Choosing the right retirement community is a decision that families shouldn’t take lightly. As more seniors across the U.S. are interested in living independently, they are met with a variety of more retirement community options to choose from. However, when you start to consider different locations, there are a number of questions you should be asking. The idea of making a final choice can be quite overwhelming; luckily, with a bit of research and the help of a few trusted family members and friends, discovering a great continuing care retirement community doesn’t have to be a difficult process. Keep reading to learn more about our top tips for selecting the best retirement community to fit your needs.
9 Things to Consider When Choosing a Retirement Community
1. First Impressions
Whether you’re making your first visit to a retirement community in person or online, it’s always a good idea to pay close attention to your first impressions. Trusting your intuition is important for many big decisions in life, so it’s smart to put some stock in how a retirement community makes you feel right off the bat.
Tip: Ask yourself: Is it warm and inviting? Are you interacting with friendly staff members? What does the food and dining room look like? If you can picture yourself enjoying life among the other members, that may be a good sign.
Location is key when selecting a retirement community. For most people who are enjoying their retirement years, access to local shops, cultural destinations and nearby outdoor spaces are all important factors. Additionally, proximity to family and friends is something to consider; and of course, whether you prefer a more rural or urban setting.
3. Type of Community
With so many retirement options available to the modern senior, it can be tough to know where to start when selecting the right type of community. You have the option of choosing between communities dedicated to assisted living or memory care to continuing care retirement communities (CCRC), like the Cypress of Charlotte — and everything in between. So, take the time to research your options, and visit communities that meet a majority of your personal preferences.
4. Levels of Service
Not all retirement-aged seniors have the same needs and therefore, not all retirement communities provide the same level of service. Take stock of your current health and safety needs, discussing what your future may look like over the next 5, 10 and 15 years. This will help you determine whether you are best served by making the move to an independent living community, assisted living or whether you need access to skilled nursing care services.
Tip: A continuing care retirement community (CCRC) is a great choice for individuals who can live independently now but want the peace of mind knowing they are covered if extra care is needed in the future.
5. Mission and Purpose
You’ll quickly find that one of the biggest factors that separates one retirement community from another is their overall mission. As you do research online or in your local area, pay close attention to each community’s mission statement and make sure that it aligns with your own set of values and beliefs.
If you enjoy traveling or an active lifestyle, it’s important to select a retirement community that offers easy access to public transportation options like bus stations, train stations and airports. Some retirement communities will even offer transportation to nearby travel hubs and valet services.
Tip: If travel is important for you, don’t forget to ask how your retirement community can help to facilitate this hobby.
Having access to a variety of enriching programs is also something that should be at the top of your list. As you settle into your new retirement community, you’ll be looking for new ways to make friends, stay active and enjoy your time. If fitness is important to you, look for a community that has a pool, workout rooms, walking trails and exercise classes. If you like art, then make sure your retirement community offers art classes, trips to local galleries and plenty of beautiful views to act as inspiration for your next piece!
Cost should be one of the first things you consider when comparing retirement communities. It’s important to know your budget and what you can and cannot afford. If you fall in love with a retirement community but it is way out of your price range, it can be a challenge to start looking at different locations.
Tip: As you narrow down your list, remember to think about how the cost of the retirement community and how it compares to the overall cost of your current bills. Are you paying separately for a gym membership, law maintenance company, etc.? Many times, these amenities are looped into the monthly cost of a retirement community.
It’s no secret that most people consider their pets to be part of the family. This means that getting rid of your furry friends to make a move to a retirement community is likely not an option. In addition to providing companionship, pets offer a wealth of benefits for seniors. So, if you are a pet owner, a pet-friendly community is a must.
Contact the Cypress of Charlotte Today
Want to learn more about our elegant continuing care retirement community in Charlotte, NC? Contact our friendly admissions specialists today for more information.