If you are researching to find an independent living community for yourself or a loved one, it is hard to know just where to start. Each community has different services and amenities. Working in the senior living industry for 25 years, I have developed a method to compare communities that I hope you will find beneficial. A tool designed to help you with your search is available for download.
Your first step is to research communities online. It is easier to process your findings in the comfort of your own home. When it is time to tour communities, it will be difficult to remember details of each community, which becomes overwhelming. The more research you can do up front the better.
Secondly, call each community and ask them to send you a brochure, with pricing. If you do not ask for pricing, it may be excluded. Use the brochure to fill in any other services and amenities and fill in pricing in your cost comparison tool.
Next you will schedule a tour of each community that you consider a good fit for you. While touring, ask for a copy of their menu and activities calendar. Take pictures to help you remember each community. Your first picture should be the sign with the community's name. This allows you to know that the pictures following the sign belong to that community.
Narrow your search to the top two or three and schedule a second tour. Bring any other decision makers to this tour. They can tour in person or virtually using Facetime or a similar app.
Before you leave the second tour, ask the community representative to give you a few minutes to discuss your thoughts with the decision makers. When the representative joins you again, go through any unanswered questions. This allows you to get answers before you leave the community.
To make the comparison, you should look at the services and amenities that matter to you. If you would like a community with a swimming pool, you will count that as a benefit. But if you have no interest in swimming, there is no need to make the swimming pool a factor in your decision.
Services are the things that the community will do for you as a resident. The basic services that independent living communities offer are activities, housekeeping, meals, and sometimes transportation. You will want to look for ways that each community stands above the competition in these services and note the added services offered and the added cost.
The Amenities are the items offered in the building's design, such as a private dining room, library, movie theatre, or beauty shop. You will want to decide which amenities you will use. The amenities that you would not use are irrelevant to the comparison.
You will want to ask about the types of health changes that would cause you to be asked to move out. Moving can be incredibly stressful and upsetting, especially when your health changes. It is best to find a community that allows you to stay as long as possible with the friends and staff that you know and that know you.
I hope that you have found this information useful. If you have any questions, please contact us and we will be glad to help in any way that we can.
Sun Ridge Retirement Community is here to help.
For decades, we have helped seniors and their families make important decisions. We want to use our experience and knowledge to help you make choices that are best for you and your family. Periodically we develop helpful tools like those listed here. Sign up for our email list and we will send you these tools and future tools as they are developed.