Retirement homes are communities designed for seniors aged 55 and over. Retirement homes provide a place for seniors to remain active and independent while not having to worry about the maintenance and upkeep of their own home. But how can you find the right retirement home?
There are many aspects to consider when searching for the right retirement home. You should choose a place that meets your social, cultural, recreational, and health care preferences.
What To Look For In A Retirement Home
Location can be a determining factor in finding the right retirement home for you. You should consider whether the community is close to activities and events you are interested in. Also think about how close the retirement home is to your friends and family who will frequently visit you.
Tip: Be sure to research the area. Is the retirement home located in a safe neighborhood? You can check U.S. Census government site for information in your desired location.
2. Health Services
An important aspect to consider in your search for the right retirement home is the available health services. Generally, retirement homes and communities are meant for seniors who do not need much medical and personal care. However, some communities can provide more assistance if they are required in the future.
Even though you are currently in good health, it will be wise to choose a retirement home or community that offers health services to meet your future needs.
Tip: Check the cleanliness of the facility. Remember, cleanliness is important to our health. How can the retirement home provide excellent health services if they can’t even maintain the cleanliness in the facility?
3. Security and Safety
Security and safety should definitely be considered when choosing the right retirement home. Is it located in a gated community? Is there a security guard on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Are there locks on all the window and doors? Is there a 24-hour emergency call system in all the units? What are the other safety features of the retirement home?
You certainly want to check all these safety features first before making your decision to help ensure that the retirement home you will live in is safe and secured.
Tip: Check the crime rate of the city where the retirement home is located.
4. Amenities and Social Activities Available in Retirement Home
Check the list of amenities and social activities provided by the retirement home. Think about the fun aspects of the retirement community that are important to you, including a pool and spa, gourmet food, fitness center and other recreational facilities. Consider whether the community has the services and amenities you would enjoy personally. Will the programs and activities fit the lifestyle you want?
Tip: Talk to the activities director. Request a copy of the schedule of activities so you can check if the programs and activities in their retirement home match your interests.
The Staff members and management team should be friendly and knowledgeable about the retirement community. Talk to them to see if they are courteous and respectful. Try to spend sometime in the retirement community so you can observe how they interact with current residents. Do they go the extra mile to provide quality service?
You might also want to check if the retirement home or community has a nurse practitioner or a health care professional on staff that is available in case of any medical emergencies.
Tip: Try to find out about the turnover rate for staff member. Talk to the staff and ask how long they’ve been working there. The longer, it is the better.
6. Building structure and Floor plans
Check if the buildings and physical grounds meet your individual needs and interests both indoors and outdoors. Are they well maintained?
Look at the individual floor plans and living spaces to check whether or not the retirement home or community can meet your current and future needs. Do you like the layout and size of the unit? Are there enough storage places for all your things? If you have a car, does the retirement home provide parking space?
Tip: Check the model units. Can you picture yourself living there?
The Retirement Home’s cost is definitely another factor to consider when trying to look for the right retirement home. The cost varies depending on size, location, and services provided. Check all the fees. Is there an entrance fee? How much do they require for deposit? Is the deposit refundable? What does the base price include? How much do they charge for additional programs and services? How often does the retirement home increase their rate?
It is important that you understand all the fees involved, otherwise, be sure to ask.
Tip: Be sure that you fully understand the rate increase policy. What is the percentage and basis for calculating the rate increase?
8. Fine Print
Before you sign any contracts, it is very important that you read everything, including the fine print. Keep in mind that each retirement home has a different contract. Read it carefully and if you do not understand something, be sure to ask so you can discuss it with them.
Tip: You might want to also contact your lawyer to review the contract before you sign it.
9. Policies and Procedures
What is the retirement home’s policy for handling residents’ complaints and issues? What is the policy for visitors? Do they have a “No CPR” policy? Do you agree with all their policies?
Tip: If you do not agree with their policies, be sure to negotiate. If the retirement home is not willing to negotiate with you, then it might not be a good fit.
10. Reviews and Complaints
Before considering a retirement home you should do your research. Check for any complaints, legal actions, and accreditation issues against the retirement home. Contact the Better Business Bureau, Elder Care Locator and/or the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman for any deficiencies and complaints.
Tip: Check online reviews for the retirement home using major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. You can type “Reviews for [Name of the Retirement Home]”
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About the Author: Catharine D. Allado is a Senior Care Expert and the COO of SeniorCareHomes.com - A trusted and comprehensive online directory of Senior Care Homes such as Assisted Living, Nursing Homes and other types of Senior Housing in California, Florida, New York, Arizona and the rest of the United States. SeniorCareHomes.com also provides FREE Assisted Living options to help seniors and families find the best Senior Housing on the planet!
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