When looking for your retirement community, you may need help figuring out where to start. There are different kinds of communities, and they all have something unique to offer.
As you’re taking tours and researching different communities, keep these nine tips for choosing a retirement community in mind so you can find the right one for you.
1. Identify the Type of Community
Retirement communities vary in what they offer their residents. Some may provide different levels of care, like personal care services and skilled nursing.
If you’re looking for a continuing care retirement community, then a Life Plan Community will likely be the best option for you. In a Life Plan Community, you have access to the community’s different levels of care as your healthcare needs change.
This kind of community provides peace of mind that you’ll always have the care you need, when you need it. Some of these healthcare services include:
- Assisted living support
- Skilled nursing
- Memory care
The Oaks at Bartlett is a Life Plan Community where residents can take comfort in knowing that they will always have access to the care they need.
2. Location, Location, Location
While examining all a community offers is a major part of your retirement community research, you’ll also want to look at the surrounding area.
Being close to a city promises plenty of opportunities for fun outings. If you’re near a small town, you’ll be able to enjoy the quaint setting and local businesses. Our residents love the cozy, small-town feel The Oaks provides.
Nature lovers may want to be near trails, lakes, or the beach. You may not enjoy living there long-term if you prefer milder temperatures but the community is in a humid, hot area. And of course, you’ll want to consider your proximity to family and friends.
3. Calculate the Cost
When choosing a senior living community, you’ll want to consider the costs of living there. Look into the monthly fee, entrance fee, and any other costs that you would be responsible for in that community. These expenses vary based on the type of senior living community you choose and the services they provide.
4. Examine Housing Options
You’ll want to look at the living options available in the senior living community. Do they offer housing that aligns with what you want? You may want to consider whether you’d rather be in an apartment than your own house. Consider the following:
- Is the community walkable, and how close are you to your neighbors?
- Take note of the layout, storage options, and if you feel comfortable in the space.
- Personalizing your living space is how you make it your own–find out what you can bring and how much room you have to be creative with the living area.
5. Look for Safety and Security Measures
You deserve peace of mind when you’re in your home. Ask about the security measures and safety protocols that keep the residents and campus safe.
Accessibility is another aspect of safety. For those with mobility issues, navigating the campus easily is of the utmost importance.
6. Ask About the Culture
You’ll want your community to be welcoming and friendly. You may find a culture cultivated from the people who reside there – whether through volunteer work (something that residents of The Oaks love to do!), the types of clubs and groups, or what kinds of events the community commonly holds.
Some communities have a lot of input for residents, which helps to improve the quality of life for residents and can make it easier to start new groups or bring new ideas to the community.
7. Check Out the Amenities and Services
Look into the amenities and services that the community offers. This could include:
- A fitness center for wellness
- Arts and crafts studio
- Computer lab
- Game room
- Beauty Salon
- Indoor swimming pool
They may also offer services that mean the upkeep of your living space is maintenance-free – meaning you’ll have more time to do whatever you want with your time. This can include housekeeping, laundry services, and landscaping.
Another important part of the community is the dining options. The quality of food and nutrition are important for maintaining health, and you deserve to be excited about the meals served in your community.
8. Learn More about the Community’s Programming
Check out the programming at the retirement community – some senior living communities offer all types of events and activities that expand your horizons, pique your interest, and give you a sense of fulfillment within the community.
The community may bring in speakers for lectures, plan a social event so you can meet more residents, or plan a recreational event that gives you a change of scenery and a chance to explore something new.
9. Consider the Benefits of Living in a Retirement Community
Moving to a retirement community is a big step for older adults. While this decision can be difficult, remember how a vibrant community can help you thrive.
In addition to the access to care, you can take advantage of living in a place focused on providing you with the highest quality of life possible. You’ll have opportunities to make new friends, have an active social life, stay physically active and mobile, or take a class to learn something new.
Having this support can reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness, which are connected to depression, cognitive decline, heart disease, and more. With so many opportunities to be involved and enjoy the community, making this decision could be better for your overall well-being.