Discovering just the right retirement community can seem like an overwhelming challenge. With so many decisions to make and features of each community to consider, making your best move feels daunting.
Here are ways to get started finding a community that’s just right.
- Type of Living Situation The nature of the lifestyle and housing accommodations you’re looking for will help guide your choice. Are you able to live independently? Do you need some assistance with daily living activities? Will you be living alone? The answers to these questions will begin to guide your choices.
- Healthcare Needs Communities offer different levels of care, and have various ways of charging for that care. Some communities, called Continuing Care or Life Plan Retirement Communities, allow for aging in place without moving because they have many levels of care available on their campuses. Assisted Living, Respite, Memory, Skilled Nursing, and Rehabilitation Care are commonly offered levels of care.
- Finances Meeting with your financial advisor, eldercare resource planner, or attorney can also guide your retirement community choices by helping you work within your budget. These professionals can also help you understand upfront fees, monthly fees, what services are included, and whether a rental option might be preferable for your financial situation.
- Location Is it important to you to live in a certain geographic area? Maybe proximity to family members, such as children or grandchildren, is essential to you. Perhaps living in a warm, sunny climate is your preference. Thinking about how to prioritize your location will help narrow down your retirement community choices
- Community Life Who you are and what matters to you will help guide your retirement community selection. Are you an urban person who loves easy access to the arts? Do you prefer a more natural setting on a campus with lush landscaping, opportunities to garden, and walking trails? Do you want to live in a community with others who have similar employment or religious backgrounds? Reflecting on the values you place on community life and your expectations for engagement with others will help guide your choices.
- Activities and Amenities Most retirement communities offer a wide array of opportunities for physical fitness, socialization, and cultural enrichment. What activities do you most enjoy and would prioritize in your retirement? Exploring what a community offers—from fitness classes to housekeeping to concierge services—will help you hone in on the right community for you.
- Start Your Search Online The convenience of accessing websites will save time by introducing you to various communities that meet your initial criteria. Often, an online tour is available. Once you’ve narrowed down your search, jot down questions as you browse the websites of communities of interest to you. Organize your notes and questions in a folder or notebook along with any information you request from communities.
- Visit Several Communities Many communities have events and opportunities to meet current residents, take a tour, and ask questions. Be prepared for your campus visit by first exploring the community’s website. Take your list of questions with you on your tour. Some communities will even allow you to spend a night or two to experience life on campus.
With an advanced planning process and a systematic, organized approach, finding the perfect community for your retirement need not be overwhelming. Including trusted friends and family members in your exploration can also be a great way to find just what you need!
At The Heritage of Green Hills, behind our doors you’ll find a community buzzing with activity. In fact, nearly 90 percent of residents are involved in some kind of physical activity, thanks to our community-wide wellness program, Well by DesignSM. We work with each resident to determine interests, hobbies and goals they’d like to pursue, and then create customized plans to help encourage a well-rounded and engaging life. The bottom line is, we want residents to stay independent longer. And the best way to do that is by living well.