• What to Look For in a Retirement Community

    What to Look For in a Retirement Community

There’s a lot to think about when you’re looking for a retirement community to move in to. There are endless options, for example, in terms of accommodations, amenities, services, and lifestyles.

So how do you determine the best fit for you?

Most people don’t make a decision like this overnight. As a result, they spend time researching communities in their area and then touring them. In addition, they usually consult family and financial professionals, so they can be sure to consider all of their options.

This list can get you started

Evaluating a Retirement Community

For a printable version of this list click here.

Physical Space & Accommodations

How the community looks and the appeal of the accommodations are very important. Because if it’s going to be your new home, you need to like what you see. Here’s what to look for:

  • Overall attractiveness and upkeep of buildings and grounds
  • Full-size appliances in each residence
  • Utilities (electricity, water, telephone, television, heating, air conditioning)and how they are paid for
  • Your ability to make aesthetic changes to the home to fit your personal style
  • Private outdoor space, such as a balcony or patio
  • Garage or designated parking space
  • Walking paths or park-like areas for your use
  • Visitor and/or guest policy
  • Whether or not pets are allowed in the community
  • Emergency call system in each residence
  • 24-hour security
  • Community rooms that can be used for family gatherings

Services & Amenities

Equally important to how the place looks, is what you’ll receive in terms of services and amenities. Here’s how to evaluate it:

  • Meal and dining: hours, number of meals, and what type of meal services are available
  • Exercise area and indoor pool
  • Location of community – convenient tofamily, friends, churches, stores, and hospitals
  • Building maintenance, lawn care and home repair included in your monthly fee
  • Transportation services
  • Calendar of events
  • Religious services to attend
  • Volunteer opportunities to engage in and/or committees and groups of interest to you
  • Relationship to greater community through partnership or shared initiatives
  • Cultural or inter-generational opportunities
  • New resident transition process

In addition, it’s important to meet other residents to give you insight into the lifestyle of the community.

Financial Structure

A Retirement community, especially a Continuing Care Retirement Community, will have a variety of fee structures. In addition to the fee structure, here are things to consider and ask about:

  • Local or out-of-state ownership
  • For-profit or not-for-profit
  • Financial security of the owner
  • Length of time in operation
  • Community’s mission statement or operating philosophy
  • Kinds of contracts the community offers
  • Entrance fees and refund options
  • Future projects or initiatives planned for the community that could impact your costs

Health Care Now & in the Future

Moving to a community with a continuum of services will ensure you have what you need when you need it. In addition, here’s what to look for:

  • Resident priority access to higher-level care and services
  • Clinic or nurse on campus available for questions or simple services
  • Assisted and skilled nursing care availability if/when needed
  • Fee structure as you need more care
  • Special secure residence for those with memory impairment
  • Pastoral care or support groups available to residents
  • Rehab staff on campus

Wondering what your future has to offer in your golden years? Learn about aging on your terms with your FREE eBook, What are My Senior Living Options.

Twin Towers is a continuing care retirement community in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering patio homes, apartments, rehab services and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Twin Towers online or at 513-853-2000.