Navigating the world of senior living can feel like a maze of acronyms, amenities and community types. From Life Plans and CCRCs to the distinction between independent and assisted living, finding the right fit can be daunting.

But fear not! Finding your ideal living arrangement doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it can be as simple as remembering your ABCs.

Question marks


To take charge of your future, it’s essential to begin with thorough research and come prepared with questions.

Your journey into senior living typically starts with a tour and a discussion with a senior living specialist. Start by exploring the community’s website and reviewing any marketing materials provided. Don’t hesitate to inquire about the community’s offerings – each one is unique, offering varying levels of care, independence, and amenities based on fees and other factors.

During your visit, consider asking the following key questions:

  1. Can you show me examples of the types of accommodations available?
  2. What amenities and services are covered in the monthly fees?
  3. How frequently are recreational and social activities offered?
  4. What levels of care do you provide, and how do they differ?
  5. Can I speak with current residents to learn about their experiences living here?

Arming yourself with these inquiries will help you make an informed decision about your future living arrangements.

A clock


Making the decision to transition to a senior living community can feel overwhelming at first, but it’s important to remember that you’re the one in control! By taking charge of your search early on, you can ensure that you find the perfect community to suit your needs and preferences. Starting your search early offers several advantages, such as:

  • Entrance Requirements: Senior living communities often have specific entrance criteria, and beginning your journey sooner rather than later ensures that you have a wide range of options available to you. Health conditions and personal circumstances can also impact your choices, so getting a head start allows you to explore all possibilities while maintaining control over your decisions.
  • Taking Advantage of Amenities: Beginning your search early allows you to fully capitalize on the numerous amenities and activities offered by senior living communities. From fitness programs to social events, these communities provide a wealth of opportunities for residents to lead fulfilling and engaging lives. Why wait to start enjoying everything these communities have to offer?
  • Continued Care: Choosing a community with a comprehensive continuum of care, such as Woodlands, provides added security and peace of mind for the future. With Lifecare options in place, you can rest assured that your needs will be met regardless of any changes in your financial or health status. This level of support allows you to maintain control over your future while enjoying the freedom to live life to the fullest.

Hands holding a heart


Determining if a senior living community is the perfect fit for you often boils down to a gut feeling. Are the residents content? Are there ample opportunities to get involved and participate? Do the amenities align with your lifestyle? Above all, do you feel secure and at ease?

While only you can provide the answers to these questions, the most effective method of discovering them is through an in-person visit to the community. Interacting with both residents and staff can offer valuable insights into the community’s atmosphere and culture.

Since moving to a senior living community typically entails a lifelong commitment, prioritizing your comfort and happiness within the environment is crucial. Take the time to assess these factors firsthand to ensure that your chosen community feels like home.

Finger pointing to ABC blocks


Senior living encompasses a variety of options to accommodate different preferences, needs, and levels of care required. Some common options include:

  • Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs):
    • The total package when it comes to senior living options, CCRCs offer a continuum of care which includes both independent living and assisted living, all within one campus or community.
    • Some communities, like Woodlands, also offer Lifecare which allows residents to transition between different levels of care as their needs change over time, providing long-term physical and financial security and peace of mind.
  • Independent Living Communities:
    • Independent living communities are designed for seniors who are generally healthy and active but prefer to live in a community setting with access to amenities, social activities, and maintenance-free living.
    • Residents typically live in private apartments or cottages and have the freedom to come and go as they please.
  • Assisted Living Communities:
    • Assisted living offers a combination of housing, personalized support services, and healthcare to seniors who require a little bit of assistance with daily living.
    • Residents live in private apartments and receive help with tasks as needed, while still maintaining independence and privacy.
  • Memory Care Units:
    • Memory care units offer specialized assistance for seniors with forms of memory impairment.
    • These facilities provide a secure environment with trained staff who offer specialized care, structured activities, and cognitive stimulation tailored to the unique needs of residents with memory loss.
  • Respite Care:
    • Respite care provides short-term temporary care for seniors recovering from an illness or surgery, or to give primary caregivers a break from their caregiving responsibilities.
    • It can be a helpful option for families and caregivers while ensuring their loved ones receive proper care and support.
  • Nursing Homes:
    • These facilities provide 24-hour medical care and assistance with activities of daily living for seniors who require ongoing nursing care and supervision.
    • Services may include medication management, wound care, physical therapy, and rehabilitation services.

Each senior living option has its advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to research exactly what is important to your future.

A couple walking a path alongside a pond


What sets Woodlands apart is its distinction as the sole Lifecare community in the region, providing unmatched access to resources essential for a vibrant and active lifestyle, all at an unexpectedly affordable cost. At Woodlands, residents opting for Lifecare enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing they can remain in their beloved home, surrounded by friends, regardless of any changes in their healthcare needs or financial circumstances.

While many facilities focus solely on specific aspects of care, Woodlands prides itself on being a holistic community that addresses the comprehensive needs of our residents – physical, social, intellectual, emotional, spiritual and vocational alike.

Experience the essence of Woodlands Living firsthand by scheduling a visit today with Juliette at (304) 697-1620 and register for our upcoming learning session at Woodlands on April 16! Come ask questions, meet residents and learn how to rightsize your life with professional organizer Linda Williams.

Let our dedicated team walk you through the ABCs of senior living and show you why Woodlands is the perfect place to call home by filling out the form below!


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