The Life in Bloom Blog

Finding the Right Retirement Community Is All About Asking the Right Questions

Planning for the Future | 04/26/21


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As a senior, you’re living in a marvelous time to make choices about how you want to spend your retirement years and where you’d like to live. These days, one of the best places to live your best retirement life is in a senior living community. But how do you choose the one that best fits your vision? We’ve put together seven key questions to help you know what to ask and what to look for in a retirement community. Your next chapter awaits!

  1. What Living and Care Options Are Available Here?You might think every senior living community offers the same living options and care levels. But in fact, each community is unique — not all communities offer all the options, so it’s important to understand exactly what options are available at each community you’re interested in learning more about.
    • Independent Living: You can take care of yourself in every way, but you love the idea of having someone else fix delicious meals and do the housework and maintenance while you enjoy an active social life filled with events, classes and entertainment right outside the door of your private apartment.
    • Skilled Nursing Care: Our skilled nursing facility offer top-quality short- and long-term care 24 hours a day. This compassionate, attentive care is provided 24 hours a day by our compassionate registered nurses and a full team of trained medical professionals. Residents in skilled nurses can also enjoy on-site amenities and opportunities to engage in social activities.
    • All Care Levels in One Community: Some communities, like Meadow Lakes, are known as Life Plan Communities. This means you can enjoy resort-style living along with the lifetime security of knowing high-quality care will be there for you if and when you need it. That includes the opportunity to move into assisted living or memory care if needed; as well as giving you full access to on-site clinics, rehabilitation therapies, and long-term nursing care from expert practitioners.
  2. Does the Retirement Community Fit My Budget?As you begin exploring retirement communities, you’ll see that monthly service fees and other expenses can differ greatly. It’s helpful to think through what you need to live on each month (including an allowance for fun), and then compare that amount to what’s covered or extra in a community’s monthly service fee. Typically, it covers your apartment or room, daily meals (clarify which meals), utilities (clarify which utilities), housecleaning, and laundry service. Conveniences like cable and internet, administering medications, or help with personal care may cost extra, so ask!
  3. Can My Care Needs Be Met if They Increase?It’s the tough talk we all need to have — what happens if you need higher levels of care? As you consider senior living communities, think back to the different levels mentioned in #1. Is the community built solely for independent living? Or is it like Meadow Lakes, a Life Plan Community designed to accommodate you as you age with increasing care and living options? If the community only offers independent living and your health changes, you’ll likely have to move again at some point.
  4. What Do Online Reviews (and My Friends) Have to Say?It’s important to research the reputation of any senior living community you consider. Ask about security and safety. Is there someone at the front desk checking in visitors 24/7? Are the entry doors locked? Is there a security staff? Your peace of mind is important, so ask if these measures are in place. Don’t hesitate to ask about the staff’s training, skills and certifications. Also inquire about the staff-to-resident ratio. It can mean the difference between getting timely attention and waiting for assistance until someone is available.
  5. What Activities and Services Are Offered?You’ll want to learn all you can about the amenities and services available (housecleaning, shuttle bus, laundry services, beauty salon, computers, etc.). Check out the options for staying fit (gym, walking trails, pool), and review the activities calendar (classes, speakers, entertainment). Is the community pet-friendly? If religion is important to you, do they offer religious services on campus? Above all, don’t be shy about speaking with residents when you take your tour for firsthand viewpoints — and be sure to ask to have a meal in the dining room.
  6. What About Walkability and Proximity to Restaurants, Entertainment Venues and Public Transportation?If you love taking walks in the park with the cup of coffee you grabbed at the local cafe, ask about the “walkability” factor of the community. Be sure to get a feel for how close the community is to desirable destinations like restaurants, shopping, movie theaters, and other pursuits you enjoy — including proximity to airports and train stations if you enjoy traveling.
  7. Can I Picture Myself Living Here?Think of all the dwellings you’ve lived in, including your current residence. Remember when you first walked through it and you just knew it felt like home? You want that same feeling to come over you when you tour a retirement community. Can you see yourself living there, having new adventures, and starting an exciting new chapter in your life? If so, you may have found your new happy place!

Reinvigorate Your Retirement Life at Meadow Lakes

Now that you know the right questions to ask in your search for a senior living community, Meadow Lakes would like to invite you over for a tour of our place and to enjoy a meal on us! We look forward to showing you what great independent living looks like and to introduce you to our Life Plan Community advantages that are designed to help you stay happy, healthy, and as independent as possible, as you age.
To get started, simply complete the request form, and a sales counselor will be in touch with you shortly. We look forward to meeting you soon.