One in twenty seniors live in retirement communities, and this number is expected to grow as more elderly Americans retire. Why aren’t they more pervasive in American culture? Mostly because it’s a mixed bag of expenses and accommodations.
But if you know what you’re looking for, you’ll have an easier time auditing a retirement community for yourself or a retiree. The best senior living communities all share many of the same qualities. Locating one is worth the hassle, seeing as your living situation is a major contributor to personal satisfaction.
Are you or a loved one retirement ready? Then it’s time to find the right retirement community. Here are seven factors to consider when it’s time to choose.
1. Community Living
One of the most important components of any senior living facility is the people who inhabit it. From employees to retirees, you should fit right in with the facility culture. A retirement community is a home, and it should feel like one, too.
But a community is not composed of people alone. The nearby businesses and accommodations are worth a mention. How well does the surrounding community treat the retirees?
Does the local community offer services you or your retiree enjoys? If they are fond of city life, it’d make sense to choose a retirement community located within a municipal area. Or, better yet, find one located next to a robust metro station that facilitates travel and independence.
2. Recreational Activities
With so much free time available, retirees of all kinds enjoy a litany of community events. Due to preferences and physical ability, make sure you examine the recreational calendar to see if your retiree will enjoy the scheduled activities.
Recreation also plays an important secondary role. Seek a well-rounded calendar stuffed with exercise programs. From low-impact swimming pools to yoga, a regular exercise routine is a key component to physical and mental well-being.
3. Food Quality
On the topic of health and wellness, it’d be impossible to avoid the subject of food. Nutrition is just as important as flavor. While it may seem superficial to worry about meals, your retiree would likely disagree!
Many retirement communities know that meal quality is a prime concern. For that reason, some tours include a small meal to showcase their offerings.
When a personal test isn’t available, there are still some effective ways to see what they’re serving up. The best retirement communities have their own kitchens and private chefs. Cheaper facilities mass-produce low-quality food in the same way a primary school might.
Since food is oftentimes subjective, be sure to bring your retiree along to the complimentary meal to see what they think about it.
4. Medical Assistance
Of all the services available in a retirement community, medical help is the most essential. While the most luxurious facilities have on-site primary care doctors, the vast majority don’t. This means it’s important that high-quality physicians are nearby, or that transportation services can make for convenient trips to the doctor whenever possible.
You’ll want to opt for a facility that has a 24-hour staff as part of a swift response system. This could be the difference between life or death in the case of a medical emergency.
For retirees with high needs and medication requirements, be sure to select a community with qualified on-site nurses. This would be known as an assisted living facility, rather than an independent retirement community.
While we would all love to put our parents in the most luxurious accommodations around, there’s no avoiding the fact that the cost of retirement communities is a serious concern. Unfortunately, retirement communities differ wildly in fees and expenses.
Some may require an entry fee or the purchase of a condo. You may discover later on that the condo won’t sell for the value you personally paid for it. These complicated finance matters can make it difficult to choose a retirement facility of any type.
If you’re worried about your long-term finances or general affordability, take a look at high-quality affordable retirement communities. You’ll save your wallet and sanity in the process.
Florida is a common location for retirement. Why? Because its tropical climate makes life easier for retirees — especially those who are subject to chronic pain.
Consider the local environment and weather factors before making a decision. They’ll have a massive impact on your retiree’s quality of life when winter rolls around. While some may not mind the seasons, others would be happy to enjoy a comfortable 70 degrees all year round.
If you want to stay local, there are still minor differences to consider. Some areas in the same state may experience more snowfall or colder temperatures than others.
On-site entertainment is always a mixed bag. In general, you’ll want to locate a facility that offers more than your standard rental complex. This may mean an on-site library, swimming pool, or even mini-golf!
Convenience is key. Having essential facilities nearby lessens the need for expensive or complicated transportation methods. In general, you’ll want a salon, restaurant, and laundry service located within walking distance.
Younger retirees without health requirements may also enjoy an on-site gymnasium or bar.
Are You Retirement Ready?
With money and personal satisfaction on the line, don’t take a gamble on a retirement community. Instead, schedule a facility tour. If it doesn’t feel like home, then guess what?
There’s more to senior living communities when you’re retirement ready. Search our blog for more advice.