When Is It Time To Look Into A Senior Living Community? The Answer May Surprise You

Sooner than you think. Would you believe, even years before moving into a senior living community?

That’s the short answer to when you or a loved one should start looking into options.

It’s a classic case of supply not meeting demand. And that gap is growing wider as you read this blog.

The headline-making generation that gave us Woodstock, Beatlemania, moon landings, war protests and iconic tech like your cell phone and laptop, is about to make history again.

Every day, 10 thousand baby boomers  (born between 1946 and 1964) are turning 65 years old. By 2030, they’ll make seniors the largest population in the US –– the first time in history!


Historic Shortage of Senior Housing

Just as these aging baby boomers are needing new living senior care facilities, there’s an alarming shortage.

Just build more? It’s not that easy.

There’s unavailability of land, high construction costs, supply chain delays, construction and senior care industry staff shortages, more people are staying in assisted living longer and more facilities are accepting new residents who can pay out of pocket over people relying on financial assistance like Medicaid.


“Plan Now,” Says Senior Living Expert

“Bottom line, it’s never been more critical to learn about your options years before you need help,” says Marquis Director of Operations, Erin Sprando. “If you wait until your need is great and immediate, you might not have the same choices.”

No worries. We’re here to help you navigate this journey, with a series of blogs on senior living choices that will help you understand the different options, when it’s time to make a move and costs. We’ll also share insider tips on what to ask –– including what seniors in those communities wish they had known and asked.

Erin is our go-to expert on independent, assisted living, and memory care. Her passion for seniors began as a little girl, helping care for her grandparents, which led to a degree in health care administration and more than 17 years with Marquis.

“I think a lot of people can relate to my mom who was that ‘sandwich generation,’ caring for her live-in parents, while raising her own children,” she says.

“After grandpa died, my grandmother eventually needed 24-hour care, which we couldn’t provide. We helped her find a senior community, which she very reluctantly moved into.

“Then something happened!”

“My grandma became this social butterfly, jumping into all the fun activities and trips. She said if she had understood all the benefits, she would have moved in sooner!”

So, let’s begin. In the first blog in our “Understanding Senior Living” series, Erin will give you a snapshot of each type of senior living accommodations, the benefits and when it’s the right time to move in and keep living your best life!


Snapshot of Independent Living

Freedom & Safety: “When you can enjoy your own separate home in a senior living community, come and go as you please and also enjoy access to all the amenities–– that’s independent living!” says Erin. “I’ll use Marquis as an example, where we offer either cottages or apartments with private patios, yards, and decks. You have a full kitchen, bedrooms, a private patio or deck, a fireplace, and a garage for your car.

“Your home is thoughtfully designed for your safety, allowing you to age in-place, rather than make expensive safety changes or move. There are more than 40 Lifetime Design elements like threshold-free doorways, spacious hallways, strategically placed handrails, lower counters and aesthetically pleasing lighting.

Access to On & Off-Site Fun: “Living at a senior living community puts you just steps away from endless group and life-long learning activities. Our activity directors are experts at creating a long menu of fun and each facility has a Residents’ Council that decides on additional activities and trips. You’ll see residents coming and going –– to museums, concerts, church services, onsite lectures, classes, volunteer opportunities, events like our wildly popular Halloween bash and annual car show and, through our Vital Volunteer program, giving back to charities of choice.

Community Center Hub: “Many facilities, like Marquis, have designed beautiful community centers with welcoming, hotel-like lobby features. The Community at Marquis Tualatin and The Community at Marquis Eugene are ground-central for meeting friends and family at the fireplace, coffee shop or café wine and beer bar for happy hour. Guests and residents love the garden terrace, and the beautiful outdoor patio with a firepit. There’s an event sized auditorium for concerts and lectures, meeting rooms for art and cooking classes, book clubs, game nights, gardening, and other gatherings.”

Staying Fit & Mobile: “Our independent living residents are members of our on-campus, state-of-the-art gym and fitness centers, with saltwater pools and spas and instructor-led classes like weightlifting, cardio, and yoga.”

Concierge Services: “Don’t feel like running errands? We have all kinds of concierge services that give our residents more time to do the things they enjoy. We can help with grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions, café food delivery, and coordinating rides.”

On-Site Health Care: “Our residents don’t have to travel off-campus for many of their health care services. For instance, residents can sign up to receive in-home care and Home Health therapy or nursing, if indicated by their provider. They can also take advantage of our healthcare preventative programs like Take Heart and Breath Deep.

Age-In-Place Community: “This is a huge benefit that erases the worry of wondering where to move next as your needs grow. Once you’re living on our campuses, you are a priority! If you suddenly need assisted living or post hospital rehab, there’s no wait list for you. You’re in!”

Surprisingly Low Move-In & Monthly Costs: “You might be surprised that many facilities don’t require a huge upfront investment. For instance, at Marquis, there’s just a small cleaning deposit required and then you can move in.”

“Included in your monthly rent are utilities, housekeeping landscaping, maintenance, basic cable and internet, water, sewer, garbage and property taxes. Marquis is unique in that monthly rent is based on need and not a point system, which can rapidly hike costs. We can adjust rent from month to month depending on need.”

