Ask Charlotte: How to Start Your Assisted Living Search

“I am fearful there will come a time soon where I’ll need assisted living, but I don’t know where to start. I’m overwhelmed.”


Dear Marge,

Your word “fearful” jumped out at me as I read your question. It’s a normal feeling as we face this time in our life. I think, though, that the best way to overcome the fear is to begin visiting some assisted living communities. Visit with your spouse, children or best friend.

As you walk in, what is your first reaction? Does it seem “homey”? Is it bright and cheerful? Are the residents smiling? Does the staff welcome you? As you begin thinking about these things, you’ll be able to better imagine what you’d like if you were to live in this place or another like it.

Your particular health situation will also help you decide. Are the hallways long? Are the apartments a good size? Are there easily climbed stairs or easily reached elevators? You may want to know about the activities that are offered.

I hope you’ll let me know what you find as you begin looking. You may find it’s much easier than you thought, and it won’t feel so overwhelming!


If you or someone you know would like to submit a question about assisted living to Charlotte, email it to or mail it to Attn: Bloggers at Birches, 215 55th St, Clarendon Hills, IL 60514.