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5 Questions to Ask When You’re Selecting a Senior Living Community

Making the move to a senior living community is a major decision that deserves careful thought and planning. It’s especially important to consider where and how you want to spend your retirement years.

Begin your research by asking—and answering—these five questions about senior living communities:

1) Where is the community located?

Deciding where you’d like to live is one of the first decisions you should make. Determine whether you want to live in your home town or a new locale, or in a warm or cool climate, and build your wish list from there.

Other considerations:

Is the location convenient for traveling?

Where are the nearest grocery stores, churches and hospitals?

Do I want to live close to family?

2) What is the general atmosphere?

When you’ve selected a few communities that you like, schedule visits. An in-person evaluation will further help you decide if a community is the right fit or you.

Other considerations:

Do I like the residences?

Do I like the common areas?

Would I prefer a large, expansive campus—or a smaller, intimate one?

Can I picture myself living here?

3) What type of contract is offered?

Depending on the type of communities you’re visiting, you may be reviewing several types of contracts. Some will offer rental options while others may require you to buy into the community. Research rent vs. own contract options and see what’s included in each to find one that suits your needs.

Other considerations:Two smiling people, active senior couple, enjoying modern technology using laptop computer with wireless internet at home

What are the terms of the contract?

How much will I pay for services?

What access will I have to services throughout the contract duration?

4) How much does senior living cost?

Most life plan communities have a one-time entrance fee or deposit along with a continuous monthly fee. The advantage to these communities is that you are guaranteed senior care for the rest of your life. Rental communities may offer month-to-month contracts. The services offered in a rental community may be very comprehensive or somewhat limited, but you retain financial flexibility under the rental agreement.

Other considerations:

What are the ongoing costs?

What services and amenities are included? What are extra?

If there is an entrance fee, is it refundable?

5) Is the community accredited?

Senior living communities accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities meet strict standards for operational and financial health—in addition to having top-notch resident care.

The senior living experts at Life Care Services have more than 40 years’ experience helping seniors find a community to call home.

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