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How to find the perfect senior living community for your loved one…using your smartphone

Retirement planning, senior living and smartphone use may seem like opposite ends of different spectrums.

But in reality?

Your smartphone may be the best first step in helping your loved one find the perfect senior living community.

Here’s the familiar scenario:

You go home to visit Mom for a birthday, holiday or Sunday dinner. She doesn’t seem herself--not as peppy and maybe even a little lonely. You wonder if there’s a better, healthier living arrangement available.

But you don’t have time to investigate local senior living communities because you need to race to soccer practice, finish decorating for the church fundraiser and get dinner on the table before your husband catches the last flight out for a week-long business trip.

What do you do?

Instead of lying awake for hours worrying about Mom, start finding solutions.

A whopping 62 percent of smartphone users are more likely to act right away toward solving an unexpected problem, and 90 percent have used their phone to make progress toward a multi-step process while ‘out and about.’

Moving your loved one to a senior living community is definitely a multi-step process, so here’s how you can join that 90 percent and find the perfect living option for your loved one’s needs:

  1. Change up your search terms.

Searching for “retirement homes Houston” will give you different results than “senior living Houston” or “assisted living Houston.” To get the best picture of what your area has to offer in senior services, search multiple times under multiple searches.

  1. Use location services.

If you want your loved one close to you, you’re going to want a community located within a certain radius from your home. Make sure your phone’s location services are turned on so that the search engine can quickly find the communities closest to your current location.

  1. Save your favorites.

Find a community you like but worried you’ll forget the name? Simply bookmark the websites or start a note in the Notes app of your phone. This way, you can keep the search going and share your findings with other key members of the decision making process.

  1. Keep a list of the questions.

Another helpful list to create is a list of the questions you’ll want to ask when you do visit the community in person. Having this list on your mobile device keeps it readily accessible as you come across industry terminology with which you may not be familiar.

  1. Check out their Facebook page.

One of the best ways to experience daily life at a community before visiting the community itself is to visit their Facebook page. Look at pictures to see the activities and events residents participate in, and “Like” the communities you’re especially interested in to see their regular updates.

There’s no replacement for visiting the community in person; however, using the tools available to you can help make an overwhelming situation feel more manageable for both you and your loved one.


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