Making an Informed Senior Living Community Decision

Making an Informed Senior Living Community Decision

The good news is: seniors today have many retirement community options to choose from. The bad news is: seniors today have many retirement community options to choose from.

In other words, some people are so overwhelmed by the quantity and variety of choices they are unable to move forward. This blog is intended to provide the information needed to make an informed decision when choosing a Life Plan Community.

Moving to a retirement community does not mean an end to the life you lead. Instead, it enables you to enjoy your life with a new sense of freedom because someone else is handling the home maintenance: no more shoveling snow or mowing the lawn.

The right questions are important

The key to choosing the right retirement community is to ask questions that give you the insight you need to make an informed decision. Here are questions to ask of each senior community under consideration. These are intended to get the ball rolling. Other questions will no doubt come to mind as you hear the responses.

  • Do they provide transportation to shopping, medical appointments, etc.? If so, what is the fee? Staying connected to the same life you had prior to moving is important to your physical and mental well being. You need reliable transportation to reach the people and places (shopping, restaurants, theater) you love.
  • How much is the monthly resident fee and what services/programs does it include? You want to be sure you are shopping for the right home with both eyes open. Be sure you are aware of what is included in the fee and what is not.
  • Are additional services available for a fee? If so, what are the services and the fee for each? Be sure to think ahead when asking these questions. For instance, you may not want or need help with housekeeping and shopping today, but may in the future. Cover all your bases.
  • Are you a Life Plan Community? (This is the term for a senior community, such as Meth-Wick, that meets a range of lifestyle needs, from independent living to skilled nursing care. It was formerly called Continuing Care Retirement Community.) Life Plan Communities are vibrant communities where residents live their lives to the fullest. It is important that you have programs available to you that exercise body and mind. Moving to a Life Plan Community means you will have access to the care you need if your health should change. You will never again have to endure the demanding process of shopping for a home.
  • Is your retirement community financially stable? Occupancy rate and numbers of year in operation are two good indications of a company’s financial health. The condition of the building(s) and grounds is also a good measuring stick.
  • What security do you provide? Buildings and parking areas that can only be accessed with a key or with assistance from a staff or resident are good indications that management is serious about keeping residents safe. Other pluses include after-hours on-site security personnel and security cameras.

Finding the right home for your retirement is important. Including family in the prospecting and evaluation can make the process less stressful and more manageable. As the old saying goes, “Two heads are better than one.” And an entire family thinking on your behalf is a thing of beauty!