Sequoia Assisted Living

Senior Living Resources & Financial Options

We like to think of making the move into a Senior Living community as an exciting step of a journey that may aid in the comfort, longevity, health, and quality of life for senior adults. However, we understand that taking those first steps into the journey may be daunting and overwhelming at times. Whether you are looking for a new home for yourself or your loved ones, there are many factors to consider when making the move to senior living. In hopes of aiding you in your journey, we’ve created tools and a list of recommended resources to focus your research into senior living options in a productive and easy way.

If you are just starting your search for senior living options for yourself or a loved one, please scroll down to our Where to Begin steps for beginning a senior living journey. Our Radiant Blog features a variety of topics that include tips for caregivers, news about our communities, articles about senior health and more.

We hope that you find that with the aid of the following guides and recommended resource sites make the move into a senior living community as enjoyable and stress-free as possible.

Financial Options

Care That Fits Your Lifestyle, Senior Living Olympia
Care That Fits Your Lifestyle, Senior Living Olympia
The Sequoia Senior Living Olympia

Where to Begin Your Senior Living Search

Beginning the search for the right Senior Living community for yourself or a loved one can be an overwhelming process. Stressors such as finances, emotion, and often, urgent need for personal well-being can make the process even more difficult, despite the mountains of information and tools available at local senior living communities, support resources and the internet. We hope to make the process a touch less overwhelming by offering simple tools and resources to aid you in your search.

The following five tips for beginning your senior living search aim to simplify the search process, focus your search and eliminate unnecessary steps.

The first step must begin with a thorough evaluation of the needs, desires, and budget of the person moving to a senior living community. This step may be the most labor-intensive portion of any search and is often emotion fueled. It is also one of the most important steps because it will help you gauge communities in a way that will assure you the best quality of life. In gathering the information for this step, ask yourself or your loved one the following questions to the best of your ability.

Needs for a Senior Living Community:

  • What health services do I need the community to offer for me to be able to live there comfortably with my needs met? (e.g. Medication Management, select diets, assistance with mobility, etc.)
  • What personal services do I need the community to offer to be comfortable? (e.g. Laundry Service, Transportation Services, Yard Maintenance, House Cleaning, etc.)
  • What location do you need to live in order to get to medical appointments, allow for needed visitors or simply to feel more comfortable? Do you want to stay near home? Would you prefer to move closer to family? Have you always desired to move to a different climate?

Find your Budget:

In order to find the right community without going through the time and effort it takes to go through several meetings, tours, and financial hoops it is important to gather your financial resources and benefit options as close to the beginning of your search as possible. Explore your options for benefits, social security, insurance, house value and savings when gathering your budget information.

Please note that while it is recommended to gather your budget information and know as much about your financial resources as possible, it doesn’t mean that you must rule out a community you’ve researched completely. Many communities offer resources for finding benefits that you may not know you were eligible for, different options that are not listed on a website, and possible move in deals or specials.

Note: As you make your list of budgetary and health needs be as specific and honest as possible. Do not include your desires yet in this list as this list will be your first step in narrowing your search you don’t want to cut off possible communities because your list is too broad or unrealistic.

Narrow the search field by finding the type of senior housing that will fit your current and possible future needs.

It is impossible to know what is going to happen in the next few years of someone’s life. Taking the time to examine the possibilities of changes in health, mobility or financial status will aid you in choosing the senior living community that will allow you or your loved one to best age in place. Sometimes a move is inevitable due to unexpected changes. However, sometimes you can find the right fit in a community that will help you age in place.

Create a list of all the possible future needs and desires. This list will help you at the very end of your search.

A few things to consider when looking at your possible future needs:

  • What physical issues do you have currently? Do you see those becoming a bigger issue with time?
  • Do you have any age-specific, genetic diseases or illnesses that run in your family?
  • What does your doctor say about your current health and possibilities of changes?
  • Do you see yourself wanting to live closer to family or friends as you get older? Moving to a different climate?
  • Further narrowing your field of options by comparing communities to the list of desires you might have for your ideal retirement living situation.
  • Personal and health needs are both things that must be addressed in the move to senior living, but the amenities and services offered in a community may set one community apart from the rest in the ultimate move decision. Take a moment to think about all the ideal community amenities and services. The final choice of a community may not have all the items on a desires list, but it may have the most important features to you or your family member.

A few things to consider when thinking about your desires for the ideal Senior Living Community:

  • What amenities would really set the community apart from other communities? (e.g. Active Social Calendar, In-House Beauty/Barber Salon, Exercise Room, etc.)
  • Do you have a pet that you’d like to take with you to the community?
  • What types of housing would you like/dislike? (e.g. Studio, One-Bedroom, Alcove, Shared, etc.)
  • Do you drive? If so, what parking requirements would make this community great for your quality of life?
  • What location features are important to you? (e.g. near shopping, near dining, walkable, near public transportation, etc.)
  • What dining features would the ideal community have? (e.g. anytime dining, menu with choices, healthy options, one meal, three meals, etc.)

As you begin your search for a community online, in a published retirement guide, over the phone or in person at communities compare the community services and costs to your needs and budget. Take your list of health and budgetary needs and go through that list as you examine each community. If communities don’t fit your needs, cross them off of your search list.

