Choosing Care-How to Make Smart Decisions About Senior Living

New Site Expands Senior Living Awareness Through Consumer Education

choosing senior housing
Confused about senior housing? A new site will help you navigate your options without barking or selling to you!. Getty Images

For older adults and their children, the road to successful aging has often seemed a bit like an uncharted landscape, with no clear road map to guide the way. Aging itself can be an uncomfortable topic of conversation, and that can lead to uncertainty about what that process should look like, much less where to look for answers. A new website and social media initiative from the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA) has begun a journey meant to change that.

Their new resource helps you to make smart, confident decisions about senior living.

The website, called “Where You Live Matters” (www.WhereYouLiveMatters.org), along with a social media presence on Facebook and Twitter, aims to expand senior living awareness through consumer education. It’s less about looking at aging as a separate part of life, and more about older adults finding information for how to make aging fit with who they are, as well as with what they need to continue living well.

“Our members and organization are committed to giving consumers across the country a place to learn more about the senior living landscape,” said ASHA president David Schless. “There are resources available, but we’re committed to painting a clearer picture.”

The resources Schless refers to often appear in two categories: online content written by marketers, and academic information that often doesn’t communicate in a way that’s helpful for older adults and their families.

“Where You Live Matters” positions itself as a clearer, better third option, where older adults might benefit from the experiences of their peers, and have a chance to hear from professionals, some who also happen to be adult children.

Developing such an initiative is no small task, and ASHA established a committee of senior living professionals from across the country to provide a strong foundation of insight and expertise.

The result is a digital media resource that includes a number of testimonial videos from senior living residents, their family members and professionals in the field. The videos are meant to offer clear, straightforward information for those seeking answers to the often difficult questions that arise through the aging process.

The map ASHA provides is multifaceted. Those who navigate the site will find that it offers a look at the issue of aging from a variety of angles. From a page on important considerations to make when choosing where to live as we age, to clear information on currently available senior housing options, the website presents information for those looking to make comparisons, as well as those struggling with how to bring family members into the decision-making process.

Financial considerations are often a cause of stress for families discussing successful aging, and the site provides information that seeks to differentiate between the choice to live at home or in some other form of senior housing, such as a retirement community.

“Where You Live Matters” provides information on costs, as well as the raw emotion that often accompanies this aspect of the decision-making process.

The social media aspect of the outreach (www.facebook.com/WhereYouLiveMatters) (www.twitter.com/asha_wylm) connects users with some of the content found on the website, and also offers consistent posts containing relevant information on a wide variety of topics related to aging. The level of emphasis the outreach initiative places on social media is indicative of the abundant generation of retiring and soon-to-be retiring Baby Boomers, a generation more digitally active than those who came before them.

The website and accompanying social media pages represent the beginning of a five-year strategic initiative on the part of ASHA, and is a bold undertaking by an organization with a reputation for leading the way. As it approaches a quarter century in the field of senior living, ASHA has become known as an organization that promotes research, quality and innovation. “Where You Live Matters” packages all three at the fingertips of older adults and their loved ones.

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