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How to Chose the Right Assisted Living Community

Discover senior living choices and resources for you or your loved one. Let Seniorly help you find the best assisted living community for your needs.

By Arthur Bretschneider · Updated Apr 30, 2022

How to Begin Your Senior Living Search

Finding senior assisted living can be a very difficult task. Two of the most important steps in determining your long-term health and well-being are deciding when to move and which community is the best fit for your needs. 

Research has found that the more choice you have in this process, the easier the transition will be for you or your loved one.  One way to ensure more choice is to be proactive.  Gather useful information to make the most informed decision.  Seniorly is available anytime to assist you with as little or as much senior housing search support you need.

This “Seniorly Guide to Senior Living Decision-Making” can help you through the search process. We aim to provide the most comprehensive, transparent options when it comes to senior care, by providing resources that will help you make the best decision for your family.

The Seniorly Guide to Senior Living Decision-Making

Step 1: What is important to you in a senior living community?

It can get confusing when it comes to understanding assisted living for seniors who want to remain healthy and independent as they age. Moving into a senior living facility, however, can be a positive experience for the whole family if you find a place that is a good fit.  Senior living offers the opportunity to make important social connections and gain new hobbies that can keep you happy and engaged as you age. 

To start the process, think about what is important to you in a senior home. Some top questions to answer include:

  • Does it need to be near a senior community? How close do you want to live to family and friends?
  • Do you prefer an urban, suburban or more rural setting? Is access to public transportation important to you?
  • What types of services do you need?
  • Are you interested in having access to a variety of activities? Do you have a particular hobby or interest you want to be able to participate in?
  • Is it important to you to bring your own furniture?  A pet?
  • Are you comfortable in a large housing community or do you prefer to have fewer neighbors?
  • Do you want to be able to have guests stay overnight?
  • How much structure do you want, for example, around mealtimes?

Step 2:  Where Do You Begin Your Senior Housing Search?

In today's digital world, the best and most powerful resource you have is the internet. was created specifically to empower families with the kind of information they need to make the best senior housing decisions.

Visit our online Senior Living Resource Center to find a vast array of informative and helpful articles.  From "How to Pay..." to "Top Apps and Websites..." you will find almost everything you need to become a well-educated senior living consumer.

In addition to the articles, there is the powerful senior living search engine to help you identify the recommended senior housing options based on your needs, budget and other parameters you select.  We built this search tool to help guide those researching senior housing for 55 and older:

  • Find senior living apartments and housing in a particular geographic area that meets your monthly budget, your care needs, and your wishes in terms of the number of senior residents.
  • Look at photos, videos and floor plans of hundreds of senior living communities near you.
  • Find senior living properties where people speak a language other than English; have art and music programs, day trips, or other programs of interest; or meet your cultural and lifestyle preferences.

Here are some of our favorite online resources for information about different senior housing options and things to look for in a senior housing community:

How Do I Know Which Types of Senior Housing is Right for Me?  

Traits to Look for In A Senior Housing Community Pt. 1

Traits to Look for In A Senior Housing Community Pt. 2 

The National Institutes of Health Senior Health

AARP Assessing Housing Options 

Seniorly currently has hundreds of options online for families searching for: Assisted Living in San Francisco, Assisted Living in San Mateo, Assisted Living in Palo Alto, Assisted Living in San Jose, Assisted Living in Oakland, Assisted Living in Berkeley, Assisted Living in Alameda, Assisted Living in Walnut Creek, Assisted Living in Santa Rosa, Assisted Living in Sacramento, Assisted Living in Los Angeles, Assisted Living in San Diego, Assisted Living in Philadelphia, Assisted Living in Pittsburgh, Assisted Living in New York, Assisted Living in Boston, Assisted Living in Washington D.C., Assisted Living in Chicago, Assisted Living in Dallas, Assisted Living in Atlanta, and Assisted Living in Denver.

Don't see your city on this list?  Enter your zip code in the text box below to begin your senior living search.


Step 3: What Are Your Senior Living Care Needs?

Advanced care planning is not easy.  None of us want to think about the time when we will need help or, even more challenging, may not be able to make care decisions for ourselves.  It’s important, however, to have these conversations early on.  Having the approval, assistance, and guidance of others is a key part of a good transition into a supervised senior living apartment or community.  Your family and health care providers may have insights that influence your own perceptions about what will work best for you. Allow them to offer advice and assistance during this difficult transition; finding the right place for you will give them peace of mind, as well. 

Follow these links for more information on planning for senior living:

Seniorly Planning Guide 

What Are Advanced Directives, Powers of Attorney, and Estate Planning

How to Get Started with Advanced Care Planning 

Getting Help Planning Your Senior Housing Options

The Senior Living Dirty Secret

Getting pricing for your favorite senior living community, or even a contact phone number to speak to someone there has previously required you to give an online agent your phone number and email.  STOP!  That information is being used to market senior housing properties to you that you might not even be interested in.  Seniorly is your consumer advocate.  Our online search results are complete, not requiring any personal information to view what you want.  Better still, if you want to discuss in more detail what you're searching, our dedicated team of senior housing experts is here for you.

Schedule A Senior Living Community Tour

Visiting a community is the best way to get a sense of how well you might connect with people there, as well as the size and location of the senior living community. You will also be introduced to activities and amenities offered by the particular housing provider.  Whether you choose to schedule your tour by calling the senior housing property directly or seeking the assistance of a Seniorly expert, review these checklists and guides beforehand to help you identify what to look for and questions to ask during your visit:

Questions to Ask On Your Community Tour

10 Tips for Touring Assisted Living Communities

Assisted Living Checklist 

Meet Senior Housing Residents and Staff

The residents and housing managers will be key members at your new senior living community.  It’s important to make sure you will be able to connect with people in your new senior home. When you visit a senior housing community, make sure you get a chance to spend some time with the people you will see day to day, not just the administrators who will walk you through the application process.  Have a meal with current residents or join in some activities to get a sense of how you would fit into the community.

Time to Weigh Your Senior Living Options

Once you’ve identified what’s important to you, gathered information, and visited a community or two, it’s time to make a decision. Now you can weigh your options, revisit communities, and talk to your family and friends in-depth about the future. Focus on what’s right for you and take the time you need to be happy with your decision.

Moving In to Senior Housing

Once you’ve decided to move into a senior housing property, there is still a lot of work to be done. Here are two resources that can help make the transition easier. 

Making the Move to a Community 

A Step-by-Step Guide to Prepare For A Move 

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written by:
Arthur Bretscheider
Arthur Bretschneider, Co-founder & CEO at Seniorly
View other articles written by Arthur

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