“You pay renters’ insurance and any extra services you choose, like additional TV options, concierge services and personal care.”

Live More, Worry Less: “There’s simply less to worry about in independent living. You have as much or as little support as you’d like, lots of organized activities steps away from your front door, a safe and fun community, and, for most people, far fewer living expenses.”

“It really gets to what senior living should be. As we say at Marquis, you should be living your best vital life! Everyone’s job here is to help you do just that.”

Benefits of  Independent Living at Marquis:

  • Campus strategically located next to off-campus community and transportation lines.
  • Separate home, garage, yard/deck.
  • Built-in safety design elements.
  • No maintenance, yard work, landscaping, mortgage or property taxes.
  • On and off-site social and educational opportunities.
  • Community Center campus hub with coffee shop, wine/beer café, fitness center, auditorium and classroom spaces.
  • Concierge service options.
  • On-site health care clinical services.
  • Ability to age in place, moving to higher level of care without leaving campus.
  • Month-to-month payment method adjusts for level of care needed that month.

How do I know Independent Living is the right choice?

Have you recently experienced one or more of the following? If so, independent living may be a good option for you.

  • Loss of mobility or incentive to stay on top of house cleaning and yard work.
  • Staying home more and less time out with friends.
  • Less involvement in activities that once gave joy.
  • Feeling isolated and lonely.
  • Driving is more difficult and less frequent.
  • Home isn’t set up for safe mobility. There are stairs, steep driveways, etc.
  • Basic self-care tasks – Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) like bathing, personal hygiene, dressing, meals – are getting harder to do without assistance.
  • Experiencing falls.

Visit Marquis Eugene Independent Living to learn more about a typical day for Nancy and George, two of our Independent Living residents at our Marquis Eugene campus.


Snapshot of Assisted Living

Access To All On and Off-Site Activities & Amenities: “Think of assisted living as the best of both worlds. You can choose a little or a lot of assistance and social interaction on and off-site, while still enjoying your own apartment.

Expanded On-Site Health Care Services: “As we age, our needs grow. We may suddenly require more assistance with meals, getting dressed, walking and medication management. All of that is provided by our nursing staff and other on-site providers. As a Marquis client, you will always receive priority for the level of care you need. We can also bring in expert care in mobile dentistry, physical therapy, vision care and podiatry.”

“All of Marquis’ assisted living facilities are connected to a partnering Post Hospital Care facility, providing the same excellent quality of staff, systems and resources.

Benefits of Assisted Living at Marquis

  • Full calendar of planned activities and special events.
  • Assistance is based on need for medication management, personal care, walking and two person transport, post hospital care, on-campus hospice, etc.
  • Flexible and transparent levels of service and pricing.
  • Priority placement for next level of care.

How do I know Assisted Living is the right choice?

  • Greater need for lots of services in independent living like medication management, scheduling appointments, nurse oversight, cooking and other basic living skills.
  • Lack of social activity.
  • Change in health condition that requires more long term care.


Snapshot of Memory Care

Safety, Comfort Engagement:Memory care is a step beyond traditional assisted living. It provides a safe, nurturing home for individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia related conditions. They’re no longer safe in their own homes or assisted living communities. Their families and friends are worried about their wanderings and other unsafe or disruptive behaviors.”

These individuals have conditions with complex care needs. We provide customized care that helps families feel secure their loved ones are safe, comfortable and engaged to their best abilities –– all in an environment that is secure, yet open and inviting.

“The interior of our memory care center reflects a calm setting that plays upon all four senses (sight, sound, taste and touch). Colors and patterns are chosen to reduce confusion and agitation. Memory-triggering items, music and art are woven into each day.”

“We strongly believe our memory care residents benefit from having the option to enjoy the outdoors, so we’ve designed secured but beautiful spaces where residents can enjoy fresh air and connect with each season.”

Highly Trained Staff:  “All memory care staff – clinical and non-clinical – are specially trained in effective, empathetic and cutting edge care for these diagnoses. Continuing education and training are an important part of the culture at Marquis and we go above and beyond what’s required because we know the difference it makes in the lives of clients and staff.”

Benefits of Memory Care at Marquis

  • Building and grounds designed with specific needs in mind.
  • Staff expertly trained provides 24/7 care and social interaction including exercises designed for memory care residents.
  • Residents and staff become family.
  • Staying social/avoiding loneliness.
  • 3 meals a day and medication management.

How to know it’s time for Memory Care

  • Need for secured housing and additional monitoring and security.
  • Getting lost and struggling with orientation, time and place.
  • Loss of familiar habits and routines.
  • Missing regular appointments and times with friends.
  • Loss of interest in activities and becoming more withdrawn.
  • Weight loss, missing meals and forgetting to take medications.


By now, you have a pretty good understanding of independent living, assisted living and memory care. Next month we’ll continue our series by answering your questions about how much these living options cost and what financing is available.

In the meantime, you can read an article on Understanding Senior Care Acronyms and you might like to check out other posts on the Marquis Blog. We hope you find our fact-based information helpful in keeping you healthy and vibrant –– whatever your age!