Joan’s Journey: The Search for Senior Housing

The search for senior housing can be a daunting task.  Yes, you can find advice online or through professional agencies, but you are rarely able to get advice from someone who has been through it themselves.  That  is why we partnered with Joan London to create a new blog series focused on her search for senior housing.  She takes you through every step of the process, allowing you to get a first hand account of her journey.   We hope you will be able to learn from her experiences and use them for your own search.  Moreover, we hope that this blog series helps ease your concerns over moving yourself or your aging loved one.

Joan London

Joan London is a freelance writer living in Baltimore, MD. Since retiring in 2007 from a more than 30-year career in journalism and public relations, London spends much of her time traveling to and from the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to visit her three children and four grandchildren in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. “Geminis love to travel,” says London.

When not writing, traveling or working as a volunteer advocate, London enjoys surfing the Web, going to movies and most of all, spending time with her grandchildren. She also finds time to be a consumer advocate/expert witness for the Food and Drug Administration and the Maryland Governor’s Task Force on Chronic Illnesses and Related Diseases.

“I love being a senior,” says London. “We have so much flexibility and so many choices.”

Her Search

For the last 10 years, Joan has lived a very comfortable, and fun life in Baltimore.  It wasn’t until a recent surgery, left her alone and unable to speak for a couple weeks, that she realized she missed being close to children.  Furthermore, the harsh Baltimore winters have been getting harder for her to handle.  So, Joan decided to take the leap and begin to look for senior communities on the West Coast, where all three of her children live.

So in the next couple of months Joan will be traveling to Seattle, San Francisco, L.A., and Palm Springs to visit Senior communities.   Check out her latest blog post to follow her journey across the country to the west coast.

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20 Responses to “Joan’s Journey: The Search for Senior Housing”

  1. Lisa Baehr says:

    Hello, Joan! Welcome to your exciting new adventure! Pacific Retirement Services, a not-for-profit family of 10 Continuing Care Retirement Communities, would like to invite you to visit us in Seattle, Portland, and the San Francisco area (Davis, Napa, Saratoga). To do a little exploring first from your computer, please visit our website at If you’d like to visit any of the communities in person, please email me at [email protected] so I can connect you with the right person. In the meantime, we wish you a joyous holiday season with your family. Cheers!

  2. Joan London says:

    Hi Lisa,
    I am excited that you read my blog and would like me to visit and blog about your communities. I will discuss your kind invitation with, and we will consider future visits. Thank you for your interest.

    Best wishes for a very happy, healthy New Year!

  3. Lisa Baehr says:

    If you’d like to write about any of our communities that you happen to visit, we would welcome that. However, we were just hoping you’d consider one as your future home.

  4. Danie Scott says:

    Our advice would be to try before buying. Even if you rent, try not to enter into long-term agreements before living there for a while. We found that one persons heaven can be another’s hell, and there is no way of knowing until you have experienced it for yourself. To make your task easier though, you can find out a lot about a Retirement Resort by looking at their facebook page, the info section and what subjects they post on.Read back as far as you can. If a Resort does not have a f/b page, they are behind times, and I would not consider them, but then again, this might not bother you ! Happy hunting.

  5. Lisa Baehr says:

    We’ve posted a link to your blog on the Facebook page of several of our affiliate retirement communities, requesting advice for you. A resident of Mirabella Seattle suggested that you look for “Compatible people, large space, good food…..”

  6. Joan London says:

    Lisa and Danie,
    Thanks for posting the informative information. As my search continues and I write future blogs, I will keep your advice and that of helpful residents in mind and share it with bloggers. I wish you a very happy, healthy and peaceful New Year. More in 2012 …

  7. Don Sloan says:


    I live in Davis, CA at the University Retirement Community at Davis and have been here for 11 years. Davis is a small university town. We can take advantage of UC Davis activities on campus. Living in a college town is a real plus. We are 20 minutes from Sacramento and the Sacramento International airport. We are 1 /12 hours for SF and Tahoe. URC is a Continuum of Care Community with four levels of care. You can be a busy as you want here at URC and you wonder where to time goes. The people are friendly and the food and accommodations are top of the line. Give us a call if you come to visit.

  8. sybilla cook says:

    I have some personal advice on my website:

  9. Angela Stringfellow says:

    Hi Sybilla,

    Looks like an interesting site. Look forward to hearing your thoughts on the search for senior housing!


  10. Marcia Freedman says:

    Wishing you a fun and successful hunt.

  11. Hi Joan,
    Glad to see you blogging. This is a subject which is of interest to many “seniors”. I will be very interested to see what amenities and locations you find important and interesting.

    Bon Chance on your new endeavor.


  12. The Government is operating so far outside of its design parameters that this type of discussion becomes futile. IMHO the place to start is reducing tax which would force massive reductions in power and programs, bringing the govt. more in line with the founders structure. Only then can a discussion vis-a-vis federal and state govts. become worthwhile.

  13. Kelly Kania says:

    I love what you guys are usually up too. Such clever work and reporting! Keep up the awesome works guys I’ve added you guys to our blogroll.

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  20. alan says:

    good writing kiddo!

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