You’ve decided you’re interested in making the move to a senior living community, and now the research begins! You can start by asking yourself these important questions, and we’ll add some pro tips along the way.
1. DOES THE LIFESTYLE SUIT YOU?
Identify what matters most to you daily, what you can’t live without, and what is just a perk. Whether it’s the quality of the food, the amenities, the neighbourhood, or the calendar of activities, your happiness in your new home will be tied directly to how well the community suits you.
PRO TIP: When you’re touring retirement communities, take time to chat with residents about their experiences.
2. DO YOU FEEL SAFE?
Feeling safe is essential to your well-being. Your research should identify if you are comfortable with the support systems to ensure your day-to-day physical safety—like a 24-hour reception desk, personal emergency pendants, and security cameras. Feeling confident that you and your property are protected will increase your ability to relax at home.
PRO TIP: The best safety feature is the human kind. Choose a community that offers 24/7 reception services so you know someone is always available.
3. CAN YOU LIVE CAR-FREE?
Access to transportation has a significant impact on your quality of life. Envision yourself living car-free and decide if the retirement community you’re researching can support you. Seniors communities that offer walkable neighbourhoods with easy access to shops and services are ideal.
PRO TIP: Most retirement communities have a bus for group outings. The best also offer courtesy shuttle services for personal errands around town.
4. DOES IT OFFER INCREASING SUPPORT?
You may never need more support, but if you do, will your new home accommodate those changes? Ask questions about what type of private and public care support is welcome in the building. Research what in-house services are available to ensure you can remain in your home as long as possible.
PRO TIP: Many independent living communities have relationships with local care companies and can recommend ones that offer a discount based on cluster care.
5. CAN YOU AFFORD IT?
The cost is the bottom line. Ensure you understand what your residency rate includes and what does not. Rate increases are bound to happen as the cost of living increases; ensure you know the frequency of those increases.
PRO TIP: Use our retirement living cost calculator to compare what you pay in your current situation to the costs of an all-inclusive senior living community.