Comparing Independent Living Communities: Questions to Ask Yourself

When you’ve finally made up your mind that it’s time to move into an independent living community, you need to select the right one for your needs. While this might be a straightforward process, it can actually be quite time consuming and an energy suck. So, you need to narrow down your options before you even schedule a tour. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to ensure that you pick the right one.

What’s Your Budget?

Before selecting a senior care community, you should review your budget. Many communities are “all-inclusive”. This means that most items are included, including utilities, telephone, housekeeping, food, and more. For example, at The Mansions, our costs are extremely affordable in comparison to owning your own home. Just check out this worksheet.

While a new independent senior living community will make financial sense, ensure that your selected one fits your budget. You’re probably on a fixed income. Verify that your current selection won’t exceed that. Don’t forget to take into account fun activities that you’ve always enjoyed, including travel, dining out, etc. So, always ensure that you have a little extra. If any senior living community exceeds your budget, exclude it.

What Do You Really Want – or Need – to Remain Happy?

You’re probably looking at an independent living community because you’re tired of taking care of your home or maybe cooking. Whatever the reason, there are still things that you probably want. For example, you would like to stay close to where your family and friends live. Or maybe, you want to continue going to the same restaurants and shopping districts that you’ve done in past.

Consider what you can live with and without. You might not want your large, two-story home anymore, but that doesn’t mean that you still don’t want a space that can accommodate your favorite items. So, maybe a time senior apartment won’t fit the bill, but a condo or townhouse will.

What Activities Are Included?

Most senior living communities have a calendar of activities that are offered throughout the month. Looking at the different activity calendars can give you an idea of what’s offered. You may even want to drop on when some of these activities are occurring to determine how well attended they are. If no one shows up on a regular basis, then this might not fit your requirements.

You may even want a fitness/wellness center. Most retirement communities do offer these amenities, but if it’s on your list, be sure to ask.

What’s the Makeup and Age of the Residents?

You want to make sure that you’re going to be living with people with whom you can easily make friends. So, asking about the demographics of the place – couples versus singles and men versus women – will help you decide if the makeup fits your needs.

What’s in the Contract?

Before signing any type of contract, it makes sense to have your lawyer and financial adviser to review it. You want to understand what you’re going to get before signing on the dotted line and handing over your first payment. All-inclusive contracts typically include nearly everything that’s offered at the community, including transportation, meals, utilities, and more. While a fee-for-service contract will have lower starting fees, you’ll probably have to pay for additional services. It’s important to determine what extras you’ll have to fork cash over for before agreeing to move into a place.

During the Initial Tour

It’s important once you narrow down your search to consider a few more items during your initial tour of the property.

Does This Feel Like Home?

It won’t matter how affordable, close to your favorite activities, or nice the people are if the place just doesn’t feel like home. If you can’t imagine yourself living in the senior living community, then it’s not the right one for you.

How is the Atmosphere?

Does it feel like everyone is enjoying their time there? Is it welcoming? If you’re getting a vibe that everyone is not enjoying themselves, then that might be significant sign. Try to visit the community during the day to really see how people use the common spaces. Talk to the residents. If they’re honestly raving about the space, then it’s probably a good place to live.

What Are the Meals Like?

Meals are extremely important. Ask when mealtimes are. Are you allowed to eat any time you want? Are the menus flexible? Are the meals created by a chef? If the meals seem pretty prepackaged or the dining hours are only at set hours, then this might not be right for you.

Thinking about all these concerns prior to selecting a community will ensure that you will find the perfect place to live your golden years.

The Mansions properties always strive to ensure that our residents enjoy their stays with us, and we are highly accommodating to their needs. Schedule a free tour to learn more about our properties.

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