Are you thinking about moving into a retirement living service? Or do you have an elderly parent who may be ready for a retirement living service? Retirement living services, also sometimes called independent living, represent a relatively new service for seniors. They usually offer independent, standalone living units, like apartments or condominiums. However, these living units are connected to or on the grounds of an assisted living facility. This means that while the senior is able to live independently, they also have nearby support and medical help if needed. Retirement living services allow seniors to age gracefully and with dignity rather than being forced into a nursing facility.
There are many retirement living services available so you may have quite a few options. How do you choose the one that's right for you? It helps to visit and explore a few different communities. Here are a few things to consider:
The social scene. One of the biggest benefits of living in a retirement community is the proximity to other independent seniors. Many communities organize social activities, day trips, game nights, and much more to keep residents active. This level of social interaction may not be possible for seniors who live alone. Also, social interaction could be helpful from a medical standpoint. It may help keep you from becoming lonely or depressed and may prevent cognitive issues like Alzheimer's.
Many communities will let you stay for a few nights in an empty unit to get a feel for the community. You could even go on a group outing or dine with some current residents. Those experiences will help you get a better feel for the place and determine if a retirement living service is right for you.
The cost and benefits. Retirement living communities can price their services in a variety of ways. Some sell bundled packages in which you pay a large upfront amount or monthly amount for a menu of services. Others let you pay for services as you need them. Others use a hybrid options and offer different tiers of packages. There's no universal right way to price these services, so you'll have to examine each option and see how they impact your situation.
Look at whether you'll use the offered services. For example, if the community offers transportation and outings, could you sell your car? If housekeeping and maintenance is included, will that save you money when compared to those costs for your own home? The price tag for a community may seem high at first, but look at what you're already spending on those services in your own home.
The community's financial stability. When you move into a retirement community, the plan is to stay there for the rest of your life. You may eventually move into assisted living and then possibly nursing care. For that to happen, though, you'll need the community to stay in business. Don't be afraid to ask about the community's financials. They should have enough cash on hand to last for a significant amount of time. If they're reliant on new deposits to fund operations or if occupancy is low, that could be a red flag.
Ready to start your search for a retirement living service? Schedule visits and appointments today with communities in your area.