Choosing a retirement community is an important decision that involves more than simply selecting a floor plan — it’s about lifestyle. And in addition to meeting your social, cultural, educational and recreational requirements, you also want to ensure that there is a continuum of care in place to meet your needs if and when they change. Whatever the motivation, here are a few things to consider as you explore your retirement living options.
Before you say "I’m not ready for a retirement community,” you owe it to yourself to answer these questions:
What is it I’m not ready for?
Often, people confuse moving to a retirement community with giving up all the things they hold dear. We think you may find today’s retirement communities to be far different than you might have imagined. They’re for people who want to maintain their independence, expand their horizons, and make their own decisions. So residents enjoy life more — not less.
How will I know when I’ll be ready?
Do you worry about home maintenance? Are you tired of shopping and preparing meals? Do you have health concerns? Are you troubled about personal safety and the security of your home? Would you like to explore new interests and meet new friends? If so, now is the time to experience the freedom a service-enriched retirement lifestyle can offer you.
Why should I consider a move if I’m still
Can you think of a better time to move? Most people need to make housing adjustments as they grow older, and our residents tell us they’re glad they decided to move while this important decision was still theirs to make. You’ve planned ahead your whole life, so don’t wait until a crisis forces you or your loved ones into a decision you haven’t prepared for.
Isn’t a retirement community for "old people”?
Throw away your misconceptions about retirement living. Senior living communities are service-enriched residential communities, not an institution or rest home! Enjoy the advantages of an independent lifestyle within a comfortable and burden-free environment. You’ll free yourself from the daily concerns of meal planning, home repairs, and maintenance, while filling your time with new friends and a variety of social, cultural and recreational opportunities.
Begin researching in advance — before the need
A good place to start is to ask family, friends and valued advisors, such as a trust officer or estate attorney, for their recommendations and help with researching retirement communities. The Internet, professional resources, senior directories, local newspapers and social circles may also provide helpful information.
Narrow the list of potential communities.
Take into account location, care services, amenities and activities. Working from a checklist — matching your preferences and needs to those being offered — can be very helpful in the selection process.
Visit the community.
Tour retirement communities in your area to best evaluate your options and get a feel for their "culture.” Sample the dining services by visiting for lunch. Or, attend a community event or social — there are numerous low-key opportunities which provide fun-filled, no-pressure invitations to mingle with current residents and preview the community.
Take your time.
It will most likely take more than one visit to make a decision as to whether or not a community is right for you. Make an appointment with a community representative to go over any additional questions you may have. Remember, they have a wealth of knowledge and are there to help you to determine the perfect mix of services and amenities to meet your needs.