How to Choose the Right Retirement Community for You

Retirement, friends or bonding portrait on profile picture, social media or lifestyle freedom blog in relax environment. Smile, happy or elderly senior women in nature park, grass garden or community

Many urban dwellers are turning to retirement homes for their post-superannuation life. As the retirement age nears, pressure to find the right community to retire and relax finally creeps up. If you’re nearing that phase (or your parents are), it’s easy to get caught up in deciding between the two seemingly similar retirement communities. And the complexity adds up as your friends recommend more and more homes that are similar.

We’re here to help. In this article, we’ll explain the crucial factors to look at to pick the right retirement community for you.

5 Core Things to Look in a Retirement Community

Young healthcare worker talking to seniors during lunch at nursing home.Everyone has their own preferences as far as what a retirement community should have. Consequently, everyone evaluates the sites differently. But there are a few core things every senior community must have. The 5 core items are:

1. Level of care

As we age, our capability to work and do things autonomously dwindles. And to enjoy a prosperous retirement life, we need some form of care.

You may believe that all retirement communities employ staff to take care of the occupants. But that’s not the case.

There are two types of retirement communities: independent living and assisted living.

Independent living communities are geared towards seniors who are self-sufficient and can manage most daily activities like bathing, dressing, medication management, and meal preparation. These communities typically offer private residences with amenities and social activities, but residents are responsible for their own care.

Assisted living communities are for residents who cannot live entirely independently. Assistance might include reminders for medication, help with bathing and dressing, transportation to appointments, and assistance with meals. Some assisted living communities offer graduated levels of care, allowing residents to receive increasing support as their needs change.

Ultimately, the right retirement community for you depends on your health and need for assistance.

2. On-site amenities

On-site amenities and facilities are a major factor contributing to the overall lifestyle of a retirement community. Therefore, you must take into account all the on-site amenities when prospecting different communities.

The best retirement communities have facilities that would cater to the all-round needs of the seniors. Thus, they often have fitness facilities, run wellness programs, have social spaces, and feature plenty of outdoor amenities.

A well-equipped gym with cardio machines, weight training equipment, and space for group exercise classes is an ideal starting point. Then, look for clubhouses, lounges, and game rooms that provide areas for residents to gather, socialize, and participate in activities.

Walking paths, landscaped gardens, and courtyards allow residents to enjoy the outdoors and get fresh air. Some communities also feature swimming pools, laundry, salons, and libraries.

So check all the amenities and ensure they’re well-functioning.

Multiracial group of happy senior people sitting around table drinking tea with cake and having conversation, smiling and laughing, having home party or enjoying time at nursing home3. Accessibility

It matters less how good a retirement community is if it’s not easily accessible. Thus, it’s paramount to look at the accessibility of the community and the sites within that community.

First and foremost, the community should be close to a major freeway or junction that connects to the rest of the region. This ensures you don’t have to travel long to go to places you always wanted to.

Other factors to consider are the proximity to family and friends, access to healthcare facilities, and the overall feel of the neighborhood. Is it close to amenities you enjoy or would like to have access to? If not, you may want to reconsider.

4. Accommodation types

Retirement communities offer a variety of housing options to cater to different needs and preferences. You can have single-family homes, apartments, condos, or villas. These detached houses offer the most privacy and independence, with residents responsible for all maintenance and yard work.

You also have mobile accommodation options like mobile homes and RV sites. Mobile homes come in a variety of sizes and styles, ranging from single-wide units to larger double-wide configurations. Modern mobile homes offer layouts and amenities comparable to traditional houses. These can be a more affordable option for retirees who enjoy a more mobile lifestyle or prefer a smaller living space.

5. Cost

Talking of affordable options, you should consider cost when selecting the right retirement community. Everyone has a different budget. Thus, what is considered “cheap” or “expensive” is subjective.

As mentioned above, mobile home retirement communities are often priced lower than their traditional counterparts. But other factors like location, amenities, and seasonality determine the total cost of a home within a community. For example, the best mobile home parks in Florida are usually priced higher than in neighboring states. Thus, check the updated price to make a decision.

Additional Things to Consider

Indian happy senior couple enjoying in garden and looking togetherThere are a few other things you should look at to decide on the right retirement community. These are:

1. Security

Seniors may be more susceptible to crime due to factors like physical limitations, trusting nature, and potential cognitive decline. While retirement communities are usually safe, you should double-check on it. Look for things like gated entrances, security cameras, and controlled access points, all of which can deter unauthorized entry.

2. Nearby amenities

While on-site amenities are crucial, you should look at the nearby amenities as well.

Proximity to parks, libraries, museums, or entertainment venues can provide opportunities for continued learning, social interaction, and leisure activities. Moreover, hospitals, urgent care centers, and specialists should be readily accessible in case of emergencies or routine appointments.

A happy senior couple sitting on a sofa indoors with a pet dog at home.3. Pet-friendliness

Not all retirement communities allow pets on the property. Thus, if you’re planning to raise furry friends in your retired life, you need to opt for pet-friendly mobile home parks. These are designed to have cats and dogs on the property. You’ll have amenities like dog parks and walking areas to keep your pet fit and healthy.

4. Cleanliness

A clean and well-maintained community creates a more pleasant and inviting atmosphere for residents. While most communities are well taken care of, you should ensure it’s done up to your standards.

You should learn more about waste management, pest control, and property maintenance to determine if the community is right for you.

5. Personally Visit Each Community

While online research and reviews can be a great starting point, there’s no substitute for visiting a retirement community in person before making your final decision. Pictures and online descriptions can’t capture the true essence of a community.

Therefore, you should book scheduled tours to each community before booking it for your retirement. At the site, cross-check for all the details provided on the website or brochure. Chat with current residents to get their honest opinions about the community. Ask them about the food, activities, staff, and overall sense of community. Also, talk to the staff and managers and gauge their body language and service.

By taking the time for in-person visits, you’ll gain valuable insights and choose a retirement community that’s right for you.

6. Consult with Friends and Family

Talking with friends and family can be a great resource when deciding on a retirement community. Many in the circle are probably in the same boat as you: thinking of moving to a retirement community. Thus, you can exchange ideas and get better in your community-hunting.

If any friends or family members have experience with retirement communities, either for themselves or loved ones, they can provide some valuable learned experiences with you.

Choose the Right Retirement Community With Us!

Choosing the right retirement community is a significant decision. So remember to prioritize your needs and preferences, from the level of care required to the desired amenities and activities. With careful planning and consideration, you can find the perfect place to call home in your golden years.

To learn more about retirement communities in Florida and to inquire about Bedrock Communities, contact us today.

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