Top Reasons for Moving to a Senior Living Community

Changes to a senior’s health status are more likely to prompt a move to a senior living community than any other deciding factor, according to survey findings recently released by Varsity Branding and Asbury Communities.

The study, titled “Project Looking Glass III: From The Outside In,” explores the decision-making process behind selecting a senior living community. It includes findings from focus groups, in-depth interviews and a nationally distributed online survey completed by 435 people, 51.5% of whom are non-residents and 48.5% of whom are already residents in a retirement facility.

Among residents surveyed, 44.5% said either a health change for themselves or their spouse/partner triggered their move to a senior living community. Similarly, 34.9% of non-residents indicated a health change as a reason they would be motivated to move into a senior living facility.

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Meanwhile, 30.6% of residents said freedom from home maintenance responsibilities drove them to move, nearly equal to the 30.5% of non-residents who said the same would push them to enter a community.

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The survey further revealed that the majority of respondents aged 70 to 79 did or would search the Internet using a search engine to begin learning about their senior housing options. Children, friends and themselves topped the list of influencers in deciding to move to a community for those who completed the survey.

Cost proved to be the most significant factor in choosing where to move for both residents and non-residents. Participants also noted that the friendliness and expertise of staff, as well as the financial stability of a community, are important in making a selection.

Other noteworthy findings include:

  • Care: Nearly three-fifths of non-residents surveyed said care offerings would be a big part of their decision when picking a senior living community, while about 43.4% of current residents said care did in fact affect their choice. However, respondents said they don’t want to be involved with care until they absolutely need it.
  • Moving Plans: An overwhelming majority—87.7%—indicated that they do plan to move from their current residence at some point in time, and nearly two-thirds of those surveyed said they have considered moving into a senior living community. Of respondents age 70 to 79, a staggering 80.3% said they would plan to move to a retirement facility.
  • Religion: A community’s faith affiliation played a significant role in 34.4% of residents’ decisions to move there, whereas 45.7% of non-residents said religious affiliation would play a small role in selecting a community.

Written by Kourtney Liepelt

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