By M.J. Joseph
When deciding on a retirement community for you or a loved one, there are many factors to take into consideration. Where do you want to live? What type of community do you want to live in? How much can you afford? Here are several of the many important questions to ask yourself or your parents when trying to decide on a retirement community.
1. Where do you or a loved one want to live?
Location is the key to beginning a search for a retirement community. Do you want to stay in the same town, city or state that you live in now? Many seniors decide to move to a warmer climate to enjoy their retirement. However, some seniors would rather experience all four seasons or would rather stay in their area. Whatever your choice, deciding what part of the world you want to live in is very important in trying to find a retirement community.
2. What type of community do you want to live in?
There are many different types of communities that are now available for retiring seniors. Try learning more about these communities and deciding which is best for you:
Active Retirement Communities
Assisted Living Retirement Communities
Independent Living Retirement Communities
Continuing Care Retirement Communities
Alzheimer’s Care Communities
Skilled Nursing Care Retirement Communities
After you find what type of community you want to live in, check out the cost. Also, make sure to check accreditation, licensing and the credentials of each prospective community. You want to be living in the best place for you, and need to be extra safe in doing the research for the community.
3. How are the local services?
When searching for a retirement community, look for grocery stores, gas stations, churches, hospitals, salons, pharmacies and different shops to make life easier for when you do move.
4. What are some living amenities?
Many retirement communities offer different types of housing for seniors. Many seniors prefer to choose places with elevators, wide hallways, shower chairs and good lighting that include meal plans and wheelchair accessibility. Some seniors choose to live in a community that offers a very active lifestyle. Many of the active lifestyle communities include golf, tennis and swimming activities, and concentrate on health and fitness to help you enjoy your retirement. Some of these might not apply to you, so just write down the living amenities you prefer to live with, and use that as a frame of reference when looking for a retirement community.
5. Is this place safe?
It is always important to keep safety in mind when looking for any home. Ask the following questions:
Is there security personnel on staff at night?
Is the retirement community located within the confines of a gated community?
How are the locks on the main door?
When finding a new place to live, it is nice to get to know what the neighborhood is like before moving so you are not caught off guard a week after you move in. Most of the time, you can tell whether a place is safe by looking at. Be sure to check during different times of the day. Ask could-be neighbors, gas station clerks, staff members or check with the local police department to see if the community is an ideal place for you.
6. Is the staff friendly?
An important aspect of a retirement community is a friendly and helpful staff. Many times people overlook the staff members when deciding on a retirement home. Remember, these people will be a major part of your life! Make a visit to the community and speak with actual staff members. As you walk through the community, observe how staff members and residents interact with each other. You want your retirement to be enjoyable, and it can be a lot more fun if the staff members in your community are easy to interact with.
Just as you would tour a house or apartment before buying or renting, you should tour a prospective retirement community to see where you fit in. After all, this is going to be a place where you plan on enjoying your retirement! Be sure it is right for you!
M.J. Joseph is a freelance writer from Kansas City, MO. You can read more of his articles about retirement communities, senior care and senior activities at Find a Retirement Community. For information about retirement communities in your area, visit Find-RetirementCommunity.com.
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