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How to Know What You Need in Senior Living

How to know what you need in senior living

If you’ve started looking into senior living, you may have been surprised at all the options from which to choose. It’s wonderful that the experience is no longer one-size-fits-all; that you can now cater everything from the level of care to the lifestyle to the senior living amenities that fit you best. But at the same time, the choices can get quickly overwhelming. Here’s how to determine what you really need (and want) in senior living. 

First, it's best to assess your needs

With so many senior living communities offering beautiful campuses, luxury amenities and convenient services, it’s easy to get distracted when you begin your search. But, by honestly assessing your needs first, you’re better able to stay focused and narrow your search to truly find the best fit. This handy checklist gives you an idea of what to consider in terms of your current challenges at home. Download a copy of this checklist here.

Then, identify the level of care

Now that you’ve assessed where things stand, you can identify the level of care needed. There are some common, but very different reasons that prompt families to consider senior living such as a desire for a more carefree lifestyle, a health scare or chronic condition worsening or perhaps a loved one experiencing cognitive challenges. As such, senior living actually offers different levels of care including:


Ideal for active seniors who require little daily assistance, but seek a vibrant social community without the hassle of chores and home upkeep. You can typically expect:

  • A range of accommodations from condominiums and apartments to free-standing cottages
  • Carefree living with restaurant-style dining, housekeeping, laundry services and transportation 
  • A variety of social opportunities, activities and clubs
  • Amenities such as concierge services, a pool, fitness center, library and onsite beauty and barber salon


Specifically designed to nurture and support those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. You can typically expect:

  • Staff specifically trained in memory care as well as communication strategies and techniques for navigating challenging behaviors
  • 24-hour supervision and a secure environment with layouts that are easy to navigate
  • Therapy, structured activities and programs with social opportunities 
  • Features that include comfortable private or semi-private rooms, housekeeping and laundry service as well as emergency call systems and health monitoring


Provides housing, onsite care and support with activities of daily living while helping residents maintain their independence and enjoy an engaging, purposeful life. You can typically expect:

  • Personalized care with bathing, dressing, eating and medication as well as onsite medical care if needed
  • The comfort of a homelike setting without the worry of home upkeep, cooking, cleaning and yard maintenance
  • Features that include spacious accommodations, 24-hour supervision and security as well as transportation, in addition to amenities such as a pool, fitness center and onsite beauty salon
  • Daily social opportunities through a range of scheduled programs, activities and outings

Finally, check your desired senior living amenities

After ensuring you’ve found a place that meets all your needs, it’s time to focus on the fun stuff: what you want in the experience to help you live your best life! We like to break these up into non- negotiables and nice-to-haves. We’re including a checklist of commonly requested features – basics such as meals, transportation, housekeeping, maintenance and activities are already included – but add in whatever is important to you as well. Download a copy of this checklist here.

We are here to help you every step of the way! For more information, download our Family Decision Guide or contact Richfield today to schedule a virtual tour.

Download our Family Decision Toolkit