Melanie (Mel) Sullivan, Ed.D., has been named Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer at Ecumen,...
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Perhaps you’re seeking senior housing, supportive services or in home care, or maybe all three. Learn more about how to make your search work best for you.
1. Identify what’s most important to who you are as an individual and how you live.
Before you begin your search, we encourage you to determine what’s most important to you in terms of who you are as a unique individual. This will help you find the senior housing and/or service partner who will most empower you to be you. Following are key questions to help you hone in on that.
- What are your passions?
- What do you love to do?
- What qualifies as a “great day?”
- What are your “wants” and what are your “needs?”
- What hesitations or fears do you have about moving to a new home or inviting services into your existing home?
- Who are the kinds of people whom you most like to be around?
- What are supportive services you think would be most helpful to you in supporting you in how you desire to live?
2. Tap your intuition and take a look ahead.
None of us have crystal balls – or at least ones that can tell us the future. But tapping intuition and looking ahead a bit, you can best match your needs and desires with housing and service options that can make life easier and more enriching. For example, an independent living or assisted living community that has “a la carte” supportive services that you can add as you need them could prevent having to move again. Or, if you know that the home in which you live now is where you want to be, you could choose at-home services that can diversify with your needs.
3. Write down what you’ve learned about yourself.
By answering questions above, and taking a look ahead, you’ve developed your own personalized criteria list to compare and contrast options to find the fit that’s best for you.
4. Identify potential matches with what’s important to you.
Now you’re equipped to see what locations or services potentially match your preferences. This will help you determine who you want to meet with in person and interview. The internet search engines Google (www.google.com) and Google news can help you see what other information is available on the location. For example, if the location has been in the news – for good reasons or bad – that may show up in an online search. Also, it’s important to see who owns the site or service so you can learn about that organization.
5. Conduct interviews and tours to get an up-close view and feel.
The tour and interview process will help you compare your personal preferences with what you’re seeing, hearing and perceiving. If you’re not moving from your existing home, but seek home services where you live now, we suggest that you also visit the home services’ office, so you can get a feel for what they’re like in their home environment. We’ve also provided portable comparison lists you can take with you for various housing and service options.