Wednesday, June 19

Tips for a Successful Senior Living Community Search

AgingChoices Unfiltered: Episode 7

So it’s time to start searching for a senior living community for yourself or a loved one, and you have no idea where to begin!

That’s perfectly normal and we totally understand. Searching for senior living options can seem overwhelming and it’s a big decision to make. But don’t worry, we’re here to interject a sense of calm and focus to this process with some helpful tips to consider when searching for senior living community options.

Our guest this week is Victoria Archable, owner of CarePatrol of Metro Atlanta. Archable works side-by-side with families as they go through the process of selecting a senior living community. CarePatrol helps families build a list of prospective senior living communities based on the needs of their loved one and attends the tours as well.

Victoria Archable - CarePatrol of Metro Atlanta

What Questions Should You Ask When Touring Senior Living Communities?

You’ve done your research and compiled a shortlist of potential senior living communities that could be a good fit for you or a loved one. Now it’s time to take a tour, whether done virtually due to COVID-19 or in-person. Listed below are some questions Archable recommends asking while on your tours:

  • What is the ratio of caregivers to residents?
  • For memory care facilities: How many caregivers are on the floor at night? How many are on the floor during the day?
  • What is the staff turnover?
  • How often is my loved one checked on by staff?
  • What is the food like?
  • Can I sample the food during lunch or dinner?
  • Will the community provide feeding assistance if my loved one can no longer feed themselves?
  • Will they be able to transfer them from a bed into a wheelchair if they decline to that point?
  • Can my loved one age in place?

Who Should Go on Tours of Senior Living Communities?

Archable said it’s not uncommon for the adult children or decision-makers to attend the initial tours with a CarePatrol local advisor, without their loved one. This allows the adult children to visit multiple senior living communities and then narrow down the options to one or two. Plus, it may be too physically overwhelming to bring your loved one on multiple tours.

Once the list of prospective senior living communities has been pared down to one or two, the adult children can make a return visit with their loved one to make a final decision.

How to Talk With Your Parents About Senior Living Options

Feeling a little bit better about the situation now that you have some questions ready to ask?


Now, let’s tackle the big question that everyone asks during this process: How do I talk with my parents about senior living options?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered on this, with some sound advice from Archable.

To begin with, Archable recommends having a discussion with your parents about senior living options before you are in a situation where you have to make a quick decision.

“Starting out earlier, you have more choices,” said Archable. “The later you wait and if you become impaired physically or cognitively, your choices become narrower.”

One strategy Archable uses to speak with loved ones who are hesitant about moving into a senior living community is to try it out on a temporary basis. Find a senior living community that suits the needs of your loved one and have them try it out for a week or two and see how they like it.

Archable said in most cases once their loved one is at a senior living community and see how much fun the residents are having and how much easier their lives are, they warm up to the idea of moving to a senior living community.

“Sometimes you have to ease them into that because it is a big adjustment for folks who have been living in their own home and their own environment for so long,” Archable said.

Start Your Senior Living Community Search

We created a super helpful tool to help you find a senior living community that fits the needs of your loved one. Our Choice! Wizard© makes the research process super easy! Just follow our simple 3-step process to discover the recommended options that best fit your specific needs. The Choice Wizard is free and easy to use.

Try Our Choice! Wizard©

Enjoy More Episodes of AgingChoices Unfiltered!

We’re so excited to launch our podcast featuring real talk about senior care options. Each week we discuss timely topics with industry insiders and give you an unfiltered view of senior care.

Take a listen to our other episodes:

Episode 1–Get to Know Brenda & Terri co-founders Brenda Limone and Terri Sullivan detail their backgrounds in the senior care industry and share personal stories involving their own family members’ experiences with senior care.

Episode 2–Protecting Senior Living Communities from COVID-19 In this episode, Brenda & Terri are joined by Brenda Abbott-Shultz, VP of Resident Services at Sagora Senior Living to discuss the steps senior living communities are taking to combat Coronavirus.

Episode 3–Staying Home vs. Moving to a Senior Living Community Michelle Woodbrey, Chief Executive Officer and Co-owner of 2Sisters Senior Living Advisors shares four factors to consider when considering whether to stay at home or move to a senior living community.

Episode 4–The State of Home Care During the COVID-19 Crisis Brenda and Terri give you an inside look at the state of home care during the COVID-19 crisis. Guest Girish Lahoty, CEO and owner of FirstLight Home Care of Boston Northwest, shares the steps his team is taking to ensure the safety of all clients and caregivers.

Episode 5–What’s the Difference Between Assisted Living and Nursing Homes? Have you ever wondered what really is the difference between assisted living and nursing homes? Guest Cynthia Perthuis, a certified senior advisor and elder care strategist with Senior Care Authority, serving New York City and Southwest Florida, explains what assisted living and nursing homes are and why they are different.

Episode 6– Support Options for Caregivers Guest Molly Rowe, co-owner of FirstLight Home Care of the North Shore in Massachusetts, explains why it’s important for caregivers to take a break, the benefits of taking a break and how to find support options.

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No A News Week journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.