Touring retirement and senior living communities is a must when considering a lifestyle change. But most seniors, and their families, walk into tours completely unprepared. They’re unsure of questions to ask, they’re unsure of what goals they should be focusing on. To get the most out of your tours, preparation is key.
1. Do your research.
Before touring a senior living community, make sure you’ve done your research. Community’s websites often provide good information, but don’t stop there. Reach out to physicians, family and friends for first account reviews. Speak with any acquaintances you have who are connected to the community. Even a Google News search can show how organizations place importance on communities.
2. Know your goals.
Having a good grasp on why you or your loved one is looking to move to a retirement or senior living community is important and will help you guide your tour. There are lots of reasons people choose to make the move. Maybe you’re looking for a maintenance-free home that allows for more travel. Maybe you want to live around others in your season of life. Maybe additional health support is required. Whatever your retirement goals, be sure to clearly outline them and let them guide the conversations during your tours. For instance, if you’re most interested in additional social interaction that a retirement living community can provide, ensure those questions get answered on the tour.
Finances can play a big role in your retirement goals. Make a list of current costs required to maintain you or your loved one’s lifestyle. Include home costs, insurance, maintenance costs, health and entertainment. Then, compile your assets - value of your home, retirement savings, long-term care insurance, pensions, social security, etc. Have these details ready during your tour to fully understand which senior communities are in financial reach.
3. Ask the right questions.
There are so many options out there for retirement and senior living. Asking the right questions can help you make the decision that’s best for you. We’re talking the hard-hitting questions. Not just what the food is like - although that’s important too - we’re talking the hard-hitting questions like What is your resident satisfaction level? What percentage of your profits above expenses are reinvested into community improvements? How are your financial decisions made? What happens if I outlive my resources? What happens if my care needs change?
Don’t be afraid to come out swinging with questions during your tour. Remember, this is your retirement dreams on the line. Knowing whether a community’s profits go into the hands of shareholders versus making your potential home better gives you a glimpse on how it’s going to be to live there. At Immanuel, we’re invested into matching your values with where you want to live, it’s called the not for profit difference. If you’ve never thought about non-profit or for-profit retirement communities before, maybe it’s time you should.
Our free Non-Profit vs. For-Profit Comparison Guide outlines even more questions to help you match your own values to those of a senior living community. Download your free guide today at ImmanuelDifference.org.