her two popular food franchises, Dine in the D and Find Your Fix. Michelle also covers stories on homegrown businesses, style, and other fun things happening in the D.