Finding the Right Fit


From independent living to memory care, finding the right senior living community all comes down to the specific needs and personality of your loved one. Lean more from Senior Living Advisors Sue Johansen, Shelly Lim and Jermaine Slade in this video from the “Ask an Advisor” series. Or read the transcript below.

“Ask an Advisor” video series: Finding the Right Fit


Sue: Hi and welcome to the A Place for Mom “Ask an Advisor” series. Today we’re answering the question “how do you find the right fit in a senior community?” I’m here with Shelly and Jermaine. So Shelly, how do you find the right fit?

Shelly: You know, Sue, there’s so many options out there, and the process can be so bewildering. The best option would be to talk to your Senior Living Advisor and to start the research process right away. And then you find that it’s actually quite straightforward.

Jermaine: The first question to ask is whether or not your loved one is active and healthy or if they need assistance with daily living activities such as bathing and dressing.

Shelly: If your loved one is healthy and active, I would refer them to independent living or a retirement living community. So what this looks like is that they would receive housekeeping and dining room services and all the social amenities. So it really feels like they’re living at home but with a lot more social interaction.

Sue: Great. And I think if somebody needs more care, then we would probably recommend an assisted living community, which offers everything a retirement community does but has care services on site. So if your loved one needs bathing assistance, medication management, engagement of any sort, help to meals, that assistance is there at their whim any time they may need it.

Jermaine: Another option to think about is a residential care home. Similar to an assisted living facility, typically in these particular homes, they offer services to about five or six different individuals instead of the 70 or 80 that you usually see in a senior housing community.

Shelly: Another level of care that is offered is memory care or Alzheimer’s care, and in these settings there are security measures put in place [so]  that your loved one does not wander off. You can be assured that they would be safe and secure. Additionally staff receive comprehensive dementia care training.

Sue: So there really are a ton of options. Jermaine, what happens if the senior is still in the hospital and needs a very high level of care?

Jermaine: The next available option would be a nursing home and as you mentioned they do provide the highest level of care. So typically they would transition from a nursing home after a short stint in a rehab facility or a hospital and then from there into an assisted living community.

Sue: I guess what it comes down to is what’s right for the senior, their level of care and whether they’re comfortable in a smaller or larger environment.

Shelly: Exactly Sue. What it really boils down to is knowing the loved one’s personality and finding the right match with the right community in your research with your Senior Living Advisor. What this typically may look like is that a community that you’re looking at may offer certain services in religious denominations.They may have a specialized language program so if your loved ones speak Spanish or Chinese, you know that they would be looked after. As well, some of the communities allow pets. So it really boils down to, in your research, knowing what your loved one’s personality is and then taking it from there.

Sue: Great. Thank you both. There really are a ton of options and it does just boil down to what the needs of the senior are. So it really helps to find out what they need and then to match them up to the right community. So to learn more about this and more about senior living, you can visit the website shown here or call a Senior Living Advisor at A Place for Mom. Thank you.

Finding the Right Fit

Wide range of options available today:

  • Independent Living (healthy & fit)
  • Assisted Living (need help bathing or dressing)
  • Residential Care Home (small home-like setting)
  • Memory Care (extra security and specialists)
  • Nursing Home (24 hour medical staff)

Update: January 2018