Decision Guidance

Change is challenging. Some advice to smooth the way.

Change is never easy. The following  guidelines can make it more comfortable to start.

When is the right time to move?

The best time to make the move to a senior living community is when you are able to make the decision for yourself and are in charge.  Instead of leaving it to others and before something happens that forces you to move in haste. Doing research and starting to think about senior living community options before the need arises can help you make better short and long-term choices.

Finding the right fit

Once you have made the decision to make a move, it is time to find a new home that is right for you. Below are a few things to keep in mind when doing your research:

  • Think about the types of care options you may want available over time so you can avoid multiple moves.
  • Consider the location of the community – how accessible is it and is it located near other amenities and attractions?  Is it close to your friends and family?
  • Make a list of the senior living communities you are interested in. You may want to start at each community’s website to get a general feel for the community.
  • Next, schedule an in-person tour. Bring along family or friends whose opinion you trust.
  • During your tour, speak with the staff and ask the opinions of current residents.
  • Some things you may want to know:
    • What types of care do they offer in case health needs change?
    • Are apartments rentals or are they condos? If condos, are there real estate taxes associated with the units?
    • What types of activities and wellness programs do they offer?
    • What’s the staff-to-resident ratio in each care level?
    • What is their dining program like?
    • What is their pet policy?
    • What are their rents and are there any hidden fees that need to be factored into the financial equation?
    • Does the community have a waiting list and how long it would take to move in?

Call the Senior LinkAge Line®

After gathering your research, call the Minnesota Senior LinkAge Line®, a free statewide information and assistance service from the Minnesota Board on Aging. All Minnesota residents looking for senior housing are required to call the number 1-800-333-2433 before finalizing their senior housing selection.

Share your feedback with all members of the family. If you or your family members have found a senior living community that seems to be an all-around good fit, make sure that all key players have visited it. Soon you will call it home!

Making the move

After you’ve found the right community, it’s time to make the move. Ask your community’s representative if they have any suggestions on moving services or home selling resources. Ask the representative to provide you a list of all the items and documentation you need to provide before the move-in date.

Making it home

During the move, it’s important to make the new room or space feel like home. Fill it with meaningful personal possessions. Bring your family photos and favorite bedding and furniture.

For family members of those with memory impairment, framed photographs, photo albums and personal mementos are particularly important. All of us can become stressed and confused by a shifting environment.  People are comforted with familiar images and personal items. It is helpful to label pictures too for staff and others to identify the important people shown.