If you’re like most people, you start your research for just about everything online. Researching senior living is likely no different. As you may have already realized there is a lot of information available which is great news; you should be able to learn anything you want to know. But at the same time, it can quickly become overwhelming. Unless you have these tips! Here’s how to make it easier to research senior living communities online.
- Know your options – There are actually several different types of senior living including independent living, assisted living and memory care. It’s important to identify which will be the best fit before you begin to research senior living communities as not all of them offer each type. Our previous blog can help you assess your senior living needs and wants.
- Be as specific as possible – Knowing the type of senior living will help narrow your search, but we also recommend adding your preferred location as well. For example, “independent living in city, state” to get the most relevant results. If you live in a large city, include the neighborhood, local area or zip code as well. On the other hand, if you live in a rural area you might add the county name or nearest city instead.
- Visit communities online – Your search should have given you a number of communities in your area that offer the type of senior living in which you are interested. Now, visit each of their websites to learn more. Check out their videos, photos, activity calendars, floor plans and even schedule a virtual tour to get an inside look.
- Get to know them on social – Community websites can tell you quite a bit, but to really get an idea of the personality of each, start following their social media accounts. Most senior living communities are active on social media and it’s a great way to get a true sense of daily life for the residents.
- Don’t forget online reviews – Of course, what you see on a community’s website and social media is what they want you to see so ideally you shouldn’t rely on that alone. Also make sure you check for online reviews as well to get a gauge on the reputation of the communities in which you are considering.
Additional Ways to Research Senior Living
Beyond learning about specific communities, you likely have a range of questions about senior living as well. As you’re on their websites, check out the resources available such as financial calculators, self-guided assessments, how-to guides, and blogs like this one to help you find answers.
Most communities have newsletters too which can not only provide additional senior living insights, but also information on upcoming events in which you could attend as well as move-in specials or other discounts that might be available. You should be able to find the sign-up link on their website.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, no amount of online research can match the value of firsthand experience with a senior living community. As such, check with friends, neighbors, coworkers, or even your physician, a professional case manager, geriatric psychologist, estate attorney/planner, or spiritual leader to see if they have input on the communities you are considering. If possible ask to speak with residents and/or their families as well!