When considering a retirement community, it's not just about what you need, but also what you want. There are a wealth of options available for you, so it’s important to take some time to figure out what it is that is essential when considering retirement living. Fortunately every retirement community offers a menu of services that can be geared to your individual tastes and needs.
What do You Need?
It's usually a good idea to start with any particular needs you have as a baseline for selecting a retirement community. If your health requires various services, you can generate a list of communities that offer those services. If your mobility is restricted, communities that support your level of mobility will also be good choices.
What do You Want?
You may want to pick a retirement community that is similar to your current neighbourhood. For example, if you have chosen to live downtown all your life because you like the convenience, you may be more likely to choose a retirement community in a similar setting. If you like walking, and having stores and amenities within walking distance, you do not want to move to a retirement community that is deep in the suburbs and will require you to take public transit to get to the places you like.
You should also pick a retirement community that supports the way you want to live. Do you prefer mental, physical, or social activities? You should ask about the age of the residents that typically live in the community. If they are outside your age group, and the activities the community promotes are less interesting to you, that particular living community may be the wrong fit. Remember, a retirement community can include people as young as 50, or have a population of lively octogenarians. Consider how well would you fit into such a community. What about a community specifically geared toward your interests or profession? There are retirement communities for artists, just as there are communities for mail carriers.
Whatever you choose, take the time to investigate the many options available to you. Visit the communities and meet the staff and some of the residents. Start early, and get on a waiting list sooner, rather than later. The longer you wait, the harder it usually is to find a place at your preferred location.