There comes a point when it’s time for aging adults to start thinking about future plans concerning residential, lifestyle, and health options. Navigating the course of senior living for you or a loved one may seem a bit overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. With these easy-to-follow steps to help guide the right questions and actions, you’ll feel more at ease when looking at retirement communities to call home.

What is Senior Living?

Senior living has come a long way over the years, particularly in redefining the perception of it being solely identified as a skilled nursing facility. In fact, senior living should be understood as communities where residents flourish with a thriving, independent, active lifestyle with access to quality care available at any time.

Typically, independent living is an opportunity for residents 55 and older to enjoy residential communities with all the perks designed for a maintenance-free, come-as-you-go lifestyle. From stellar amenities and a robust calendar of activities to exquisite dining options and a variety of services, senior living is all about finding a place to call home where you can live your best life.

Is it a Life Plan Community?

One of the most important things to find out about potential places to retire is whether it’s a Life Plan Community. Formerly recognized as a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), a Life Plan Community (LPC) offers residents the benefit of an independent living apartment within a vital and socially active community along with the promise of care if and when those services are needed.

The tremendous benefit of an LPC is that it unites living and planning, allowing you to live your life to the fullest. LeadingAge led the recent initiative to change the name from CCRCs to LPCs, and 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?

Do Your Research

Selecting the right senior living community requires some research. You want to know that the utmost in quality care will be consistently provided by a compassionate team of medical experts and caregivers. To learn more about a community, start online and read through their website to see what kind of lifestyle and care are offered. Another avenue to learn more about a community is to read their online reviews via Yelp, Google, social media, etc. — some of the best insight is provided by those who have gone before you on this path.

Schedule a Tour

After completing your online research and compiling a list of possible communities, schedule a tour for each one, and have a list of questions ready to discuss that will help facilitate the parameters of what you’re looking for. Per AARP, these are some key factors to consider: location, staff, housing, residents, meals, health care services, personal services, and social activities and recreation.

Why BRH is the Right Choice

Baptist Retirement Homes is one of the most respected providers of residential and healthcare living options for older adults. Since 1951, our faith-based, not-for-profit organization has been committed to providing quality care and a meaningful way of life at each of our beautiful retirement communities.

We have four locations throughout North Carolina to 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 you, schedule a tour, and learn more about what makes us different from other retirement homes and long-term care facilities.