When is it time to consider senior living?


Here’s an assessment checklist that will help you determine if mom or dad should safely continue to live at home.  This assessment take a good look at the present housing situation, financial resources, health status and medical needs.


  • Medication
    Are medications expired? Are they spread out in different rooms, with no apparent structure or routine? Do they forget to take meds?Women's dining table 2
  • Meal preparation
    Can they cook for themselves? Are they able to safely operate appliances? Do they remember to turn appliances off when finished cooking? Are they eating regularly?
  • Safety
    Is the home equipped with grab bars, emergency response systems and other tools to ensure safety? Do they have a plan in place to contact help in case of an emergency?
  • Personal hygiene
    Can/are they able to bathe themselves, groom adequately and launder clothes?
  • Transportation
    Are they driving? Should they be driving? Do they have alternate means of transportation?
  • Socialization
    Are they isolated from others most of the time? Do they have friends? Are they going to church? Are they depressed? Are there signs of alcohol abuse?
  • Home management
    Are they paying their bills on time? Are there stacks of papers and unpaid bills laying around? Is the house in general disarray?

If the answer is ‘Yes’ to most of these, it may be time to either get help in the house or look for a senior living option.


Senior Living Options

Families have many decisions to make during a senior care search.

Independent living communities are places for active, healthy seniors who are able to live on their own.

OTHER NAMES FOR INDEPENDENT SENIOR LIVING —Retirement communities, 55+ communities, Senior apartments, Retirement homes, Active senior communities, Active senior living

The main highlights of independent living communities:

  • Generally an apartment—studio, 1 or 2 bedrooms
  • Some are ‘communities’, others are apartments for 55 and over, with no amenities
  • Choice to rent or buy-in
  • A community will offer amenities like clubhouses, gyms, housekeeping and security, transportation, laundry service, group meals, social activities and on-site attendant


Assisted Living Communities are for seniors who may need some assistance with their daily activities, ranging from meals, housekeeping and laundry to help with dressing, bathing, help with medication and even transportation.

OTHER NAMES FOR ASSISTED LIVING COMMUNITIES–Assisted living facility, Assisted living residence, Personal care homes, Adult congregate care, Residential care facility

The main features of an assisted living community:

  • Range from single rooms to full apartments
  • Three meals a day in a common dining area
  • Staff available for personal needs
  • Amenities like 24-hour security, housekeeping, medication management, laundry service, exercise programs, social activities
  • Emergency call systems in-house
  • Some have care for dementia/Alzheimer’s patients

Senior Care has become a big business. New facilities seem to be popping up every day. When you or a family member decides it’s time for a senior community, visit a few to see what is out there, what’s in your price range and what could work the best for you and your family.


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