What To Look For In A Retirement Community


Visit Retirement Communities On Your List And Talk To Those Who Live And Work There

What to Look for When Choosing a Retirement Community

Be sure to visit any retirement home you are considering, possibly more than once and at different times. Talk to the staff, administrator, residents and family members. You will want to be prepared to discuss which service option would meet your needs. A senior independent living apartment or an assisted living/personal care home? Is memory support services or restorative services an option?

If youre choosing a retirement community in Pennsylvania or Maryland, we hope that you will check out one or more of our senior communities. Country Meadows has 10 retirement communities in Pennsylvaniain Lancaster, Hershey, Mechanicsburg, Pittsburgh, Wyomissing, York-South, York-West, Allentown, Bethlehem and Eastonas well as a Frederick, Maryland retirement home.

Please contact us for information or to schedule a tour so that we can introduce you to our full range of services.

What Do Seniors Want In A Retirement Community

When Laurel Circle was founded, we thought hard about the question, What do seniors want in a retirement community? We landed on convenience and personal fulfillment. When youre comparing your options and considering what to look for in a senior living community, paint this picture for yourself:

You wake up to another promising day at Laurel Circle senior living community. Your quaint one-bedroom apartment suits you perfectly its decorated with your most treasured memorabilia, so each day youre surrounded by photos of the beautiful children and grandchildren you worked hard to put through school and see through to success, along with keepsakes signifying your accomplishments throughout the years.

You have breakfast on the patio while your spouse catches up on the news in the den. You both attend a group fitness class youve got scheduled at 10 a.m. Family will come to visit in the afternoon, and youve got a Happy Hour to attend at 5 p.m., followed by dinner in the formal dining room. During the in-between hours, youve got all the time in the world to do whatever you please. The home maintenance is already taken care of, so no need to worry about that. Bills are paid. Everything is at your fingertips. You open your Touchtown app and choose from a plethora of activities a class to improve balance, a cooking demo in the bistro, duplicate bridge with your fellow residents. You pick up that book youve been reading, or maybe continue to learn a new language.

Continuing Care Retirement Community

This option will try to manage to interfere with your independence as little as possible as you age and may be the ideal option for someone whose health is already beginning to decline. Even if you are fully independent now, you may know in a few months, or a year from now, you will require more help than you do now.

That is what makes a continuing care retirement community one of the best options for some seniors since they will not need to move if their health begins to decline. The community acts like an independent home, an assisted living, and a nursing home all rolled into one. This allows for your health concerns to be dealt with without having to move in the process.

Sometimes it may require being moved to a different part of the facility these moves are usually handled mostly by the staff to help relieve as much stress on the resident as possible. This is due to the fact that different staff may attend to the needs of different residents. Someone who needs assistance with housekeeping is different than someone who needs help showering.

Sometimes in a CCRC, there may be a locked area of the facility for residents that suffer from some degree of dementia. This allows them to help keep everyone safe while still allowing for maximum independence of their residents. Read more about CCRC here.

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Prince George British Columbia

While the city is very accessible and easy to navigate, there is a redneck vibe. Locals grew up riding quads and sleds and consider hunting and fishing to be their rights. Still, Prince George is a university town with a vibrant arts scene, and residents tend to be a bit insular, but not nearly as prejudiced as most red necks.

What Are The Different Types Of Retirement Communities

What to Look For In A Retirement Community

There are a number of different types of retirement communities, and not all of them include a golf course or daily walks. Knowing what type of senior living you want or need is important while making the choice on where you plan to live.

Going in order from the least care provided to the most, there are four basic categories of retirement communities available:

  • Independent Living
  • CCRC
  • Nursing Home

The major differences between the different communities mainly has to do with how much assistance you may need. From general housekeeping help to daily medical treatments and assistance performing your ADLs or Activities of Daily Living.

One big thing you may find when dealing with the staff in any of these retirement communities is that compassion seems to be a prerequisite of their employment there. From personal experience, I know that you cant work in a retirement community without getting familiar with the residents and learning their histories.

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Check Resale Values In The Retirement Community

Most seniors who are opting for 55 and older housing are probably not thinking about selling anytime soon. This, however, is a weak reason not to check on the local re-sale value of this type of housing.

There have been periods of time where this kind of housing flooded the market, causing market values to drop. Make sure you speak to a top local real estate professional who can guide you on the projected resale value.

