Guides and Information

Retirement Living: What to Seek in a Community

You’re ready to make a transition to a new phase in your life: retirement living. Indeed, you’re so motivate that you’ll soon be selling your home and relocating to a community better suited for you needs, one where yard care and home upkeep are handled for you. A retirement community is in the offing — here’s what to consider when searching for the right one.

Retirement Living

Is it Clean?

Not all retirement communities are the same. At first glance it should have a pleasing street presence. The lawn should be neat, in-season flowers in bloom, and the driveways and walk ways clear and unbroken.

Once inside, allow your nose to help detect cleanliness. Your eyes may see an orderly residence, but your nose may suggest something else. Common areas should be clean and unobstructed. Your personal space should be open, accessible and orderly.

If you detect strange odors, get to the bottom of it. Some smells are simply temporary while other odors could suggest a worse problem, such as mold, mildew, or general uncleanliness.

Observe the Staff

You’ll know whether a retirement community is right for you if the staff is genuinely interested in the people who live there. That’s not always apparent, especially when staff has been warned that they have a visitor. Namely you.

If you can move about the premises with ease, observe how people are treated. When you arrive at the residence, there should be someone present to greet you. Further, your questions should be satisfactorily answered. Stonewalling and evasiveness are not the responses you should accept.

Give the Food a Try

When visiting a retirement center, meals are served like clockwork seven days a week. Most places allow visitors to dine, for a fee, and you should take advantage of this opportunity.

Order the same foods that everyone else eats, while taking note of the cuisine. If you are on a special diet, accommodation should be made. After all, most older residents must carefully consider what they eat. If the food isn’t to your liking, there isn’t any reason to consider the center.

Discover How Security is Handled

What security procedures are in place at the retirement center? You should know how emergencies are handled, including evacuation during a fire, storm or some other threatening situation. Is there a doctor or a nurse on staff? How are medical emergencies handled?

Staffing changes may impact security especially during shift changes. Some communities may look like a fortress during the day, but what about at night? Are employees required to have key card access? Find out how the community handles security.

Talk to the Residents

If you can freely move about the facility and talk with whomever you want, then that’s a good sign. On the other hand, if your tour is carefully guided, you may wonder if you’re being directed away from something or someone.

When you come into contact with residents, ask them their thoughts about the place. Most will be willing to share what they know and will give you their honest opinion. Soak in what they have to say, ask questions, and if you feel some discomfort, do a gut check.

Dig a Bit Deeper

You’re not done yet. Keep touring the facility, including the grounds outside. After all, in warm weather you don’t want to be cooped up inside. Is there a patio for the residents? Do visitors such as children and grandchildren feel welcome? Everyone who lives, works and visits the community should have a sense of peace about them.

Lastly, trust your gut feelings about the place. If you’re not sure it’s right for you, then go on and look at the next place. On the other hand, if you have a positive feeling about the residence, then set your plans in motion. Contact your moving company to get an estimate for the move advises the North American Moving Services.