What to Look for in a Retirement Community


Senior men relaxing in armchairs

Senior Living Options Today

With all the senior living options available today, moving your loved one into a retirement home or senior community is no longer a last resort, but often a preferred choice.

When choosing a retirement home, there are several factors to consider, and there are also some basic qualities that should be evident.

Choosing a Retirement Home for your Loved One

If you’re just beginning your research on senior living options in your area, here are a few things to look for in a retirement community when you are touring the facility. Keeping these things in mind should help you find a retirement home perfect for your loved one:

  • Friendly and caring staff. All care should be personalized, making the seniors feel safe and comfortable. The staff should be polite when addressing the seniors and seem happy to be interacting with them, so pay special attention to the communication between the staff and the residents. Do they call the seniors by their first name and engage in conversation? Also, make sure the staff is prompt when handling needs the seniors have.
  • Healthy and safe environment. It’s very important that the community is safe, sanitary and able to meet your loved one’s needs now and in the future. The community should offer a variety of senior care services to meet healthcare needs; most retirement communities offer continuing care should your loved one’s health decline and additional nursing service is needed. For additional safety, are emergency call switches or personal emergency bracelets or necklaces provided? Assistance with medication and other needs should be available, too.
  • A variety of options and amenities. If your loved one is still able to maintain a level of independence, make sure they are able to come and go as they please. Make sure the home is maintenance-free with a variety of floor plan options that may include one or two-bedrooms. Does the facility offer laundry service and meals?  Are there extra amenities like a salon or a fitness center?
  • Social activities and events. Building and maintain social relationships is vital to quality of life for seniors. Ask if social activities are planned monthly, and if the community offers scheduled transportation to shopping, restaurants and appointments.
  • The location. Being conveniently located to your loved one, as well as places that are important to them like their doctor’s office or the library is also very important. It may also make the transition to the retirement community a bit easier, if your loved one knows family or friends are nearby and can visit often.
  • What are the costs? Know the entry fees and whether a long-term commitment is required. Ask what services are included with the costs, such as activities, transportation, and other services.

Senior Living

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