What to Look for in a Retirement Community

Zane Fikany July 16, 2020

What to Look for in a Retirement Community

Retirement and senior living communities for older adults have been extremely popular in America for decades. With full-time staff, recreational and educational opportunities, and many kinds of comfortable homes to choose from, it’s easy to see why those aged 55 and older have been attracted to these communities. But since the global pandemic has hit older adults the hardest, it’s important to choose a retirement community that will offer both activities and security. Here are some of the things you should look for when shopping around for a retirement community both during and after the pandemic.

Know your options

Retirement communities aren’t always one-size-fits-all. Different kinds of communities are available to suit a wide variety of needs.

  • Independent Living communities are great for active seniors who don’t require regular care. They offer several types of housing options including apartments, condos, townhouses, or single-family homes.
  • Assisted Living facilities provide services for those seniors who may require help with meals, medication, or physical care.
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities are for those who require rehabilitation or skilled medical care.
  • Continuous Care Retirement Community may blend many or all of these types of communities on one campus.

Understand the restrictions

Many retirement communities place restrictions on who can live within their community. Those living in age-restricted communities must have at least one person in their household who is 55 years old or older. Others may be age-targeted communities that cater to a certain age group, but they place no formal restrictions on who can live there. You should also familiarize yourself with any visiting restrictions that are in place because of the pandemic. Since those aged 60 and older at most at risk of having complications because of the coronavirus, many of these communities have restricted visitors. As a result, they have been able to stop the spread of the virus among their residents. This can be a very comforting advantage, but it will also limit how often you will be able to see your loved ones in person.

Research the amenities

One of the greatest benefits of living in a retirement community is the access you’ll have to a wide variety of amenities. Many of these communities host a full roster of activities and events. They may also have public facilities like fitness centers and offer classes like yoga or ceramics. Many of them also have special interest groups so that you can socialize with people who have common interests. Some of these communities have begun to offer these amenities online during the pandemic in an effort to practice sheltering in place and social distancing.

See what they’re doing to keep residents safe

Finally, it’s important to know what a retirement community is doing to keep its residents safe, both during and after the pandemic. Find out if they are following all the CDC guidelines in terms of keeping public spaces sanitized and disinfected. See if there are any added restrictions when moving in, such as a mandatory two-week quarantine. And ask if there are options for advanced medical care as residents get older.

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