Choosing a Care Home

Choosing a Care Home

At any point in your life, where to live is an important concern. Once you reach an age where you could use some extra help with the basics of taking care of yourself, this is more true than ever.

Residential care homes come in many shapes, sizes, environments and specialties. Most communities have several residential care options available to seniors, recognizing the variety of needs, personalities and values of those seeking a new retirement home. The main thing they all have in common is the hope to provide a new living space that meets the particular needs of the residents, while still feeling like home.

Finding the right residential care home is a big step and one you don’t want to rush into. To help you identify the best possible residential care option available to you in your area, we recommend you take it step by step.

Step 1: Think carefully about what you need (and what you want).

Before you even start to look at what’s out there, take some time to think about what’s most important to you. What aspects of your day-to-day lifestyle do you most want to maintain? What values do you have that you hope fellow residents would share? Is there a particular type of medical care you need?

What you need is crucial, but what you want matters too. The rest home you choose will have a lot to do with what your life looks like in the coming years. You don’t want to settle on a place that means giving up any part of your life that’s important to you.

Step 2: Search for and research the options located nearby.

Now that you’ve clarified for yourself some of the most important features to consider in your search, find out what your options are. A quick search at will give you a list of the residential care homes in the geographic area you aim to live in, along with a helpful snapshot of what they offer, what they cost, and what other residents have thought of them.

Spend some time browsing these options to see how they match up with what you’re looking for. But you haven’t made it this far in life without knowing that a good match on paper doesn’t always tell the whole story. Use this step to narrow down your options, but avoid making any final decisions until you’ve completed step 3.

Step 3: Make some trips.

Schedule a visit to each of the residential care homes your research suggests should be in the running. Try to pay attention to all the little things while you’re there. It’s easy enough to check off all the big boxes of what’s important to you, but the little stuff plays at least as big of a role in how much you’ll enjoy life each day. Do the residents seem to laugh much? Is the atmosphere comfortable and clean?

Print out a copy of our Residential Care checklist and make some tweaks to it based on your personal priorities. If you have this in hand for each of your visits, you’ll avoid missing anything important and have an easier time making your comparisons when you get home.

Step 4: Choose your new home and move in.

The visits should give you the final information you need to make a decision. Was there one place on the list that felt the most like home to you? If more than one was promising, was there anything from the checklist and your notes to make one stand out above the others?

Consider what matters most to you in terms of what each rest home has to offer and make your decision. After such careful consideration, you should have little problem feeling comfortable and at home once you move in.

Step 5: Help out other seniors!

Once you’ve settled in, why not help the next person starting a residential care home search? Take 5 minutes to leave a review on and let people know what they can expect if they’re interested in considering your new home.

Begin your search today. Find assisted living in Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, or any other city nationwide and read the reviews on

Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based copywriter and lifelong student with an ongoing curiousity to learn and explore new things. She turns that interest to researching and exploring subjects helpful to seniors and their families for


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