Is purchasing an over 55 property a good idea in the location you are thinking about? Doing your homework is wise.

Asking The Right Questions

With terms like independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing being tossed around, it can be difficult to even know what questions to ask about continuing care retirement communities. Here are a few questions to ask every senior living community you tour:

  • How does the meal plan work?
  • Hows the food? Whats the chefs culinary experience like?
  • What contract options are offered?
  • Do you have an on-site fitness trainer? What are the different group fitness classes offered?
  • Are there plenty of healthy dining options easily available? Is there an on-site nutritionist?
  • What social activities do you have going on? Do you get a good turnout among the residents?
  • Wheres the closest grocery store, shopping center, hospital, pharmacy? Will I need to use those services, or will I have everything I need on campus?
  • Is my pet allowed?
  • Is there maid service? How often? Will all my maintenance needs be taken care of?

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Quality Measures For Selecting A Senior Living Community

Personal care

  • Are daily personal care services provided for residents who need assistance?
  • How are medications managed for residents of the senior community?

Resident-staff interaction

  • Do co-workers address residents by name and respond positively to them?
  • Do residents and staff appear to be happy and to enjoy their interaction?


  • Do residents have adequate access to privacy?
  • Are the surroundingsboth indoor and outsidepleasant, clean and well maintained?

Quality of programs

  • Are there plenty of retirement community activities for socialization, both on campus and off?
  • Does the dining program offer variety, choices, fresh produce and foods for special diets?
  • Does the retirement community provide daily fitness activities with qualified instructors?
  • Are therapy services available on site?

Quality of staff

  • What training have the communitys co-workers received?
  • Are licensed nurses on staff 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays?
  • Is the staff organized and positive? How do they seem to interact with each other?
  • Do staffing levels change on weekends and holidays?

Learn About What Life Is Like In The Neighborhood

What you should look for in a retirement community for yourself or a loved one

Another important tip for buying into a 55 and over community is finding out the programs offered. Many retirement communities offer social activities for residents.

One of the main benefits of living in such a community is that there is always something to do, often with other residents. Some communities have a focus, like golfing, while others are more varied in what is available. You should review the calendar of community activities to see if there are events you want to participate in.

If you are not excited about what is offered, you may find another community better suited to your lifestyle. Some people know without a doubt they want amenities like a gym, swimming pool or tennis courts.

Having fitness centers is often a must for many residents looking in retirement communities. If physical activity is difficult it could be a deal breaker for many people.

Other folks may want to look for daily activities, whether it is a knitting or painting class or even something as simple as Bingo or other such games. There are many senior living options. You just need to know which ones are must-haves for you.

These are things to think about before buying into an over 55 retirement community.

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What Climate Do You Want For A Retirement Community

Sometimes its not about the location but the local climate to the communities you are looking into. Whether it is for health reasons or just your own personal preferences in the weather, climate could play a large role in where you look and ultimately decide to move.

If you are just tired of being cooped up during the winter and would like to be active outdoors year-round, then looking for a retirement community in the south may be more to your liking.

Although some people prefer to have a white Christmas and enjoy the snow in the winters, in which case then maybe looking into a place that is more northern would be more to your liking.

While for some, the local climate in the area may not play a huge role in which retirement community they decide on, for others, it may be about climate more than other things. It is something that should always be taken into consideration, however, since your local climate can have an effect on your mood and your health.

Sometimes climate isnt even about mood but health and how the climate effects that. If you have breathing issues, then Florida may not be the best option. If you have poor circulation, like from diabetes, then maybe a colder climate might not be best. Knowing what type of climate is best for your particular health issues can help you find the best retirement community for you.

Working Tips On How To Find The Best Senior Living Facilities Near You

As we get older, many of us will get to a point where we cant safely handle all our daily tasks without senior care. When this time comes, the best move is to start considering different senior living facilities to find a new place to call home.This is not an easy decision, as there arent many people who want to leave their homes and its quite a commitment to make the move.

The happiness of you or your loved one is very important. Most seniors are at least a little resistant to leaving home to move to a senior assisted-living facility, skilled nursing facility or nursing home at first. But if you spend some time finding the best fit, this transition will be less stressful, and your long-term happiness is much more likely.

