Finding the Right Fit


4 min read

Finding the Right Fit


Caregivers and Family

When selecting among senior living facilities, the options are as varied as the people who call them home. So how do you know you’re making the best choice for yourself or a loved one? Read on for a few key considerations to make sure you find the right fit.


Sometimes one of the hardest senior care decisions is where to start looking. Is it better to keep a loved one in a place that is familiar? Or closer to family that can be nearby if times get tough? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Think about how social your loved one is: Do they have a thriving network of friends or a church community that is vitally important to them? Or would proximity to the grandkids fulfill their need for connection? Also consider their future health prognosis. A chronic, progressive diagnosis such as dementia will ultimately contract their social circle, at which point being near family may be easier on everyone.


It’s important to choose a facility that offers the appropriate level of care for your needs. Options include independent living (for people who want a community setting and are able to handle their own personal care), assisted living (for those needing help with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, eating and managing medications), skilled nursing (for people needing round-the-clock healthcare), and memory care (for folks living with dementia). It’s also a good idea to think about what type of care you or your loved one may need in the future, as many facilities offer multiple levels of care at the same location to ease transitions down the road.


Peace of mind is one of the most important things senior living facilities can provide, but it comes only with a high degree of confidence in your loved one’s safety. Ask how a facility addresses basic safety needs, such as fire precautions, visitor protocols and door locks and alarms, as well as more sophisticated measures such as in-room cameras and wearable monitoring devices that can aid in fall prevention and proactive health interventions.


Loneliness and social isolation are common issues among seniors, with real health consequences. The best senior living facilities should foster a sense of community both through activities that appeal to the diverse interests of the people living there and a dedicated staff to help residents stay engaged. Bingo is just the beginning—think live musical performances, arts and crafts hours, outdoor adventures, field trips to local attractions. Often families find their once-withdrawn loved one unexpectedly blossoms when surrounded by peers with common interests.


Don’t underestimate the importance of how a place feels. Ideally the move to senior living should seem less like leaving a beloved old home and more like coming home to a new one. Many older adults assume all senior living facilities are sterile, institutional, sad. These same people are often pleasantly surprised to see how homey senior living can be, with friendly design touches and smiling faces to welcome them. Only an in-person visit can fully capture the sense of place that can make the move to senior living a positive experience for all.

Contemplating the next chapter in your loved one’s story? Click here to learn more about Bickford Senior Living and to find a branch near you.