How To Choose A Retirement Community You Love: Seven Critical Factors
Jonathan Perlman, founder of Tradition Senior Living in Houston & Dallas, TX.
Jonathan Perlman
September 27, 2018

More than ever before, older adults are making a lifestyle choice to reap the many positive health benefits offered at senior living retirement communities.

A recent Senior Housing News survey found that one of the top reasons many older adults decided to move to a senior living retirement community was to attain “freedom from home maintenance.” Many also mentioned a “desire for peace of mind and security.”

Research also shows that seniors are healthier and live longer when they stay active and socially engaged. A senior living community is the ideal environment for cultivating an active lifestyle and making more friends.

Whether you or someone you love is considering a move to a senior living community because you want more freedom from mundane tasks like mowing the lawn and vacuuming, or because you are seeking more company and socialization after the loss of a spouse, it’s important to choose a community you are happy to call “home.”

What are the key factors involved in choosing a community you love?

Here are seven critical factors to consider:

Research shows that seniors are healthier and live longer when they stay active and socially engaged. A senior living community is the ideal environment for cultivating an active lifestyle and making more friends.

1. SOCIAL INTERACTION

Loneliness has been proven to be a health risk, especially as we age. Social interaction is good for your health!

Author and law professor Sharona Hoffman has studied the importance of social interaction, especially among seniors who are more prone to becoming isolated. “There are a lot of studies showing a clear correlation between social interaction and longevity, mental health, and physical health,” writes Hoffman. “By contrast, people who are lonely do much worse. They have more heart problems, higher blood pressure, more insomnia, and so on.”

A senior living retirement community guarantees a built-in community and opportunities to make new friends. Seniors no longer have to worry about dining alone. Top-tier senior living communities, for example, offer a wide array of stimulating social, educational, recreational and wellness-based activities – seven days a week, 365 days a year.

2. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY & EXERCISE

Physical activity can help seniors stay independent longer and can contribute to both longevity and quality of life.

Staying physically active can help seniors better manage weight, regulate blood pressure, reduce the incidence of heart disease, improve sleep quality, improve balance, and even slow down age-related memory loss. Moving into a senior living community can increase opportunities to exercise, from walking around the community in inclement weather to attending fitness classes or using the on-site fitness center.

As a former Major League Baseball player, I understand the critical importance of physical fitness. The finest senior living communities are equipped with state-of-the-art fitness and exercise facilities, specifically designed for seniors.

3. DINING OPPORTUNITIES

Senior living communities provide the opportunity to take a break from cooking, grocery shopping, and spending money on dining out!

Depending on where you are or your loved one is on the journey, you may still enjoy cooking, or you might want a break from it! Living in a senior living community means that you now have the option to enjoy meals on-site. Excellent retirement communities offer a wide range of menu choices daily and treat their Independent Living residents to nutritious, delicious meals daily without having to deal with all the meal prep and clean-up!

4. STAYING MENTALLY ACTIVE

Keeping the mind active can help stave off the loss of memory that can otherwise simply be viewed as a symptom of aging. Make sure you choose a community that offers a wide range of activities, including those that stimulate the mind.

It is important to choose a secure Memory Care community with activities specifically tailored to meet the needs of residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Keeping the brain engaged can in fact help residents remain independent and active longer. The very best communities offer the latest in Memory Care programs to help residents maintain memory as they age.

5. PROTECTING YOUR RETIREMENT FUNDS

One very important consideration as you retire is how you will allocate all the money that you have worked so hard to earn and save over the years. By choosing a rental retirement community, you don’t need to worry about transferring most of your savings into a six-figure entrance fee – which is most likely not fully refundable. Instead, continue to invest your money as you see fit, and simply pay the monthly rental rate!

Many seniors find that they ultimately save money by moving to an all-inclusive senior living community. Rather than continuing to pay for property taxes, utility bills, and services like mowing the lawn and housekeeping, one pays for almost everything in one simple, monthly rental payment. Without complicated, long-term leases that lock you into a property, it is up to you if you ever choose to move again. This gives residents great freedom.

6. MAKING SURE YOUR FUTURE CARE NEEDS CAN BE MET

It’s important to choose a senior living community that will allow you to “age in place.”

Excellent senior living communities offer Independent Living apartments and a full, active lifestyle in an elegant, amenity-rich environment for those who want freedom from some of the responsibility and expenses of home maintenance. For those who need more care, it is helpful to find a community that also offers Assisted Living apartments, designed to ensure that your future care needs are met. Residents should receive delicious meals every day as part of their basic monthly rental rate, as well.

If Memory Care is ever needed, it is essential to find a dedicated Memory Care community that will ensure that you or a loved one will be cared for by well-trained staff who specialize in helping those with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

7. PEACE OF MIND

All of the above, when combined, can help to truly bring you and your loved one peace of mind.

No expensive, six-figure entrance fee means that your lifetime savings are still yours to manage and invest. Knowing that future care is available, if needed, means that you can relax, knowing that a future move won’t be necessary.

When looking for a retirement community, find a home for you or your loved one that provides the highest quality of life to give your family the peace of mind you deserve.

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