Choosing the Right Retirement Community for Your Loved One
When the time comes to move your loved one into a retirement community, the process can feel overwhelming. Finding the right place involves a consideration of many different factors that depend on the individual mental and physical needs of your family member. You also want to make sure they are comfortable and feel a sense of home and community.
While every situation is different, there are some common factors that are often involved in any decision-making process surrounding the move to a retirement community. At Harwood Place, we offer beautiful and comfortable senior living apartments, assisted living, and — in partnership with Lutheran Home — a full range of memory care and other supportive services. Click here to learn more about Harwood Place and read on for our guide on how to find the perfect retirement community for your loved one.
Location, Location, Location
When considering among the many different options available for retirement communities today, one of the most important things many prospective residents value is the community’s location. For many, a good location is one that allows easy access to entertainment, stores, nature areas, and public transportation. Location is also important as it relates to how easy family members and outside caretakers can visit with the resident.
For those with preexisting conditions or ongoing health concerns, a good location for a retirement community should also include easy access to hospitals and other care providers. While many senior housing options will have medical care on site, convenient access to local hospitals is still an important feature for many residents.
For people of every age, being welcomed as part of a community is a vitally important part of maintaining sound mental and physical health. In fact, the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has published research that shows that loneliness and social isolation are linked to increased risk of serious health conditions including heart attack, stroke, and dementia. Social isolation can lead a person to have an increased risk of premature death to a degree that rivals smoking and obesity.
A quality retirement community will offer its residents the opportunity to socialize and connect with each other in various ways. Families can often get a good ideal of the communal atmosphere of a retirement community by taking a tour and talking to current residents. Look out for a combination of regularly-scheduled structured events, special outings, and opportunities for general recreation and social engagement.
Many reputable retirement communities employ a specialist in volunteering and community relations. These people are responsible for establishing relationships with the local community and can help ensure that residents stay connected with their neighborhood.
Consider Your Budget
The number of options available to a prospective retirement community resident will depend to a large extent on the budget that the individual and their family is working with. Recent data indicates that in 2018, the median monthly cost of living in an independent living facility was $2,552.
How far your budget will go can depend on a number of factors including geographic location, access to amenities at a given facility, and the need for medical or hospice care in addition to general costs of living. Some families decide to consult with a financial advisor to ensure they are making a financially responsible choice when shopping for an appropriate retirement community for their loved ones.
Evaluate Preferences for Amenities
As stated previously, any quality retirement community should offer many general opportunities for recreation and socialization amongst residents and staff. However, beyond this, different communities tend to offer certain amenities that may or may not appeal to individual personalities.
For example, some retirement communities offer fitness facilities that allow residents to engage in exercise as well as additional opportunities for recreation. Others offer beauty salons, community rooms, and a program calendar of fun outings to keep residents engaged.
When looking into different facilities, it is important to consider your loved one’s interests and hobbies and how they will be impacted by the amenities offered at a given retirement community.
Finally, it is important to consider how your loved one’s needs will change as they get older. It’s possible that your loved one will need additional support as they get older, both from a medical perspective and simply with the daily tasks of living. That’s why its important to understand the scope of services available at the community you choose, so your loved one doesn’t have to move again when their needs become more comprehensive.
If you’re looking for a beautiful, comfortable retirement community in southeastern Wisconsin, Harwood Place might just be the one for you. Click here to learn more about our community and learn how to schedule a tour.