Frequently Asked Questions About Retirement Living
What are the different types of retirement living options?
Each and every senior living facility is unique – even when a community is part of a larger group. There are continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) with multiple levels of care. There are freestanding independent apartment complexes, freestanding personal care and personal care complexes and freestanding skilled nursing facilities. Your current and future needs will determine the type of senior community that suits you best.
How do I know if I can afford retirement living?
This is a question we hear a lot. In most retirement communities, utilities, maintenance, some laundry, and some meals are included in the fee. Compare the monthly fee of a retirement community with the costs of staying in your current living situation. Remember to include the costs of utilities, taxes, insurance, maintenance, and yard work. The senior living community you are considering should have a staff member available to review financial information with you.
Do I need long-term care insurance to live in a retirement community?
No. Long-term care insurance is designed primarily to cover the costs of skilled nursing facilities, not independent retirement communities. Long-term care policies vary by policy; some will pay for custodial care while others only pay for skilled nursing care. You should check your policy or speak with your insurance company to know what is covered by your particular policy.
How will I know when it is time to move to a retirement community?
The level of care offered by a retirement community helps determine when it is appropriate to make a transition:
- Anytime you meet the minimum age requirement and want to scale down and eliminate chores like snow shoveling and mowing, you can consider a move to an independent duplex.
- Independent living cottages or apartments offer more services in a more sheltered environment, so usually retirees looking at this move are still independent but would benefit from meals, housekeeping and other homemaking services.
- Personal care provides the resident with some personal assistance as well as help with transportation, medications, bathing, etc.
- A skilled nursing facility requires a doctor’s order for admission and offers skilled nursing services to those who need physical and/or mental assistance.
What is a continuing care retirement community (CCRC)?
Simply put, it's a living complex developed specifically to meet the needs of older individuals. CCRCs offer different levels of senior living. Each level offers a different service package that helps meet the changing needs of the older individual. The resident can move through the various levels while staying on the same senior living campus.
What should I look for in a retirement community?
The retirement community should be clean and well-maintained, with curb appeal – that’s a given. But be sure to look beyond the obvious. Talk to the residents and ask questions. Do they like their home? How does staff interact with residents? Do staff members know residents by name? Are they friendly and caring? Next, check the activity calendar. Are there activities that entertain and stimulate? Most important, does the retirement community feel comfortable to you?
What are the benefits of living in a retirement community?
Statistics prove that people who live in retirement communities live longer than other older Americans. They participate in more social interaction and activities, receive better nutrition, and are freed from the stress of maintaining a home. All of these factors – along with the security provided by a retirement community – contribute to a greater sense of well-being and a healthier life.
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