If you’re looking for retirement homes for yourself or a loved one, comparing communities like apples to apples is important. Then, you can decide which one best fits your needs now and in the future.
Start by considering the following factors: location, amenities, and costs.
When choosing a retirement community, it’s essential to evaluate the location. A location close to airports and public transit can make traveling easier. Also, consider the proximity to restaurants, shopping, cultural pursuits, exercise classes, sightseeing, and entertainment.
The quality of the local healthcare system is another factor to consider. If a retirement community offers continuing care, ensure a good hospital is nearby. This will ensure your loved one can access medical services as they age.
If you’re considering moving to a beach town, remember to consider the local weather. You should reconsider your move if you’re not used to warm winters or hot summers.
As you tour a potential retirement community, look for amenities that fit your lifestyle. If socializing is important, find out if the community hosts dining groups, entertainment events, or cultural outings. It would help if you also considered the beauty salon, library, gardens, exercise classes, and housekeeping services available.
It’s also worth asking about the number of residents. A larger community may host more activities, but getting to know your neighbors well can take more work.
Check the contracts carefully to understand what’s included in your monthly fee. Some communities include meals, housekeeping, and laundry service in the cost, while others do not. Also, be sure to ask about the staff-to-resident ratio and if there is a hospital nearby. You should also be aware of rate increases and when they occur.
Retirement communities vary in their costs. Some require a one-time entrance fee, which often includes priority access to the continuum of care and prepays some of your future health-related expenses.
Other communities charge monthly fees, including meals, housekeeping services, home maintenance, and utilities. It’s important to compare these fees against what you would pay living at home to ensure that the community is a good value.
You also want to ensure your chosen community allows you to live as you wish. For example, some senior communities don’t allow pets or prohibit residents from grilling outside or planting a small garden. If you have family that visits frequently, it’s essential to find out if the community welcomes them. If not, it might not be the right fit for you.
Many think North Carolina retirement communities are all about amenities and activities, but culture is just as influential. It’s how residents feel in the community and how staff interact. This is often the “it factor” that ties everything together and makes you feel like you belong.
If you need help assessing a retirement community’s culture, take a tour and try to visit during a social event or activity. Observe how other residents interact and talk to them about their experiences.
Finally, it would help if you also asked about the community’s financial health. Please find out how much the fees are and whether they’re refundable. Determining if they accept financial resources such as life insurance policies and bridge loans is also a good idea.
Tour the homes and sample their culture while exploring retirement community options. Ask for a meal, attend an event, and meet the staff to determine if the community fits your lifestyle and needs.
The right community will help your loved one get back to enjoying hobbies, socializing with friends, and other activities they may have been neglecting due to living alone or having trouble navigating transportation and preparing meals. Additionally, retirement communities offer various healthcare services, including assisted living and memory care.
Look for beautiful apartments that feel like home, and pay attention to features like slanted floors, step-in showers, and plenty of windows that allow natural light. Choosing the right retirement community can be a big decision, and it’s a good idea to seek out family members’ advice, just as you would when making a college choice.