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4 Things You Need to Know Before Moving into a Senior Retirement Community

by retirebyforty on February 25, 2012 · 4 comments

in Guest Posts

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The following is a guest post on behalf of LivingSenior.

There are a lot of things to check off for older Americans considering senior living. Not all of it will be found in the fine print, but there are at least four areas you need to check out to make sure that you’re making the best choice for you and your family.

1) Financials and Billing

The cost of a facility is usually available to any prospective residents, but add-ons and amenities aren’t always clear. In independent living facilities, are there services like housecleaning or groundskeeping? In assisted living or continuing care facilities, what cost is there for assistance, and are their tiers for care? Making sure that you don’t get hit by hidden fees on such a large investment is key.

2) Surroundings and Environment

Many senior living outlets offer a variety of options for older Americans looking to socialize and mingle. Does the home you’re looking at offer a gym or fitness center? How about a pool or tennis courts?

If you’re seeking an environment with more support, what kind of activities do residents engage in? Are there board games or singing nights? What kind of ties does the residence have with the local community for volunteering, education or cultural activities?

3) Medical and Staffing

Whether you live in a community that offers personal assistance or nursing care, or are still very active, knowing what the staff makeup is can be critical. Are there medical facilities like a doctor’s office on site? How far away is the nearest hospital or similar facility?

If you are considering an assisted living facility or nursing home, then the staffing levels are critical. Are there aides for each hall of residents? How do the ratios of staff to residents compare to state requirements? Finally, you’ll want to know what certifications staff members have and how recent they are.

4) Fit and Finish

Seniors will want to know how recently their residence was constructed. It’s also important to consider whether or not you or your loved one will have a choice of which room you want, and what amenities are available. Those with canine or feline friends will want to know about the policies for these.

Finally, family members should be aware of what the policies are for visiting, especially at facilities that offer a higher degree of medical support.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie @ Freedom 48 February 26, 2012 at 9:18 am

Thanks for this post. We’re looking around for a seniors living accommodation for my grandma at the moment – this is a big help for us =)


retirebyforty February 26, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Good luck! It’s a difficult time, but hopefully you can find a nice place.


Lisa @ Cents To Save February 26, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Assisted living may be an option for my parents. I doubt that my dad will go for it, but I think my mom would do great.


retirebyforty February 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm

It’s a difficult topic to discuss, but it’s necessary for many people. You can’t take care of them full time right? I don’t know. It’s tough.


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