Feb 6, 2023

Tips for finding a senior living community in California

Manny Cominsky

Each year tens of thousands of seniors decide to make California their retirement home. Whether they’re moving in from out of state, or have lived in California their whole lives, for many people retiring in California also means finding a senior living community. While finding the right senior living community for yourself or your senior parent might feel like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. With the proper research and preparation, the search for a senior living community can be a fun and exciting adventure for the whole family as you explore all the options to find the perfect place for your loved one. To make the most of your search, it’s important know as much about your loved one’s needs and preferences, as well as the senior living options in the area, as possible. 

If you are looking for a senior living community for yourself or a loved one in California, follow these tips to make sure you find the right community, in the right location, with all of the amenities and care that you or your loved one needs. And if you want to learn more about senior living communities in California, a member of the Sunbound team is always ready to help!

Places to retire in California

If your senior parent is looking to retire and find a senior living community in California, a good first step is to think about where in California your parent would like to retire. While it might not strictly speaking be part of your senior parent’s senior living search, finding the right locale in California is a great first step. From the sunny beaches of southern California, to the beautiful redwood forest of Northern California, to California’s major cities and small towns, there’s no shortage of amazing places to retire in California.

From small beach towns to some of the biggest cities in the country, California has the perfect retirement destination for you.

One particularly important thing for your parent to think about when choosing a town to retire in is whether or not they want to live in or near a major metropolitan area. One of the benefits of living near one of California’s major cities, like Los Angeles or San Francisco, is that they are major metropolitan hubs with access to plenty of healthcare options and amenities, including major airports. But while major cities provide access to plenty of services and amenities that make retirement life easier, some seniors prefer to get away from all the hustle and bustle. Knowing what your loved one wants and needs in their retirement community is a big first step.

Types of California senior living communities

Once your parent has decided on the general area in which they’d want to retire in California, a good next step is to think about the type of senior living community that is most appropriate for your loved one. At a high level, senior living communities can be broken into several categories, including: independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing facilities, and continuing care retirement communities. The type of community that is most appropriate for your senior parent will depend on their acuity level, which refers to the level of care required by your senior loved one on a daily basis. 

At the low end of the acuity spectrum are independent living communities, which are similar to luxury apartment rentals given their wide range of amazing amenities, and where residents do not require any assistance to fulfill their activities of daily living. For residents who require some level of assistance or care throughout the day, though at a level falling short of medical care, there are assisted living communities. While independent and assisted living communities may have easy access to care or medical facilities, they are not considered medical facilities themselves. For seniors who require daily medical care due to physical or cognitive decline or injuries, there are skilled nursing and memory care facilities. Unliked independent or assisted living communities, these facilities are staffed 24/7 by trained medical professionals.

Determining your senior parent's acuity level is a key first step in finding them the right senior living community.

A final common form of senior living community is what’s known as a continuing care retirement community. A continuing care retirement community is a senior living community that provides multiple levels of care, allowing seniors to stay in one location as they go through the aging process. While some people prefer this stability, it is important to note that continuing care retirement communities often have upfront entry fees that far exceed what would be paid in another type of senior living community (often hundreds of thousands of dollars).

Amenities and services

Once you’ve determined the right type of senior living community for yourself or your loved one, the next step will be finding a senior living community whose monthly rental charge is within your retirement budget. Thankfully, many communities post both floor plans and monthly rates on their websites, although it is a good idea to call the community and confirm whether they have posted rates or not to confirm that the information you have is accurate and up to date.

Make sure to ask about what amenities and services each senior living community offers, such as a pool or fitness center.

One of the main things that will affect a senior living community's monthly rate, along with obvious factors like the size and quality of their rooms, is the level of amenities and services offered. In recent years the senior living industry has worked hard to build amazing amenities for residents ranging from the classics like pools and salons, to modern amenities like movie theaters and game rooms. In addition, many senior living communities also offer a range of wellness programs such as trainers or educational series. Make sure to ask about all that a senior living community has to offer to find the community with the right mix of amenities and care for yourself or your senior loved one.

Call communities and set up tours

Once you’ve found the handful of communities that are in your area and your budget, it’s time to start calling up communities and setting up tours! While you can learn a great deal from a senior living community’s website, it’s usually going to be best for you or your loved one to do an in-person tour of the community. This can help you get a feel for things that might not come across so easily in photographs, such as the interactions between community staff and residents. On the other hand, you can let Sunbound handle your senior living search with just one simple email!

There’s no shortage of great options for senior living communities in California. If you or a loved one want to learn more about finding the right senior living community in California, give us a shout here at Sunbound. We always love talking to seniors and their families about senior living.

To learn more about how Sunbound can help make senior living more affordable for you or your loved one, send us an email at info@sunboundhomes.com or request more information on Sunbound. Sunbound is the best way to pay for senior living and is on a mission to make senior living affordable for everyone.

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