When you’re considering a move to a Life Plan Community in North Carolina, you may find making surface-level comparisons between communities difficult. Just like you may be surprised when you order a biscuit in England and receive a cookie, when you compare communities you’ll likely find that the same word can mean totally different things. For example, a “wellness center” in Community A may mean a few treadmills and ellipticals, in Community B it means an on-site nurse practitioner and pharmacy, and in Community C it means a pool and a yoga studio. While all of those are great services, they may or may not be what you’re looking for.
To help guide you as you compare Life Plan Communities in North Carolina, we’ve created a list of questions so you can be better prepared.
We encourage you to take what you want from this list and leave what doesn’t fit. It’s likely that some topics in the list that may not factor into your decision. For example, if you’re not a swimmer, you probably don’t need to ask in-depth questions about the aquatics center. If some communities you’re considering (like Trinity Landing) are still under development, you may slightly alter the questions to find out what’s being planned and what will be included.
So, what topics could you focus on to make sure you’re comparing ‘biscuits to biscuits’? Here are five areas you may want to dig a little deeper:
The community’s history
Naturally, you’ll talk with friends and family about any experience they have with local communities. You may also want to consider the organization’s history in the community.
- How did staff members respond to requests? Were they friendly and accommodating, or was the request a burden?
- Did they (or their family) have any issues?
- How long has the community been around?
- If it’s a new community, is the sponsor experienced?
- Is the Life Plan Community a not-for-profit or for-profit?
- Is it welcoming to all?
- What are the community’s guiding philosophies?
After your visit to a community or sales center, be sure to note the way you felt during the visit.
- How comfortable did you feel in the community or sales center?
- Were the staff members friendly? Not just the individual giving the tour, but other people you met as well.
- Did they seem glad to be at work?
- Were you greeted with a friendly smile or wave?
- Were Did you find bright, airy, and well-cared-for common areas?
- Did you meet other residents or depositors?
- Were they friendly and willing to chat?
- Could you see yourself enjoying a dinner with them?
(If you didn’t have the chance to meet residents or depositors during your visit, you can always schedule a time to come back and attend an event!)
Comparing the pricing and contract options may be the most in-depth aspect, as it is one of the most important. Keep in mind that what looks like a higher cost may actually be a better value if it’s more inclusive. We suggest clarifying:
- What specific services are included?
- Is housekeeping included weekly or biweekly?
- How often are deep cleans done?
- What types of contracts are offered?
- Are cable, internet, or phone included?
- Are healthcare costs included preemptively, or do you only pay for what you use?
- Are there any potential future costs?
- Is the pricing based on a one- or two-bedroom residence?
How does the community address all aspects of wellness – physical, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, social, environmental, and financial?
- Are there on-site trainers or group classes?
- Is there space for individual workouts or your favorite activities?
- What groups are on campus?
- How many residents are involved?
- If it’s a community that’s in development, are the depositors active and engaged?
- Can you start a new club if you’d like to?
- Is there a space (or transportation provided) to pray or worship in a way that’s meaningful to you?
- What healthcare is available?
- Is there a nurse practitioner or doctor on-site for wellness visits?
- What’s the reputation of the community’s higher levels of care?
This area may be hard to quantify, but, before you visit consider thinking about what you like to do in your free time, e.g., gardening, reading, kayaking, socializing. Whatever it is, how will moving to the community support those pastimes? Here are additional questions you may want to ask:
- Can your family visit and stay overnight?
- Is your pet welcome?
- Does the community have welcoming, clean, and well-cared-for amenities?
- Is there someone on staff to help organize and plan events and activities?
- What off-campus activities or trips are offered?
We know that choosing the right Life Plan Community in North Carolina can seem intimidating. Here at Trinity Landing, we’d love to meet you and discuss what you want for your future and how we can help you get there. To learn more about Trinity Landing, click here, or give our team a call at 910-769-9600. We can’t wait to hear from you!