Getting Started: How to Streamline Your Search for Senior Living

If you’ve made your way here, you’re likely searching (or will be soon) for a worthy senior living solution for yourself or a loved one. And if so, there’s something you should know right off the bat…there are a lot of pleasant surprises ahead!

At communities across the country, we see it every day: Seniors and families who came in at least a little apprehensive, but walked away both relieved and pleasantly surprised. Surprised by the quality of the dining experience and the amenities.

By the stylish design, cleanliness and available lifestyle programs. And perhaps most of all, delighted by the level of care and service, and the overall warmth and friendliness of the community environment. Some even say it’s more affordable than they initially thought.

Indeed, senior living has experienced a remarkable transformation with today’s new generation of seniors in mind. So here’s a bit of advice as you get started with your search: Put aside any fears or preconceived notions about senior living, and begin this process with hope and anticipation. Because now more than ever, the search for a senior living community is so often a gateway to a happier, healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle for seniors and their families.

Consider Your Needs Today…and Plan for the Future, too

It’s easy to be amazed by what you see and encounter when you first walk into one of today’s bright and shiny senior living communities. They’re modern and luxurious, with amenities and designer touches, amazing dining venues, and the grandeur you might expect from a resort hotel.

Indeed, so nice are these new senior communities that it’s easy to get caught up in all the marble and chandeliers and somehow lose track of what may be the most critical feature of all, and the question every senior and their families should be asking:

Is this community right for me or my loved one?

When sizing up prospective communities, think about the obvious factors like location, amenities, cost and the like, but always start by considering the available lifestyle options—which may include Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, etc.

You’ll want to choose a community that can meet all your needs in the present day, as well as provide the right solutions if ever those needs change and you require additional or more specialized care at some point down the road.

Some of our communities offer a continuum of care meaning should you or your loved ones care needs change over time, you can remain in the community and simply make the move to its Assisted Living or Memory Care neighborhood. This is a tremendous advantage that provide peace of mind and sustainable solutions for the entire family.

Alternatively, it may be possible to seamlessly switch to a nearby, sister community with the same standards for dining, amenities and overall quality you will have come to expect.

So think about both the present and future starting with the early planning stages, and that’ll help ensure that through life’s many changes, you’ll find a home that fits forever!

Ask the Right Questions

At , we understand that selecting a community is often a family decision, and one that requires careful consideration. That’s why we aim to create an open forum for seniors and loved ones to ask questions and get honest, straightforward answers—no tricks, and no pressure.

In fact, our Senior Lifestyle Counselors are uniquely trained to help you navigate your upcoming decision with knowledge and confidence. And that means your job is simply to express your feelings and any reservations you may have, ask questions, and don’t hold back!
Earlier, we explained why your first question to any prospective senior living community should always be “What lifestyle options (Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, etc.) do you offer?” But what other, important items should you ask about from there?

That, of course, will depend on you or your loved one’s needs and preferences, but generally speaking, you’ll want to ask pointed questions to learn about care and services, lifestyle programs and amenities, and financial considerations. Here are some pertinent questions to ask about each:

Lifestyle & Amenities

  • Do the apartment homes offer unique and/or senior-specific features? Are multiple floor plan options available?
  • What sets the dining program apart from other communities? Are multiple, casual and/or formal dining options offered?
  • Does the community offer regularly scheduled activities and social events?
  • What policies are in place regarding family visitation?

Care & Service

  • How many team members are on hand (day and night) to provide care and service to residents?
  • Do team members receive any specialized training? (Alzheimer’s, dementia, diabetes, etc.)
  • Are licensed nurses and/or physicians available?
  • What is the community’s care philosophy?
  • Is transportation to appointments, shopping and entertainment offered?
  • What safety and security measures are used throughout the community?
  • Are programs in place to ensure effective, two-way communication with families?

Financial Implications

  • Are there any buy-ins and/or long-term commitments?
  • Will price increases be incurred in the future? If so, how frequently, and by how much?
  • Are there any hidden or additional charges for services or amenities?

And When Choosing a Senior Living Community, Be (at Least) a Little Demanding

We call it “shopping” for senior living intentionally, because quite often, just like with other, important purchases (houses, cars, appliances, etc.), there’s a lot to consider, including some inevitable pros and cons.

A house, for example, may have a fabulous kitchen, but lack the outdoor living space you want. And maybe to get the sunroof or other features you desire in a vehicle, you have to move up to a premium model and pay more. Either way, you’re compromising something to get something else.

You may run in to similar scenarios with senior living communities as well. Maybe a community has beautiful apartments, but an average dining experience. Another has great amenities, but care options that aren’t ideal for you or your loved one. And of course, one (or more) may “tick all the boxes,” but are simply too expensive.

Our advice? In your quest for a senior living solution, be demanding! If you want it all, then don’t settle for much less. Today more than ever, you don’t have to.

Apartment Homes & Common Areas

Fresh and stylish, and with an array of options, our apartment homes provide comfort, quality and flexibility, with available suites and one- and two-bedroom floor plans commonly offered in most communities.

Plus, we’re actively transforming common areas and creating inviting, new spaces to dine, socialize and enjoy life.


From convenient, all-day dining and transportation to first-class amenities like dedicated game and craft rooms, movie theaters, senior-specific fitness centers and professional beauty salons and spas, our communities feature everything you or your loved one needs to satisfy both mind and body. And that’s just what’s inside…

Step outside and you’ll often find sweeping nature views, covered and uncovered seating, outdoor recreation and maybe even a spectacular, resort-style pool area!

Lifestyle Programs

communities offer six, exclusive lifestyle programs which together ensure the highest standards for lifestyle quality and care.

Care & Service

In addition to Independent Living and our attentive and personalized Assisted Living lifestyle option, communities are the only ones in the US that offer SHINE® Memory Care, a program specially recognized by the Alzheimer’s Association® for using the latest science and best practices to deliver the finest in person-centered care.

A Remarkable Value

Consider the whole package—upscale accommodations; dining and amenities; personalized, professional care and service and sacrificing little (or nothing) from your wish list—and there’s a lot of bang for your buck here. But also factor in no buy-ins or commitments, no hidden charges, and this, which is a benefit you’ll find at select communities: Our Optional Rent Lock Pricing Protection Program, which keeps your cost the same for either one, two or three years or maybe even for life…guaranteed!

As you embark upon your search for senior living, remember that this process, challenging as it may be, can also be very special and pave the way for a meaningful, new phase of life for your entire family. So do yourself a favor and forget any old perceptions you may have about senior living. Be hopeful and open-minded, and do your part to be an informed consumer. And perhaps most of all, if you have yet to explore a community, you owe it to yourself to come for a visit, and we can’t wait to welcome you! Find your nearest community here.