You’ve decided that a senior living community is right for you. Now it’s time to pick your perfect destination. Here are 10 tips to help you make an informed decision about hassle-free and activity-filled senior living.
Climate. When choosing a senior living community, consider the year-long climate. In Wilmington, North Carolina, temperatures typically remain below 90 degrees during the summer months, and plenty of pleasant, milder weather prevails throughout the fall, winter and spring.
Close proximity. It’s Saturday night and you want to eat sushi and go to the theater later. In Wilmington, you can enjoy waterfront dining and attend a show at one of three historic theaters. In fact, Wilmington offers an endless list of attractions and activities, such as the Airlie Gardens, Battleship North Carolina, Cape Fear Museum of History and Science and other Civil War sites. If you still want to travel outside the area, Wilmington International Airport is located just north of the city.
Sense of community. One of the many positive aspects of a senior living community is camaraderie and a sense of belonging. Schedule a tour of your chosen community to get a sense of its social vibe. Do people greet you right away? Does the community have ambassadors to acclimate new residents or a Life Enrichment Director to help plan social events?
Flexibility. A main advantage of a senior living community is the offering of a continuum of care . Make sure the community meets your active, independent needs but also offers alternatives like assisted living, short-term rehabilitation or skilled nursing should you ever need it.
Dining. Not everyone’s a cook. Check to see if the community offers dining venues in addition to the option of cooking in your own residence. Make a point to ensure that the dining options at the community will not only provide fresh, nutritious meals, but also venues and menus for every taste.
Residences. Ask if the senior living community offers a variety of floor plans and when the homes were last updated. Remember, newer construction offers the latest features and customizable finishes. And don’t forget, choosing a Continuing Care Retirement Community (or CCRC) means you’ll enjoy hassle-free living without home maintenance, yard work or the worry of security while you’re away on travel.
Recreation and programs. Some people like easy access to the water, fishing, golf courses and hiking trails while others prefer to participate in painting classes, card tournaments and yoga. Find out if your senior living community is close to area hot spots and if it offers on-site programs, clubs, a fitness center and excursions to nearby attractions.
Security. Of course, it’s important to find a community that offers security services for daily life and “lock-and-leave” convenience for travel. It’s also important to be somewhere your future is secure, whether it be thanks to preserving your assets with a flexible contract option, or the guarantee of access to healthcare if you need it.
Budget. Look at your monthly budget and expenses, such as utilities, property taxes and maintenance, and determine how it all compares to the monthly fees of a retirement community. You may be surprised by how the costs of staying in your house add up!