Finding the best senior living community for your retirement can be quite a daunting task. The easiest way to go about this is to do your research and personally visit all your options. Before doing that, however, there are pertinent questions you must ask yourself.
Are you ready for senior community living?
Many people associate senior community living with the loss of freedom and a lot of dependence. This is not true. Senior community living is for individuals who want to expand their horizons, maintain their freedom and independence and make decisions on their own.
You know you’re ready for such a move when you no longer want to worry about home maintenance as you grow older. You also don’t have to wait for failing health before making a move. You can move in while you’re still healthy because these communities provide a range of healthcare options as circumstances change. Retirement communities are not institutions or rest homes. They take away the burdens of daily living such as home maintenance and repairs in addition to the likes of meal planning while giving you the benefits of a variety of social, cultural and recreational opportunities with new friends.
What should you look for in a retirement community?
There are several things to look for in a senior living community. To begin, you want one that feels like home. What type of apartments are they offering? Is the décor to your liking? Can you easily reach shelves and cabinets? Such questions will help you find you find out if the community is the right pick for you.
The cost of living in such a community is also a key factor. You want one that caters to your needs but is not costly. The cost should easily fit into your budget whether you depend on social security or not.
Additionally, take into consideration the people, safety and amenities of the community you want to move into. Look for a community you fit into and easily connect with people. This does not only refer to your fellow residents, but also to the staff in the community. You want to feel comfortable and appreciated. This will allow you to settle in faster and enjoy your stay in the community.
Safety is a key concern. You want to be at ease without worrying about dangers within the community. Emergency response services should be readily available. Lastly, the community you want to move in should ideally have amenities that will make your life enjoyable. Are there wellness and fitness centers? What about gyms, pools or any other amenities that you enjoy? Take all these into consideration before moving into a community. You don’t want to be miserable once you move in.
How do you start?
First off, do your research. This can be done online, with assistance from friends and family or even through referrals from senior circles. You also need to determine the type of senior community that best suits your needs. Would you prefer to rent or opt for continuing care retirement communities (CCRC’s)? This is all dependent on your budget. Additionally, what size of a community are you looking for?
Next, list your potential preferred communities and narrow them down using a predetermined checklist. The checklist should factor in the location, amenities, care services and activities one can engage in within the community.
After this take time to visit the communities. A visit is the only way to determine if you’ll fit into the culture of a given community. You can visit for lunch to sample their dining or even attend a social event such as a book club meeting to engage other residents within the community. This way, you’ll feel and know if you’ll fit in once you make a move.
Lastly, take your time to make your final decision. After all, this is a life-changing move. Consult widely and ask for as much information as you can. Chances are you’ll need to visit a community more than once before taking the plunge. Take your time, though. You want the best for yourself.
Written by The Village Of Bedford Walk, a senior living community in Columbia, MO.