Planning: Which one is right for you

There are thousands of retirement communities in the United States to choose from, nearly 2,000 of which are Life Plan Communities. So how do you decide which one is right for you?

Choosing a retirement community that’s right for you is about so much more than floor plans and finishes. Thriving at a community is about lifestyle. Think about your social life, your cultural and educational pursuits, your recreational activities. What do you need to maintain the lifestyle you love? Furthermore, what healthcare plan do you need in place to ensure you have absolute peace of mind for your future? Take a moment to consider the following question: What’s most important to you? What are absolute must-haves in a community for you?

When visiting communities, having a checklist such as the one below on-hand can be very helpful:

  • Is the community close to family and friends to visit?
  • Are visits with residents welcome at any time?
  • Does the community offer levels of care you anticipate you or your loved one may need in the future?
  • Does the community provide scheduled transportation to appointments, shopping, and other activities?
  • Does the community allow pets? Is there a pet care program in case residents need assistance in caring for their pet or are away?
  • Do residents look well cared for and happy?
  • Is the staff friendly and professional?
  • Does the staff look happy?
  • Is the look and feel of the community pleasant?
  • Are the grounds well maintained?
  • Is there a full activities schedule available, including on- and off-campus events? Do they have a dedicated activities director?
  • Do you see residents engaged in an activity or conversation with other residents or staff?
  • Do the dining options offer variety as well as items you or your loved one would enjoy?
  • Does the dining program accommodate special diets?
  • Are family and friends welcome to dine with residents?
  • Are there religious services?
  • Is there a robust wellness program?
  • Are there therapy services on site?
  • Are on-site barber or beautician services available?
  • Are there licensed nurses on staff 24 hours a day (including weekends and holidays)?
  • Do you have the opportunity to meet the administrator?