Four Considerations to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Retirement Community
By Emma Sturgis
Choosing when, where, and how to retire is a highly personal decision. But there are some factors that can help you make the right choice. Here are four considerations to keep in mind if you’re picking a retirement community for yourself or a loved one.
Understand the Different Levels of Care Available
Learn what types of care are provided in the retirement community or at the facility. The difference in cost for each one can be significant. Make sure you choose a community that offers the right care to help you avoid obtaining pre-settlement funding due to malpractice or other injury.
Assisted living means that nursing staff are on hand to help with tasks like bathing or dressing. Independent living means that individuals can continue to take care of themselves, but a trained staff does the cooking and cleaning. Assisted living is more expensive than independent living. It ultimately comes down to what type of care you feel you or your loved one needs.
Look for Good Recreation Opportunities
Joining a retirement community doesn’t mean missing out on the activities you currently enjoy. Most retirement communities provide a robust activity schedule for their residents. Activities might include regular outings to local museums, plays, and other cultural offerings. The community may also have regular fitness classes that enable for maintain your health and activity level.
Consider Lifestyle Choices
Before you plan your move, research whether the community allows pets. There might be other restrictions to keep in mind, such as rules about individual outdoor gardens and grilling. Knowing what is and isn’t allowed can help you say yes to one community and pass on another.
Understand Medical Costs
It’s important to factor current or potential future medical needs into your decision. The community may have its own on-site health services or be close to local hospitals. Many communities have a dedicated staff that is trained in providing memory care. If you choose to take a tour of the community, pay attention to the professionalism and friendliness of the staff. When you need care, you want to be in kind and welcoming hands.
Choosing a retirement community takes careful planning and budgeting. Start researching before you or your family member needs or wants to move. You’ll also want to have a conversation with your family about how the move should happen, so you can come to an agreement. You’ll be ready to make a smart choice when the time comes.