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What Is A 55 And Older Retirement Community

Are you looking for a retirement community?

A retirement community is a neighborhood built for adults who are at least 55 years of age. However, the age limit is not always set in stone and can be as young as 50 and as old as 60 for a starting point.

A senior living community has become a popular living arrangement for many in the latter years of their life.

Most seniors living in retirement communities are, in fact, retired from their nine to five jobs. Retirement communities can be single-family homes, townhouses, condos, or even apartment living.

Sometimes these neighborhoods can be gated for additional security.

Retirement communities are an attractive option for older home buyers and a good reason.

These communities offer a broad range of choices , all of which are designed to make retirement more attractive, healthier, and more enjoyable than it would be if you were to buy and live in the average neighborhood.

Quite often, 55 and older housing offers amenities that other places might not have, much like living in a hotel. For example, you might find a senior living community right on a golf course.

If you are considering buying a home or a condo in a retirement community, there are some things you should know before you get started.

Understanding what to know about retirement communities can be a crucial task before deciding its right for you. You dont want to blow where you live during your retirement years.

Life In An Independent Living Community

What to Look for in Senior Living Communities

Senior living communities come in all shapes and sizes and also vary in which services are offered. An independent living community a term perhaps most closely associated with peoples concept of a retirement community is where seniors live on their own, just as if they were in their own homes. Some amenities and services, such as a full-service community dining room, might make their lives easier, but for the most part, independent living is indistinguishable from what active seniors might have been experiencing before they moved.

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Get A Medical Assessment

This confirms with the community that you have the right level of care assigned and avoids after move-in revisions. Swayne advises that a qualified nurse at the assisted living community should do this so that the medical and cognitive assessment becomes part of the record before the move-in. This will be in addition to your private medical records and assessments. In addition, confirm the communitys procedures in the event of a medical emergency, which hospitals are used for admission, and disaster preparedness. This is also time to talk about your advanced directives and care priorities.

Feb 7 Things To Consider When Choosing A Retirement Community

Choosing a retirement community can be a difficult decision. Not only is it a big change from what you or your parents might be used to, it is also a commitment. For those who might not be as keen, it can be especially challenging. To help you make your transition as seamless as possible, we have compiled a list of the most important things to consider when choosing your retirement living community.

The Community

This question goes for the retirement community itself and also the surrounding area. Being familiar with the area might make the transition to assisted living easier. Look for a community that is aligned with your values, that makes you feel at home, and that has lots to offer. For example, Le Pavillon, a Peachtree Senior Living retirement community 30 minutes from Ottawa, is nestled in the charming small town of Embrun backing on to the beautiful and picturesque Castor River. This location offers residents the country charm that makes you feel right at home, surrounded by mature trees and historic homes.

Review Offered Activities

Finding a retirement community that cares about your physical and mental health is paramount. Look for a community that provides a holistic approach to healthcare programs that involve ongoing assessments and extensive family communication. We always recommend looking for a residence that provides personalized care, tailored to you or your love one, as this can help with the transition and changing needs over time.

Take A Tour!

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Additional Senior Living Resources

The following guides can help you better understand todays senior living options to demystify the process. See below for more information on the types of senior living, paying for senior living, and more.

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More People Are Interested In Retirement Communities

Lakeland retirement community looking for pen pals

The Covid pandemic has highlighted choices older generations are now making about independent senior living. According to Google, weekly searches for retirement villages have doubled in England over the past 5 years.

Covid has concentrated peoples minds a little more and led them to reassess and to find the best possible quality of life and enjoy retirement to the full.

This video from the Centre for Ageing Better shows how different lockdown experiences have affected people from their 50s upwards.

The latest studies reveal that the pandemic has made older people more certain about what they want for their future. Age UKs report shows that loneliness, isolation and a lack of social activity have influenced peoples future choices.

Phrases like no companylocked indoors and all social activities and holidays ceased suddenly lay bare the hardship for the elderly throughout this difficult time.

Many seniors are expressing the fact that they want to live an independent life with easy social choices on their doorstep, matched with the option of support if they need it.

Property weeks study into life choices that people are now considering reveals a slant towards making the most of investment opportunities to take care of family, with the added focus on the design of retirement homes and villages. People are looking for a more modern take on living open plan living, communal areas, social activities so that they make the most of whats on offer.

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