Big, small, friendly, quiet, secluded, active: there a number of ways to describe an assisted living community, as there are many types available today.
Ultimately, a decision about care will come down to preference (for example, national chain vs. family-owned) and affordability (i.e. what types of payment are accepted and what you qualify for). Although you or your senior loved one may want a community that is smaller in size and located in a rural area, you may find that the monthly cost is the most important determining factor; in this case, you may be willing to choose a larger community in an urban setting if the price is right.
As with other businesses and franchises, assisted living homes may be part of a large national chain, they may be stand-alone and/or family-run, or they may be part of a local corporation that operates several communities in a particular region. Even if you prefer family-owned, smaller business models, there is a plus side to considering assisted living that is part of a chain: these communities may be able to offer certain benefits that a stand-alone operation cannot.
Assisted living communities can still have a cozy atmosphere and family-run feel even if they are part of a large chain or managed by a senior living company. Conversely, it is possible that an independently owned and operated assisted living may still feel distant and impersonal. So much of the community’s atmosphere depends on the staff in the building and the approach and care philosophy of the management team.
When searching for assisted living, consider different types of communities to make a well-rounded, better-informed decision.