As Baby Boomers continue to age and to retire, the whole retirement community industry is thriving as never before. Options available for seniors who want to take things at an easier and slower pace, who want to be around others their own age and engage in activities and pastimes that take into account their changing physical and emotional needs, are increasing at an exponential rate. And mortgage rates and rental fees haven’t been as modest as they are today in the past ten years. So for those who are thinking of moving into the best assisted living for seniors, and that could be anyone from the age of fifty on up, now is a great time to start planning and exploring what options and opportunities are available to fit a particular budget and lifestyle preference.
Here are five suggestions meant to make visiting and choosing a retirement home easy:
Do some homework first
Advance knowledge of a place is key to getting the details and specifics you’ll need to make an informed decision. Every retirement community now has a website, a landing page where someone can go for information on every aspect of the community. In most cases there is the option to receive a free brochure in the mail as well. Remember that the people who show off a retirement community are, for the most part, commissioned sales people. Their job is to SELL first, and to inform second. Not to say they will purposely falsify anything — but they will highlight certain aspects and soft pedal other aspects in order to make a sale. Studying their infomercial facts and figures first will allow a person to concentrate on what is important to them during their visit.
After doing some research prior to a visit, the smart person will be ready to investigate the specific facilities and programs that interest them the most. For instance, someone who is focused on physical fitness and sport will want to check out the gym and pool facilities. Someone who dotes on cooking will want to make sure the kitchen is up to their standards. Those who do a lot of traveling will want to check out how easy it is to get to transportation hubs, such as the airport, and where the nearest freeway entrance is.
Many seniors make the mistake of either moving into an apartment that’s too big for them to maintain, or too small to properly entertain their family and friends. It’s usually a balancing act between budget and space. Don’t pay for space you’ll never really use, or get crammed into a sardine can!
Look at the floor plans first
Otherwise that baby grand may have to be given away, since it won’t fit into any of the current living spaces available. Where is the bathroom? Are there stairs to navigate? Is there enough closet space? Are there south-facing windows? Is parking convenient, and is there plenty for visitors?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and to bring backup
Such a huge lifestyle change demands patience and deep thought. The input of friends and family, who come along on the inspection tour, can be invaluable in pointing out missed pros and cons. Have some questions already formulated to ask, such as How hard is it to get out of a contract, or asking to talk to some of the current residents to see how they like it.