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8 Important Tips for Choosing a Retirement Home

Tips on Choosing Independent LivingAre you looking for a retirement home? You can make your decision easier by breaking down the process into smaller steps. Here are some tips that will make finding a retirement home easier for you:

Get Your Family on the Same Page

Regardless if you are a senior looking for yourself, or you are looking on behalf of your elderly loved one, when you work with a similar goal, you will be more decisive and effective.  Conflict between family members ultimately creates inefficiencies when choosing the best retirement home.  Remember, the goal is choosing the best care for yourself or a loved one.  Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to start your search on the same page with other family members who may be helping you.

Create a Must-Have List

If possible, you should discuss the option of moving into a retirement home long before it is necessary. This way, you do not have to wait until something bad happens to start looking into retirement homes. Before you start looking at the best places to retire in 2019, consider the following factors:

  • Care – what type of care do you need now or will you need in the future?
  • Place – how far are you willing to move and where would you rather live?
  • Cost – what can you afford to pay for a retirement home?

With these factors in mind, your choice will be a much easier one. Make sure that you get the perfect balance of these three factors.

Create a Wish List

Now that you have done the necessary research, you should think about things that can improve your life. What have you always wanted to do something but never got the chance? For instance, if you want to live closer to your children, you can choose a retirement home closer to where they live.  Is golf a priority, then choose a location with exceptional courses?  How about living by the ocean or mountains?  The point is that you should create a wish list of things you want to do in retirement and choose a retirement home that fulfills those desires.

Consider Your Future Health Needs

Most retirement communities offer services and amenities such as fitness classes and recreational activities.  However, unless you are living in a continuum of care community, there is a good chance your retirement home does not offer medical care. 

If you run into a situation where you need ongoing daily care, there is a change you will have to either relocate or acquire home health services.  To avoid this, consider a retirement community that offers assisted living and/or skilled medical care, in the event you might need it in the future. Some retirement communities also include home health care and memory care among their services.

Ask about Recreational Activities

It is important to find out the types of educational, social, and cultural activities that a retirement home offers.  Is transportation available or do you have to use public transport? Does the home have a staff member who plans trips and entertainment outings?  Is there a gym or fitness room?  How about a pool or golf course?   These are all important questions to ask before choosing a retirement home for you.

Get Detailed Fee Information

Find out what the different fees include. Are the fees subject to random increases and in what conditions? You need to dig deeper to figure out what the fee increase over the past five years has been like. You should also consider the financial pros and cons of the contract options that a retirement home offers.

Check the Home’s Background and Reviews

Who manages and owns the retirement home? You should find the record of accomplishment of the establishment. Does the facility meet the high standards of services and operations? You do not want to move into a retirement home only to find out that it is tied up in scandals.   Check online reviews and be sure to ask the community for references from current and past residents.

Meet the Residents

To get an accurate picture of what the retirement home is like, you need a firsthand account from the residents. You also need to tour the community in person to assess it for yourself. Is it clean and well maintained?  Do the residents seem happy?  Do the employees seem happy?  Touring a community and seeing life at the retirement (first hand) will give you a better idea if you want to spend the next chapter of your life there.


Choosing a retirement home is a long process, so you should not take it lightly. To avoid making rash decisions, you should start looking for a retirement home long before you need it.  We hope the steps above give you guidance and clarity on important items you should be looking for when choosing a retirement home for yourself or your loved one.


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