Deciding that you, or someone you, know needs to move into community with a higher level of care can be a difficult choice. You might have some pre-existing ideas about senior living, but you will find that many of them are false.

The reality is, many senior living facilities can be wonderful opportunities to improve the lifestyle of their residents. Below are several important things to consider when looking into senior living accommodations.

Visit Potential Residences Repeatedly

Don't just rely on one visit before you decide on a facility. These care facilities can experience a range of different incidents, and they might have just been having a particularly good or bad day. While you shouldn't hold a bad visit against them, you'll need to keep going to make sure it's the right place to live. This is a huge decision — take your time and be thorough.

Talk to the Staff

Don't be shy in talking to the staff. Some residential homes have brilliant staff, while others can have those who are just there for a paycheck. You obviously want the former, so take the time to speak with different staff members to get a sense of the level of care and attention provided.

Make Sure There is Plenty Going On

Some residential homes have tons of activities and entertainment for their residents, while others let them get by quietly. You'll need to make the right choice for your specific tastes, or whoever you're helping find a home.

Check What Other Services are Offered On-Site

Do they have their own doctors and nurses? Are there things like physio and massage therapy available? Some of the better homes have a wide range of different services, while others often run a lighter schedule. While those with tons going on might be more expensive, this extra cost could be worth it depending on your specific needs.

See How Healthy and Relaxed the Residents Seem

As with the staff, talking to the residents and seeing how happy they are in their current situation will tell you a lot about a care facility. You can normally tell quite early on which care homes are good and which are bad from the general happiness of the residents. These people are less likely to hide their true feelings, so spend some time getting to know them if you can.

Make Sure You Can Afford It

Residential care can be expensive, so you'll need to make sure you can afford it. Some homes are cheaper because they simply are not as good so you do not want to only pick based on price. Find a good balance between what's affordable and how good the home is.

Check What Additional Funding is Available

Thankfully, for things like elderly care there can often be some financial support to help find the right home. Check with your insurance, as well as any local authorities, to help pay for some of the care. You might be surprised what you can find. Senior living can be expensive, but it can also be the best choice for you or your family.