Determining Your Senior Living Needs and Wants

November 29, 2022

Deciding to move to senior living is a huge first step, but there’s much more to consider. Specifically, how to find the right senior living options. From the type of community to the features, services, and amenities available the choices may seem overwhelming initially. That’s why determining your senior living needs and wants before you research communities is essential. By prioritizing what’s most important upfront, it’s much easier to find the right fit. Here’s how.

Considering Your Senior Living Needs

Often it’s a specific need, like a health concern, challenges living independently, or simply wanting freedom from chores and home upkeep that prompts a move to senior living. And by assessing your current situation at home in the chart below, you’ll be able to more easily determine the type of community that would be right for your senior living needs.

Yes No
Health issues or concerns
Mobility challenges
Cognitive challenge
Challenges with or concerns about performing daily activities independently
Challenges with or concerns about maintaining the house and/or yard
Challenges with or concerns about proper nutrition and/or preparing meals independently
Challenges with or concerns about medication management
Transportation challenges and/or driving concerns
Safety issues in the home (lack of accessibility, falling hazards, etc.)
Concerns over lack of social opportunities
Not enough opportunities to pursue hobbies

Your Senior Living Options

Many people don't realize that there are several types of communities, each designed to support different senior living needs and wants. With your specific needs in mind, now consider what each type offers.

  • Independent Living – This type of senior living is best for those who don’t yet need assistance, but who want to spend their days enjoying their interests and passions instead of chores and household responsibilities. Amenities may include home maintenance, housekeeping, restaurant-style dining, concierge services, a fitness center, transportation, and a full calendar of social events, activities, and enrichment opportunities. What’s more, our luxury, independent living apartments offer 26-floor plans from which to choose.
  • Assisted Living – This type of senior living is similar to independent living in terms of the amenities and social as well as enrichment opportunities. However, in addition, assisted living offers support with daily tasks like bathing and dressing as needed, while empowering residents to continue living as independently as possible. We also provide 24-hour staffing and onsite health specialists who support each resident with a specialized care program, all in an inviting, home-like setting.
  • Memory Care – Designed just for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, memory care features specially-trained staff, 24-hour support, and a safe, yet comfortable setting. Our memory care program offers a flexible care plan that supports the specific needs of each resident plus enrichment activities as well as fitness and social opportunities that help residents to make the most of life as well.

Considering Your Senior Living Wants

Now that you’ve determined the type of community, based on your senior living needs, you can focus on what you want to get out of the experience. The options are endless, so we recommend categorizing your wants as must-haves, preferences, or nice-to-haves. Keep in mind that basics like meals, housekeeping, maintenance, scheduled transportation, and activities will typically already be included in the monthly fee. We’ve identified some of the most popular features, services, and amenities to help you more easily narrow down the specific community that fits your senior living needs and wants best.

Options Must-Have Preferences Nice-to-Have
   Private accommodations
   Washer/dryer in apartment
   Full kitchen
   Balcony or patio
   Extra bedroom
   Concierge services
   Outdoor spaces/walking paths
   Offsite outings
   Range of enrichment opportunities
   Beauty salon (or barbershop)
   Pet friendly
   Common areas to host family/friends
   Full social calendar of events/activities
   Personal wellness plans
   24-hour onsite staff
   Onsite registered nursing team
   Onsite rehabilitation
   Can accommodate special diets
   Fitness center/classes
   Onsite pharmacy
   Emergency Call Technology
   Keypad Entry/Exit
   Secure environment (memory care)
To learn more, download our
Family Decision Toolkit

Family Decision Toolkit


Friendship North Campus

367 Hershberger Road, Roanoke, VA 24012


Friendship South Campus

5647 Starkey Road, Roanoke, VA 24018


Friendship Salem Terrace

1851 Harrogate Dr, Salem, VA 24153