Finding the right place to call home for retirement is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make. So many factors need to be considered when it comes time for aging adults to start thinking about future plans, such as the right location, residential options, needed amenities and services, lifestyle preference, healthcare for the future, and more.

Although exploring your extensive options may seem a bit daunting, it doesn’t have to be, especially when you know what questions to ask and what kind of info to lookout for. Follow these steps to help guide your search when it’s time for you or a loved one to find the perfect retirement community.

Senior Living Defined

The perception of senior living has matured, and long gone are the days when it was solely categorized as just a skilled nursing facility. Many retirement communities offer active lifestyles to accommodate thriving independent living, with access to healthcare services when needed.

The age when independent living opportunities become available is usually 55 and older at retirement communities that should offer maintenance-free living, great residential options, first-rate amenities and services, a full calendar of activities, impeccable dining, and more. Essentially, it’s a time in your life when the right community offers a future where you can enjoy your retirement years in carefree style.

What is a Retirement Community?

When searching for a retirement community to best accommodate your needs, one of the questions at the top of your list needs to be whether it’s a Life Plan Community (LPC). In the past, you may have recognized it as a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). It’s important to note that an LPC offers residents the benefit of an independent living apartment within a flourishing and socially active community along with the promise of care if and when those services are needed.

The key benefit of an LPC is that it blends living and planning, which allows you to live your life to the fullest. LeadingAge led the initiative to change the name from CCRCs to LPCs. As a well-known nationwide organization of nonprofit and government aging services providers, they recommend asking the following questions to find the Life Plan Community that’s right for you:

  1. Are you for-profit or not-for-profit, and what’s the financial strength of the retirement community?
  2. What’s included in the monthly fee?
  3. How do you help me to maintain my freedom and independence?
  4. What kind of emergency response systems do you have?
  5. How do you measure your residents’ satisfaction? Can I see your last two surveys?
  6. How may residents offer input and feedback?
  7. What is the difference between independent and assisted living, and when would I have to move to assisted living?
  8. Can you remain in independent living when your needs change, and how is aging in place supported?
  9. What are the five most popular programs in your community, and who decides what programs and events are scheduled?
  10. Can I review your residency agreement?

Make Time for Research

If you want to find the right retirement community, it will require some research, but this is all designed to work in your favor. Approach research from an angle that’s not overwhelming, but rather a fun journey to find a community that has all the amenities, services, residential options, etc. that you’re looking for in the right location. The perks matter, and that includes knowing you matter at a retirement community that values excellence, compassion, and quality care from staff, caregivers, and medical experts.

The prime place to start learning more about a community is online. Review their website in detail to get an idea of the lifestyle and care offered. The next step is to make sure to read through online reviews via Google, Yelp, social media, etc. because you may gain some insight that will help guide your decisions. And remember, you can always call the community to speak with someone who can answer any questions.

Schedule Your Tour

Once you narrow down a list of potential places you could see yourself enjoying retirement at, schedule a tour to experience it firsthand. Have a list of questions ready to help guide your visit. For assistance with the list of things you need to know, AARP has outlined some factors to consider on your visit: location, staff, housing, residents, meals, healthcare services, personal services, and social activities and recreation.

Learn More About Baptist Retirement Homes

Since 1951, Baptist Retirement Homes has garnered a reputation as being one of the most respected providers of residential and healthcare living options for older adults. We invite you to learn more about our four locations throughout North Carolina to find which would best serve your senior living needs — two Life Plan Communities offering the full continuum of care, one community offering assisted living and skilled nursing, and a free-standing assisted living community. Find a community near your preferred city and lifestyle needs, schedule a tour, and learn more about what makes us different from other retirement communities.