Finding the Right Home for Mom and Dad


Many families look for a retirement home to provide peace of mind and essential care for aging parents. But, finding a suitable senior living community requires matching your budget, your parents’ lifestyle, and needs with facilities in their preferred areas. The process becomes easier and more successful when all parties ask the right questions, prepare, and participate in open and honest conversations.

Ask about amenities

When looking for a retirement home, note available amenities and ask for details. For instance, ask what they do for entertainment. Today’s retirement home TV options feature streaming services and easy-to-use functionality, enabling your mom and dad to enjoy their favorite programming in the comfort of their rooms. However, the facility should also provide activities your parents can do with others, such as trivia and board games.

Do not forget to ask about housekeeping and laundry services, as they are essential. A retirement home with adequate amenities will keep your parents entertained and minimize the risk of isolation, which is crucial for their mental health and wellbeing.

Understand their needs

Before you enroll your mom and dad into a retirement home, you should first establish the level of care they require. For example, some retirement homes provide assisted living services, which are convenient for those who need help with activities of daily living. Others offer specialized services such as physiotherapy and memory care.

This might be a difficult dialogue to have, but you must do it. It is common for elderly parents to be stubborn and not acknowledge that they require specialized care. If this happens, ask their doctor for their support and opinion.

Security and safety

These are essential factors that should take high priority. Older adults can be vulnerable because of limited mobility. They often have accidents and suffer falls. If mom and dad were to have a fall, how would they get help? How long will it take the home’s staff to know something happened?

These are some of the questions you should ask when looking for a retirement home suitable for mom and dad. You should also check the safety measures to ensure safety, such as ramps and handrails on the walls.

If the facility you’re interested in does not have any of these, ask the reason and if they can be installed. Also, ask what happens when a resident falls and how they prevent falls and accidents.

Next, ask about security. Do you feel safe while at the facility? Check outside security. Is the facility gated, or can anyone walk in? Do you have to announce your arrival to a staff member, or can you walk into the building and residents’ rooms? Check if there are security cameras and how many windows and doors are open.

It is advisable to also ask the staff about security. Apart from keeping unwanted guests away, how do they protect the residents from themselves? This applies to dementia or Alzheimer’s residents, as they can get hurt when they wander outside unsupervised. Do not take your mom and dad to a residence that does not prioritize security and safety.

Resident choices

Inquire about resident options. Good facilities respect the wishes of their residents about how they occupy their time. Mom and dad are adults who should be allowed to make their own choices. Ask if they are allowed to wake up by themselves and if they can eat on their schedule. Also, find out if they can personalize their rooms; for example, can they furnish their space?

Know who is in charge

It is important to talk to the people who directly work with residents, but it is equally important to know who runs the facility. High administrative or management staff turnover indicates trouble. Also, ask if the facility has a resident medical doctor, if not, how residents receive medical care when needed.

Check ratings and references

Before moving mom and dad to a retirement home, ask for personal experiences and recommendations from family and friends. You can also check ratings and reviews about particular retirement homes online. Although some reviews are suspect, you can use them as a reference point to help you narrow down the most suitable.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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8 months ago

You are right, the most important thing is to understand their needs! I often use the MLSWorldwide real estate listing which helps me find the right home. It’s a good way to get in

Regina Timmons
8 months ago

Thank you for covering such an important topic! When choosing a home for elderly parents, you need to be pickier. By the way, I would also suggest considering homes with swimming pools. Swimming has lots of benefits for health. Regular swimming improves heart and lung health and trains the body. It has also been shown to improve memory, cognitive function, immune response, and mood. But the biggest advantage is that it’s appropriate for people who have sore joints, and bone injuries.

7 months ago

You shared good suggestions about home security! As for the security cameras, we recommend installing 3-4 cameras watching your door, front lawn, and backyard. You should also think about installing burglar-proof doors as well as a high fence and a gate with a code.