When deciding to move into a seniors retirement community, many factors must be taken into consideration to assist you to make the best choice for you. Consider the following six questions when making your decision.
1. DO YOU FEEL SAFE?
Safety is a top priority and there are many facets to consider.
Physical safety. To ensure you feel physically safe in a home, ask the staff what security precautions they have in place. These could include security guards, key card access into the building, alarm systems or curfews. Also consider personal safety features such as 24/7 reception, grab bars in bathrooms and personal safety alert systems. The overall location of the home is important too, as certain neighbourhoods may be safer than others.
Emotional safety. What makes you feel safe to be yourself? Is it a community of like-minded people, or taking an individualized approach to your emotional health? Can the residence provide what you need? Is it possible to continue your self-care routine when you move in, such as seeing a therapist or participating in community support groups? Decide what’s important, then ask the staff how they may be able to assist you. A part of physical and emotional safety is bullying. Find out if the residence has an anti-bullying policy and how they handle situations that may arise.
2. IS IT AFFORDABLE?
Every retirement living community has a different cost of living, and it is an essential aspect in finding a good fit. Ask the staff about what services they provide and check this against the price. Ask about meal plans, as differing options can greatly impact the cost. Be sure that long-term considerations are being made; consider the cost and your budget. How long can you afford this residence? If this decision costs you an unhealthy amount of financial and mental strain, it may not be the right choice for you.
3. DOES IT OFFER INCREASED SUPPORT?
Everyone has differing health needs and while living at a seniors retirement community, these needs may change. If greater care and medical attention becomes required, asking about your options for increased support is vital. Ask yourself if you are willing to move to another home if it’s in your health’s best interest. What if you or your spouse require more care? If moved to another part of the home, can you stay with them? Find out what the process is for gaining that extra care and whether it can be offered at the same residence or if moving is non-negotiable. Ask yourself and the staff these questions and factor this into your decision-making.
4. WHAT OPTIONS ARE THERE FOR TRANSPORTATION?
Find out what the retirement community offers to their residents for transportation. Do they provide a shuttle service to take residents to medical appointments or leisure activities? Is the home close to commercial centers so that walking or taking public transport would be feasible? Check into these options to help make your decision.
5. DOES THE LIFESTYLE SUIT YOU?
Thinking about the residence community as home will help you to identify what aspects of your current home
and lifestyle are most important to you.
Does the routine and rhythm of the community match yours? Here are some questions to consider:
• Does the home offer religious services? Are there worship services at the home or are there shuttle services provided to take you?
• What kind of leisure activities are offered, and how often? Would they be of interest to you? Also, think about exercise classes and activities that promote your physical, emotional and mental well-being.
• What about meals? What do they offer and what are the residents responsible for? Do they cater to particular diets or health needs?
6. CAN YOU RELAX HERE?
Relaxation is not a luxury but a necessity. Know what’s relaxing for you and ask what’s available. Are you a nature-lover? Is the residence close to trails where you could take a walk? Do you need quiet time away from your suite? Ask if there are rooms designated for silence or leisure. If these are important to you, ask the staff about what might be available for you.
Choosing the best retirement community for you is a daunting task with all of the factors that must be considered. But take the time to explore, ask questions and discuss with friends and family. Moving is a big adjustment, but with the right community, you will feel welcomed, safe and right at home.
~ Guest Author Rhianna Lynn