As we get into the swing of the holidays and gather around family and friends, one conversation that may come up is retirement and senior living options. Having this conversation can be overwhelming, as can navigating the different choices that will be the best fit. Luckily, there are various senior living options available, from 50+ retirement communities to continuing care retirement communities (CCRC). A 50+ retirement community is generally designed for independent older adults and may offer some services like maintenance. A CCRC offers all levels of care to its residents, from independent living, to assisted living, home care, and skilled nursing.
No matter what type of retirement community you’re considering, here are some things to keep in mind:
Research. Before you make any decisions, research is always a key first step on the journey to finding the best retirement and senior living option.
An online search or getting recommendations from friends and family that have made the transition can give you a jumpstart in the right direction. Regardless, it is so important to not wait until the move is need driven to begin looking. Plan your move now. Think of it as an adventure. It is positive to be proactive about making the move early.
Finances. Mapping out your finances prior to your move is crucial. Be sure to compare current expenses to the cost of living at your potential new community. This can be done with a cost calculator usually available on the community website.
Something to also keep in mind is a community’s financial state. When considering a long-term arrangement, you want to make sure that the residence you choose is in good financial standing that will guarantee the longevity of your new home. A good measure of financial stability is occupancy level and existence of wait list.
Future Needs. Alongside finances, keeping in mind what your future needs may look like will prove beneficial for your loved ones as everyone ages at their own pace. Does a 50+ retirement community best fit those needs? Or is it a CCRC? There are options suited for everyone.
Location. Choosing where your new home will be is usually non-negotiable for most residents and their loved ones. While doing your research be sure to keep in mind what is important to you. A suburban area that is more set aside? Or in the city with easy access to dining, entertainment and shopping? This will be your new home, of course you want it to feel that way.
Community Personality. Do not wait until the physical move to get to know your community. Go have lunch, attend an event, or participate in an activity. Is the community diverse? Inclusive? When you walked into the community did you feel welcomed and comfortable?
Monique Eliezer, MEliezer@Inglesideonline.org, is chief officer of Sales, Marketing, and Strategy for Ingleside.