Finding the perfect fit among available retirement lifestyles isn’t easy. From 55+ homes associations to senior living apartments and Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) like Lakeview Village, it is important to make the right choice, for you.
Lakeview Village President and CEO Jamie Frazier offers three tips for active adults trying to narrow down their retirement choices.
Get to know the reputation of the communities.
Online reviews on Google+, Yelp and other online review sites are helpful in hearing what other people are saying about the community you are investigating. Many communities will also arrange for you to dine with residents in a community dining room. This not only gives you an opportunity to ask residents about their personal experiences, but is a way for you to observe resident and staff interactions, resident interactions with each other, and, of course, sample the food!
Make sure the community is financially secure.
Ask questions so that you understand the community’s financial position as well as what aspects of the community are priorities. Non-profit communities may be able to reinvest residents’ services fees right back into the community, while communities run by for-profit corporations or venture capitalists may be more beholden to shareholders than the residents they serve. Many for-profit companies in senior living own multiple communities, so more-profitable neighborhoods may see money leaving their community to help support struggling communities or to build new communities.
Ask yourself: “Is the community the right fit for you?”
There is a big variety among senior living neighborhoods. Most offer some services and amenities, but they will vary in scope considerably. Some communities will offer health care on site, through all levels of care, while others may require residents to move outside of the community if they need skilled nursing or assisted living. Some communities are exclusively for apartment living, while others include cottages or high end villa homes in addition to apartments. It is important to visit communities until you are comfortable that the one you choose will satisfy your needs.
Retirement community living can be very rewarding and fulfilling. Doing your research before you make a final decision will find you in a senior neighborhood where you can thrive for many, many, many years to come.