Which Senior Living Community is Right For Me?
It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, deciding where you want to live is a big deal! There are so many different senior living communities it’s hard to know where to start when choosing the one for you. When you are considering different retirement communities, predetermine your personal preferences so you know what you want before you start looking.
- Location, location, location! How important is the proximity to your family and friends? What about being close to your healthcare providers, as well as entertainment and shopping?
- One size does not fit all. Retirement communities run the gamut from extremely large to small and cozy. Some offer singular levels of care and services, like Assisted Living Facilities, while others like Life Plan Communities (also known as Continuing Care Retirement Communities or CCRCs) offer an entire continuum of care all on the same campus.
- Future care needs. When your needs are larger or more intensive than some senior communities can offer, you will need to move to another facility that offers a higher level of care. If you get too sick to take care of yourself, where would you like to go?
- Affordability. Many retirement communities have an entrance fee, as well as monthly rent. Do your research and find out what is included and if there are extra costs. You also need to ask what will happen if you run out of money. You may need to move to another facility if the community doesn’t offer financial support options.
- Quality. Read online reviews and state surveys before touring. While touring, inquire about staff-to-resident ratios, response time to residents, the longevity of staff, and whether or not there is a registered nurse on site. Also, swing by the dining room and evaluate the quality of the food.
- Staying active and social. Being active and engaged is usually easy at a retirement community, with some offering up to 40 activities a week! Most will happily accommodate you so you can practice your favorite hobbies or even start a social club.
- Features and amenities. Senior living communities often have onsite gyms, swimming pools, and other exercise necessities. Other amenities include onsite beauty and barber shops, restaurants, banks, and large rooms available for entertaining.
- Transportation. If you are still driving, you’ll want to know if you can bring your own car and if there is an additional cost for parking. Indoor parking is usually available. If you are unable to drive, ask about the transportation options and costs for both entertainment-related trips, as well as medical appointments.
- For-profit versus not-for-profit. Take a look at the senior community’s finances if available. Consider how many locations they have and how long they’ve been in business, as well as how resident-centered they are. Make sure to ask what happens if you run out of assets or if they have a charitable foundation in place to help financially exhausted residents.
- Other considerations. Perhaps you’d like to bring Fluffy when you move or are allergic to peanuts. Not all senior living communities allow pets or are able to accommodate special diets. It’s also important to decide if you would prefer to live in a faith-based community, and if so, what denomination.