Senior Citizen's Guide digital books
Senior Citizen's Guide to Baltimore

Quick Tips for Making Retirement Living Decisions

There are a lot of reasons seniors choose to live in a retirement community: freedom from home maintenance and chores; a full social life; a healthier lifestyle with well-balanced food and convenient service; a helping hand when you need it.

Start Early to Research Your Options

If there’s one thing people continually tell us about making the move to senior living, it’s that they wish they’d done it sooner. It is well documented that reducing stress and tough-to-manage chores increases well-being and enjoyment of life. Some communities have waiting lists or may have health requirements for the kind of living you want. You’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to look into your choices.

Some of the most important factors to consider when making this decision are:

The basic types of senior living communities are described below:

Individual communities may offer different combinations of these kinds of options. Check the communities near you to see the types of senior living offered.

For adult children who are taking the lead in researching assisted living options for their parents, starting the conversation is the first, and often the most emotional, step in the process. If possible, bring the subject up gradually over time. Give your parent(s) time to get used to the idea and listen carefully to their concerns and fears. Include your parent(s) as much as possible in the process of choosing a community. Visit the community with them. And make sure you’re up to date on all of their financial assets, accounts and insurance policies. It’s also smart to have a durable power of attorney in hand should you need to unexpectedly assist in the management of your parents’ assets.

Evaluating a Community

Once you’ve decided which type of retirement community is best for you or your parent(s), and narrowed your list of potential communities, you’ll want to visit each one, ask the right questions and talk to the residents. If you really like one particular community, visit at different times of the day to get a well-rounded impression of the community. Make a list of your top three “must haves” and keep them in mind when researching communities.

It’s also important to take notes every time you visit a community. There’s a lot to take in during these visits and you’ll want to remember everything you saw, thought and heard.

Starting early, staying informed about options, and making a plan for evaluation can help make the research process easier and get the enjoyment of a stress-free lifestyle going sooner.

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