Whether it’s time to retire or not, it’s never too early to start thinking about how to get the most out of the next stage in life, a time when you may have more freedom than ever before. You’ve worked hard, paid your dues, and it’s time to focus on what makes you happy.
For many, freeing themselves from the upkeep of a large family home makes the most sense. Regular maintenance and, eventually, daily living can become a financial and physical burden. In addition, most family homes aren’t outfitted with safety features that become necessary when recovering from a fall or surgery. If your home has multiple levels, climbing those stairs can become not only a nuisance, but a danger.
But where do you begin looking for other options? For many, the thought of a retirement community conjures images of dismal nursing homes — but this is a misconception. There are many different types of communities, and some, like Meadowood, offer luxurious amenities that resemble resort living more than senior living. Meadowood is a life plan community that offers several levels of care, so we have a wide diversity of residents in different stages of life. Many are actually not retired, still working, taking vacations, and volunteering in the community regularly.
After a little research, you may find that communities like ours change your mind about what a retirement community can look like. Keep reading for research tips around how to pick a retirement community — or a life plan community, like Meadowood.
How Do You Research A Retirement Community?
Start with understanding your options. There are several different types of communities offering various benefits. For example, some can expand their medical services to residents as their needs change, while others provide only one level of care. You’ll need to learn about your options to make an informed decision.
- Active Adult 55+ Communities
These communities resemble planned neighborhoods but restrict home buyers to those 55 and over. Here, you would purchase a home and pay annual or monthly dues for amenities like exterior maintenance or pool access.
- Senior Apartments / Independent Residential Living
Similar to 55+ communities, senior apartment communities rent apartment units or cottages to those over a certain age, offering the same flexibility and low-maintenance benefits of a typical apartment home with neighbors in a similar stage in life.
- Assisted Living Homes / Personal Care
These facilities offer more medical care for those who need assistance with daily needs like showering, meal time, etc.
- Nursing Homes for Skilled Nursing Care Skilled nursing care assists with long-term care or short-term rehabilitation.
- Memory Care
Memory care provides specialized care for those experiencing memory loss.
- Life Plan Communities / Continuing Care Retirement Communities
Meadowood is a life plan community, which means that we offer different tiers of care based on our residents’ changing needs, ranging from personal care to skilled nursing and memory care. If needed, residents can move to different areas of the community when they need different services. The ability to stay on campus regardless of what happens offers our residents stability and convenience.
As you think about how to pick a retirement community, consider your objective. Are you looking for a ‘forever home’? You may not mind the idea of moving again later on as your needs change, but as time goes on, moving will become more challenging. For many, a life plan community that can provide care regardless of the resident’s circumstances is the most convenient and reliable long-term choice.
Choosing a life plan community you would be happy to call home now rather than waiting until later when choices may be limited can help you maintain the most control over your lifestyle as you age. You may not need a high level of care now, but it can be a major relief to have the option available.
What Should I Look For In A Retirement Home?
Once you’ve thought about your goals and learned more about what’s available, you can begin narrowing down your choices to specific communities based on what’s most important to you.
Location and Lifestyle
People often begin with location. For some, it’s important to stay close to friends and family. Others want to know what businesses are around, like coffee shops or restaurants, to see if they can maintain their daily routines. Make a list of your favorite daily or weekly rituals so you can evaluate whether a community’s location and design will have an impact.
Accessibility and Security
Investigate accessibility and safety features offered by the community. Are handrails, grab bars, and zero-threshold showers available in units? How about stairlifts, widened doors, ramps, and elevators? Likewise, the attention paid to security can tell you a lot about the community’s attention to detail regarding resident safety. Is there a check-in area for visitors? How about security cameras, emergency response systems, and adequate nighttime lighting?
Recreation, Socialization, and Culture
Ample opportunity for recreation is essential to maintaining health and wellness. A community that regularly gives you something to look forward to, new activities to try, and opportunities to socialize can significantly increase your contentment and enjoyment of life. The best way to get a sense of the culture of a place is to visit and speak with residents yourself. Ask about the recreational activities available and get their honest opinions about the community.
Food and Dining
You don’t have to be a foodie to know how important it is to have access to good food options. Many communities, like Meadowood, offer multiple dining options. Meadowood has taken special measures to ensure their dining areas feel like a true restaurant experience. Residents can choose casual dining in the cafe and bistro or fine dining in the main dining room. You won’t find bland dining hall food here — enjoy your favorite cocktail and a juicy steak dinner in our fine dining room or grab a light sandwich and salad in the bistro.
Cost and Value
Meadowood offers a luxury life plan community experience, with premium homes, a caring staff, friendly residents, and modernized facilities thoughtfully arranged with the latest advancements in design. With multiple levels of care available depending on your changing needs, our community offers the wisest investment in your long-term happiness and health.
Meadowood’s Life Plan Community Offers Luxury Living
We all want the very best for ourselves and our beloved family members, and that’s why Meadowood places a passion for residents’ happiness and well-being above all other considerations. If you’re interested in finding a home that allows you or your loved one to maintain a fulfilling and independent lifestyle, we’d love to give you a tour and answer all of your questions. Contact us today to find out more.