How to Find the Best Senior Living Community For Your Parents

Two groups of seniors socializing in plush chairs in a senior living community lounge

As your parent ages, you may come to realize that it may no longer be safe or practical for them to live at home. You’ve talked with doctors and friends, looked at the options, and decided it’s time to consider a senior living community


Before you jump into planning, take the time to acknowledge the complex feelings you and your parent are experiencing. While you’re emotionally preparing to tackle the journey ahead of you, you may be wondering where to start. How do you make sure you’re choosing the best senior living community for your parent’s specific needs?

The good news is that Cedarhurst is here to be a resource as you search for the right community, with the right support, for your loved one. We’ve pulled together essential tips for finding a senior living option that’s the best fit for them.

Where to Start

Steps for Finding the Best Senior Living Community for Your Parent

There are many different senior living communities, and no two are alike. Make sure you find the best option for your parent. When it’s time to narrow down the options to the best community to fit their unique needs, evaluate these important points.

1. Determine the best location.

Talk with your parent about the ideal location for the senior living community by considering the following questions: 

  • Do you and your parent want to be within proximity to one another? 
  • Would your parent like to stay close to their current, familiar town? 
  • Would your parent prefer to be in a community they love but may be in a completely new location? 

Narrowing down these options will help you determine the best place to get started with your search.

2. Consider the type of community that fits your parent’s unique needs.

To understand what your loved one needs in a community, it is helpful to understand the different types of communities. Each is based on the unique care needs of the residents. 

Independent Living

Independent living is best for seniors who are still self-reliant in their day-to-day lives but want to downsize from the family house while still maintaining their current lifestyle. Independent living is ideal for seniors who don’t require assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs). These communities offer exercise classes, lectures, concerts, and more to enrich an active lifestyle while relieving seniors of the burden of unwanted housework and chores.

Assisted Living

Assisted living provides varying levels of care based on the needs of each resident. For example, assisted living is perfect for someone who may need help getting dressed; it’s also equally suited for someone who needs around-the-clock caregiving support. Caregivers in this type of community assist with showering, dressing, and other ADLs when needed. Residents still maintain their independence and enjoy fun social events and life enrichment activities. Seniors in assisted living communities may also receive skilled care, which provides licensed medical experts to assist with regular injections, wound care, and other medical needs. 

Memory Care

Memory care communities offer specialized care for residents with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia. It may be difficult to recognize when it’s the right time for a memory care community. If you feel your parent is no longer safe at home on their own because of memory-related issues, the active care provided here will make your parent’s life—and your life—easier. 

Memory care communities establish set routines tailored to each resident’s needs and preferences. The programs provided depend on the stage of the dementia process a resident is in. For example, those in early stage dementia have different needs compared to those in middle or end stages. This specialized approach means that each resident receives what they need to succeed.

Tip: How can you tell which lifestyle is right for your parent? Take our quick, free assessment to find out.

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3. Choose the amenities that matter to your parent. 

Senior living communities offer additional perks that make the community feel like home. Before touring the community, talk with your parent to identify what features are important to them in a new community. 

What hobbies do they enjoy? For instance, if they enjoy taking regular walks, you might prioritize finding a community with a beautiful outdoor space. Are there any activities that they would like to try? If so, consider a community that offers a diverse social and event calendar. Prioritize finding out what their ideal senior living community looks like and discuss these points with the community during your tour.

4. Calculate your family’s financial considerations.

Finances are undoubtedly top of your mind. You may be wondering how your family will afford the best senior living community that fits your parent’s needs. The good news? Senior living doesn’t have to break the family budget

First, gather all the information on your parent’s current living expenses including mortgage payments, utility and landscaping costs, grocery bills, and any other monthly living expenses. Then, compare this figure to the monthly fee for a senior living community—and remember that the community includes all of these expenses, such as food and utilities, in the monthly fee. The monthly fee may also cover amenities such as the fitness center and community events.

Talk with your parent’s insurance company and look into potential VA benefits that may offset costs. If you or your parent has a financial advisor, making an appointment with them can help guide a decision on senior living.

What’s Daily Life Like in a Cedarhurst Senior Living Community?

After looking into a lot of information about finances, amenities, and types of care, you may be wondering what exactly it is like to live in a senior living community. After all, you want to make sure your parent is well taken care of and happy.

Socialization is key.

At Cedarhurst, we know how important socialization is to maintaining mental and physical health. Senior living communities are designed with socialization in mind. From community dining spaces to group classes and other events, there are plenty of opportunities for socialization. Your parent can connect with other residents who share similar interests or try something new and meet new friends in the process—it’s their choice. 

Community connections stay strong.

A senior living community is like a town within itself, with regular routines, special events, and endless opportunities to meet new friends. There are also ongoing occasions to connect with the area beyond the senior living community. For example, residents regularly volunteer at local organizations or participate in off-site excursions to a shopping area or their favorite restaurant. 

Personalized attention provides a high quality of life.

Senior living communities are dedicated to meeting and exceeding the expectations of their residents and families. At Cedarhurst, residents’ opinions are welcomed and their preferences, likes, and dislikes are noted in order to build a strong, caring community. Your parent’s preferences and feedback are used to create specialized programs that they will enjoy. They will be living a lifestyle that is personalized for them. 

Is It the Right Time for Senior Living?

Ready to find out what makes Cedarhurst different from other senior living communities? Learn more with Where to Start Your Senior Living Story. In this comprehensive guide, you’ll find even more in-depth information on:

  • Talking to your loved one about senior living
  • Finding the right community for your loved one
  • Helping your loved one make the move to senior living
  • Understanding financial considerations and financial planning

Where to Start

Our dedicated team members know that there is a lot to think about and plan during this time. Contact us with any questions you want to ask a senior living expert. We look forward to hearing from you.

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