It can be challenging to navigate all of the Senior Living options available, especially in a city like Boston. When choosing the right community for your loved one or yourself, the first step is to understand the difference between Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Nursing Home communities which we’ll explain below. Once you understand the various options, you will want to account for important factors such as lifestyle, age, budget, and overall health to make the right choice and ensure a successful transition and long-term fulfillment in this next chapter. Below are some of the key definitions and important questions to help you through this process.

What is Independent Living?

Independent Living communities offer you or your loved one the option to live “independently” in an apartment or cottage in a community with neighbors of similar age. In this type of community, individuals have the freedom to go about their day doing their own thing or join scheduled group activities like workout classes, shuffleboard, golf, bocce, card games, book clubs, bingo, etc.. Individuals also benefit from no longer having to do yard work and home maintenance. These facilities or communities are meant to help with socialization, stimulation, fitness, health and overall well being. The tends to be the most cost-effective type of community of the three.

What is Assisted Living?

Unlike Independent Living, Assisted Living communities offer access to caregivers who are readily available to help you or your loved one with things like bathing and dressing. Assisted Living has similar activities and scheduled classes to Independent Living, but is meant for people who need more individualized, specialized help with daily tasks. These communities provide round-the-clock supervision, housekeeping, laundry, and more. Maximizing independence while offering assistance is what differentiates Assisted Living from Nursing Homes. Many Assisted Living facilities offer specialized smaller communities for Alzheimer or Dementia care. This style of living typically costs more than Independent Living.

How are Nursing Homes different?

Nursing Homes provide medical and personal care in a clinical setting while Assisted Living communities offer care in a more home-like setting. Nursing Homes are necessary for individuals who need extensive care, are not mobile without assistance, require daily medical care, or have severe cognitive impairments. Individuals who need frequent hospital stays should choose a Nursing Home over other options. The tends to be the most expensive type of community of the three.

Now that you understand the difference between each of the communities, here are some ways to help you begin preparing and planning for the important transition. Keep in mind that it’s never too early to start and remember that we are available to help you through this process if needed.

1. Determine Your Lifestyle Needs

Consider hobbies and lifestyle to choose the type of community you can picture yourself or your loved one thriving in socially, physically, and emotionally. Many independent living facilities provide a smooth transition from independent to assisted so make sure to ask about the different types of support provided and understand the process of transitioning to a more dependent style of life over time.

2. Begin Research

Check out the website of any community of interest. Determine if your budget, living options, lifestyle, events calendar and amenities match what you’re looking for. Many of the communities have photo galleries on their sites so this is a great place to start when you aren’t sure where to begin. 

3. Make The Call

Once you find a couple of communities that could be a good fit, give them a call. You also have the option to fill out your information on their website so they can provide you with additional information and/or schedule a tour of the community. Keep in mind that first impressions matter and typically the way they handle the first few interactions with you will be a strong indicator of the quality and level of service you can expect as a resident.

4. Schedule A Tour 

Schedule a tour of the facility to see if you can imagine yourself or your loved one thriving there. Many of the most popular communities have a 1-2 year waitlist so we suggest educating yourself and starting the process sooner than later! Occasionally, these communities will offer an open house or similar event for prospective members to tour the property.

12 Local Senior Care Facilities

Here are some reputable local communities that offer Assisted Living, Independent Living, Nursing Home Care, or some combination of the three. We have provided links to their websites along with location and contact information for your reference. . Keep in mind that there are hundreds of options to choose from so we encourage you to browse this list as a starting point!

Allerton House

  • Independent, Assisted & Memory Care Living

  • Address: 15 Condito Road, Hingham, MA

  • Phone number: 781.277.2423

Landmark at Longwood

  • Assisted Living & Memory Care

  • Address: 63 Parker Hill Avenue, Boston, MA

  • Phone number: 617.975.0110

Hale House

  • Assisted & Independent Living

  • Address: 273 Clarendon Street, Boston, MA

  • Phone number: 617.536.3726

Chestnut Park at Cleveland Circle

  • Assisted Living & Memory Care

  • Address: 50 Sutherland Road, Brighton, MA

  • Phone number: 617.981.6477

Providence House – Brighton

  • Assisted Living & Memory Care

  • Address: 180 Corey Rd Brighton, MA

  • Phone number: 617.731.0505

Goddard House – Brookline

  • Assisted Living & Memory Care

  • Location: 165 Chestnut Street

  • Phone number: 617.731.5188

Sunrise Senior Living – Newton

  • Independent, Assisted, Respite & Memory Care Living

  • Location: 431 Washington Street, Newton, MA

  • Phone number: 617.992.9038

Maplewood Senior Living – Weston

  • Independent, Assisted, Respite & Memory Care Living

  • Location: 99 Norumbega Road, Weston, MA

  • Phone number: 781.925.7545

Care One – Concord

  • Independent, Assisted, Respite, Long-Term & Memory Care Living

  • Location: 57 Old Road, Concord, MA

  • Phone number: 978.371.3400

Waterstone – Lexington

  • Independent, Assisted, Respite & Memory Care Living

  • Location: 53-55 Watertown Street, Lexington, MA

  • Phone number: 781.427.2203

Salter Healthcare – Winchester

  • Short term rehabilitation, Long-term, Respite & Hospice Care

  • Location: 184 Swanton Street Winchester, MA 01890

  • Phone number: 781.729.9370

Armenian Nursing & Rehabilitation Center

  • Short term rehabilitation & Long Term Care

  • Location: 431 Pond Street Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

  • Phone number: 781.427.2203

Lastly, if you or your loved one are looking for an option that does not require relocation, Remote Senior Care is a fourth alternative that will keep you safe, stimulated and happy in the comfort of your home using the latest at-home care technology. To find out more, click here. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions or share feedback on any of these communities. You can email or message us on any of our social platforms.