If you’ve been thinking that it may be time for your mom to explore senior living options, you may be feeling overwhelmed and anxious about the task that lies ahead. You want to find the best home for mom that meets all her needs and offers the best services and amenities within her budget, but you’re not even sure where to begin your search. After all, your mom’s well-being and happiness are at stake. We’ve created this short guide on how to find a home for mom to help you navigate the process without the stress.
1. Decide What Type of Senior Living is Best for Mom
There are several types of senior living options depending on whether your mom needs assistance with activities of daily living or if she’s looking for a more independent lifestyle. If your mom requires assistance with bathing, dressing, eating, or other daily activities, assisted living may be an appropriate choice. If her needs are greater than what assisted living communities can accommodate, it may be time to consider a skilled nursing community. Regulations may vary from state to state, but in most cases, your mom will need to be evaluated to determine if assisted living or skilled nursing are appropriate for her.
If your mom doesn’t yet require assistance with activities of daily living and simply wants to enjoy the freedom of her golden years without the hassles of maintaining a home, an active retirement community may be the right choice for her. If you’re concerned about your mom’s care needs changing as she gets older, a continuing care retirement community offers several types of senior living communities on the same campus, allowing residents to transfer easily as their needs change without moving to an unfamiliar community.
2. Determine Your Budget
One of the first steps to take before you begin your search for a home for mom is to determine your budget. Does your mom have retirement funds that can cover all or some of the costs of senior living? Will you be contributing or paying the full cost of senior living for your mom? It’s a good idea to make these determinations before beginning your search so that you can narrow your options immediately to those that you can afford.
3. Decide Where Mom Will Live
If your mom hasn’t already given it some thought, talk to her about where she’d like to live. If you live near her current home and she’d like to remain close to family, you’ll want to look for a senior living community or retirement community in your local area. Maybe you live in another city or state and she wants to move closer to you, or perhaps she wants to explore retirement living somewhere new and exciting.
4. Ask for Recommendations from Family and Friends
If you know someone who has moved themselves or a loved one to senior living, ask for their feedback on their senior living community. Or, perhaps you have friends or family members who have worked with various senior living communities in a professional capacity who can provide some insight into the communities in the area where your mom wants to live.
5. Search for Homes for Mom in Her Desired Location
Now that some of the important decisions are out of the way, it’s time to start discovering senior living communities in your mom’s desired location. There are several ways to find retirement living communities and senior living communities.
One easy way to find a home for mom in a specific location is by searching Google for “senior living” or “retirement living” + mom’s desired city and state. If you’re looking for a specific type of senior living community, you can narrow your results by using more specific terms such as “retirement community” or “55 plus community.”
Senior Living Directories
There are several senior living directories that enable you to search for senior living options in a specific city and state, such as Caring.com, aPlaceforMom.com, or SeniorLiving.com. These companies also typically have advisors available to offer expertise and guidance if you have questions or would like assistance contacting a community or setting up a tour.
Professional Organizations and Associations
There are also industry associations and organizations that provide information and services to older adults, and they can be a great resource for finding a home for mom. Here are a few organizations that offer valuable resources for older adults:
- Assisted Living Federation of America’s (ALFA) senior housing directory
- American Seniors Housing Association’s (ASHA) senior housing search tool
- S. Administration on Aging’s Eldercare Locator
- AARP Community Resource Finder
Your Local Area Agency on Aging
Contacting your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) can also be helpful when you’re looking for a home for mom. Area Agencies on Aging or Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) have staff who can help you navigate the process of finding a home for mom as well as provide a list of communities in your mom’s desired location. Search the Eldercare Locator or the AARP’s Community Resource Finder to find your state aging unit or AAA.
6. Compare and Narrow Your Options
Now that you have a list of suitable communities in the area where mom wants to spend her retirement years, it’s time to compare them to whittle your list down to a few ideal communities. Compare the costs of living in each community, as well as the services and amenities offered and proximity to family and friends or local attractions. If there are amenities that are must-haves for your mom, start by eliminating those that lack them. You may also want to narrow the options to communities that offer a good balance between cost and amenities.
7. Schedule Tours and Make a Choice
Some retirement communities offer virtual tours and floor plans you can explore online before making an in-person visit. Still, you’ll want to schedule an in-person tour before making a choice. A tour gives you and your mom a chance to get a feel for the community, the atmosphere, and the other residents. You or your mom may know when you’ve explored the retirement community that just feels right – the one that feels like home!
Offering a comprehensive continuum of care, continuing care retirement communities like Arbors of Hop Brook enable residents to enjoy an active, independent lifestyle while offering the peace of mind of knowing that their care needs will be met at every stage of life. Take a virtual tour or schedule an in-person visit to learn how Arbors of Hop Brook can support your mom’s social, emotional, physical, intellectual, vocational, environmental, and spiritual wellness throughout her golden years.