Learn & Grow/Independent Living/When Should I Start Looking for a Senior Living Community?
Independent Living, News, Resources for Seniors

When Should I Start Looking for a Senior Living Community?

You know the old saying that timing is everything? It’s an old saying because it’s true: Some of our best decisions in life are often due to the right timing.

The trouble is that the right timing doesn’t usually pop up on our calendars. Knowing when it’s time to decide where you will spend your future is a highly personal decision. It’s a decision based not on the calendar but on reasons unique to you. To help you decide on the right timing, we’ve answered some questions you may have started to ask yourself.

I’m really active and independent. Should I move to a senior living community?

Actually, the best time to move is when you’re active and independent. Senior living communities offer independent living to appeal to older adults just like you. Independent residents spend their days doing what’s most important to them, with a private residence that’s all theirs, interesting neighbors who quickly become friends, and a host of community services and amenities available just outside their door. Senior living communities are all about helping active, independent people be as active and as independent as they want to be.

Should I just stay in my own home?

Many older adults ask themselves if they should stay in their homes, also known as aging in place. Older adults often assume staying in their own homes is easier and less expensive than moving, however the services and amenities a community offers make their lives more comfortable and carefree. Those services can include home maintenance, housekeeping, transportation, dining, wellness opportunities and much more. Many find that the total cost of these services when remaining at home adds up tremendously and can be more expensive than when included in a community fee.

In addition, accessibility to health care in a community provides an extra layer of comfort and peace of mind. There may also be risks to seniors staying in their homes.

Is there a certain age when most people move into senior living?

There really is no magic age when people decide to move. The best time to move to a senior living community is while you’re healthy enough to take advantage of all the features that make living in the community so enjoyable. Many independent living residents will tell you they wish they’d moved sooner for those very reasons.

I’m only in my 60s (or 70s or 80s). How can I tell if I’m too young to move?

Most senior living communities accept residents starting at age 62. So, the question isn’t whether you’re too young; the question is, at this point in your life, would you enjoy the carefree lifestyle a senior living community offers? Ask yourself what type of lifestyle you want to create for this next phase of your life. Then use that to help you decide whether a senior living community is right for you.

I’m scared of starting over in a new place. How will I meet people and make friends?

If you’ve lived in your current house and neighborhood for many years, moving into a senior living community may feel like starting over at first, but the benefits will likely make the nerves fall away quickly. Perhaps you’re noticing that you’re not as socially active as you used to be. Maybe close neighbors you’ve known for years have moved away. One big benefit of senior living is the opportunity to meet new people who share your interests and hobbies. You might be surprised to learn how quickly new neighbors can become good friends.

How do I find a senior living community near me?

There are lots of ways to find a senior living community. One of the first places to go is online. Type certain keywords into your browser, such as “senior living communities near me” or “independent living communities” and the name of your city. Or better yet, ask friends, family or other older adults in your social circles what communities they know of and would recommend. But first, you may want to learn what type of community in your area is right for you. There are many types out there, from rental communities to Life Plan Communities, so you’ll definitely want to do your research.

What should I look for in a senior living community?

You’ll want to carefully consider what you want from this next chapter of your life. What are your must-haves and your nice-to-haves? What are you willing to compromise on? Then, you’ll want to compare your list against what each community offers. If you have lots of possible communities that interest you, that should help you narrow down your search.

Once you’ve made a list of communities you’d like to visit, schedule your personal tour. Here’s a helpful checklist of things to consider as you begin your search.


[   ] Do I like the community’s physical location?  

[   ] Is it close enough for friends and family to visit? 

[   ] Are there shops, restaurants and on-site health care nearby? 

[   ] Does the surrounding neighborhood feel safe? 


[   ] If there’s an entrance fee, do I understand how it’s structured? 

[   ] Are services and amenities included in my monthly fee? 

[   ] Are there extra fees I might incur each month? 

[   ] Do I understand the dining plan? 

[   ] Are there extra costs for care I may need one day? 


[   ] Does the community take care of maintenance of all homes or apartments, common areas and grounds? 

[   ] Is there an emergency call system and 24-hour security? 

[   ] Will I have transportation to appointments and shopping? 

[   ] Are there plentiful life enrichment programs? 


[   ] Is there weekly housekeeping for my residence? 

[   ] Is the community pet-friendly? 

[   ] Do I picture myself enjoying the library, card room, fitness center and other common spaces? 

[   ] Are there guest room accommodations? 

One thing you should know is that finding the right community might take some time. With this one big decision, you’re actually making lots of smaller decisions. Think about it: You’re choosing a new residence, neighbors and neighborhood, fitness center, dining venues, leisure opportunities and future care. You want to make a choice you’ll be happy with today and for years to come.


If you’ve worked your way through the above questions and you’re ready to visit senior living communities, we invite you to visit The Waterford. As Juno Beach’s only Life Care community, we offer unmatched peace of mind and a remarkable independent lifestyle. Learn more by contacting us or calling us at (561) 627 3800 to set up your tour of The Waterford.

Related Stories