Remember: It is important that your needs list reflect your actual needs and honest budgetary restrictions. You don’t want to potentially cross off a community that could be a wonderful home for you or a family member because you were too broad or had unrealistic expectations. If something doesn’t seem completely clear on a communities website or in their marketing material take the time to call and ask about specific needs as you will find many communities are able to fulfill different needs or have resources to help fill those needs.

Now, set up tours with the communities that made your list!

The great thing about going through the list of your needs as you search for a senior living community is that you are not wasting time during tours, but rather focusing in on your wish list for the right senior living community. Touring a community can be FUN!

Set up tours with communities, or drop in and tour a community, with your checklists of needs, future possible needs and desires in hand.

Tips for a successful senior living tour:

  • Give yourself plenty of time to really get to know a community. Try not to set several tours at different communities up in one day as you will be rushing from one appointment to the next and will not have the chance to really see what a community has to offer.
  • Sit in for a meal or activities. Often communities have events that potential residents can attend to see what it is like to live in that community. Tours can be set up within or around these events in most cases. Take advantage of your time at a community by really getting a feel for the dining, activities and staff.
  • Have a checklist of your needs and desires in hand and a list of specific questions to ask. This will help you focus your tour to answer your questions and help address any needs you or a loved one might have.
  • Talk to staff. Take a moment to meet and talk with staff members that you or your loved one may interact with regularly.

Put down a deposit or schedule a follow-up meeting! Sometimes you will find that you tour a community and it meets all of your needs and desires beyond your expectations and you want to put a down payment and reserve your spot then and there. Using the tools from the previous steps you may wish to make this decision on the spot and feel comfortable doing so because you’ve done your homework!

Other times you may want to tour other communities and compare. Either way, schedule a follow up meeting by phone or in person to continue the relationship. You never know when the right opportunity will open up!

You’ve gone through the homework of preparing your list of current needs, budget, future possible needs and desires for the move into senior living. You have researched the communities to fit your needs and toured communities to compare with your desires. By this point, you may have a clear winner and have already put down your community deposit and rented the moving trucks. If so, congratulations!

You may also be sitting down and looking at a few communities side by side. If that is the case then a little more narrowing down of choices may be required.

Make your senior living decision easy with these three steps:

  • Look at the communities critically with your needs lists in hand. If any do not fit the needs or stand out as possibly not being able to fill your needs in the way that you want then take them off of your possibilities list.
  • Compare the communities that are left against your desires list. Does one fit more desires than the other? Did it have a special ambiance when you toured that the other communities just didn’t give you? Take out any communities that don’t fit your desires.
  • If you still haven’t landed on the right community because more than one community fills your needs and desires, then go visit the remaining communities again. Take the opportunity to visit a few activities, get to know residents and see how it will be to live in that community.

We hope that these 5 First Steps in Your Senior Living Journey have proven to be helpful to you in your search for the right senior living community for yourself or a loved one.

Find a Radiant Senior Living community near you to learn more about what our communities offer and how they may meet your needs and desires for a Senior Living community.

Additional Resources

Family Caregiver Alliance — Great resource for caregivers that includes a tool to find your caregiving situation, connect you with other caregivers and provides caregiver education.

National Association of Area Agencies on Aging — Use this site to find local Area Agencies on Aging. AAAs provide support and information to aging adults and caregivers. All AAAs offer core services that include elder rights, supportive services, health & wellness, nutrition, and caregiver education and assistance.

Alz.Org Caregiver Center — Caregiving resources for caregivers of individuals experiencing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other related dementias.

Alzheimer’s Association — The Alzheimer’s Association is a voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. The Alzheimer’s Association website provides information on dementia and Alzheimer’s as well as resources for local support.

National Institute on Aging Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center — The NIA’s Alzheimer’s Education and Referral Center provides caregivers and health providers with information, tips, and tools for addressing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

Eldercare.ACL.Gov — Eldercare Locator is a public service of the United States Administration on Aging that connects you to services for alder adults and their families.

Assisted Living Federation of America Consumer Corner — Explore information on Assisted Living and plan for Assisted Living costs at the ALFA.Org consumer resource corner. that offers hundreds of resources including Meal Sites, Medicare and Veteran information, referral agencies, housing, hospice, and homecare resources and more. helps families search real time availability for homecare, hospice, and housing options; and filters the results by geographic area, payment, and room/care type.

Benefits.Gov — Government resource that allows you to find out which government benefits you may be eligible to receive.

Medicaid.Gov — The Medicaid.Gov website has a tool to see if you qualify for Medicaid benefits to help pay for medical costs.

Medicare.Gov —Website that delves into the federal health system designed for those 65 years and older. The Medicare.Gov website includes a list of services, eligibility tools, and more.

National Institute of Health: Senior Health — Website built with older adults in mind. NIHSeniorHealth.Gov gives information about senior health topics in a way that is both easy to navigate and understand.

Meals on Wheels America — Meals on Wheels is a national organization that is a community-based senior nutrition program dedicated to addressing senior hunger and isolation. The national site gives more information about the program and allows you to search for local chapters to set up needed food delivery.

AARP — The American Association of Retired Persons provides information on topics relative to senior health, travel, lifestyle, entertainment, news and more.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Geriatrics and Extended Care — Learn about the medical benefits and long term care services available for United States Veterans.

Senior Living, Olympia

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We look forward to meeting you and discovering how we can be a resource for you. Let’s talk.