Thursday, August 7, 2014
Before moving into an independent living senior community, there are obvious questions to ponder. At first, many people can struggle with the decision to move into a senior community. Yet once they make the choice, they build relationships, settle in, and are extremely reluctant to move. It is important to look at the larger picture and not only pick a place that works for you today, but try to imagine what it will be like as you age. Consider these issues as you look for a new home:
- Rent or “buy”? Rentals have advantages. You may not need to sell your home to come up with a down payment, it is easy to leave if you are unhappy, and you do not need to worry about maintenance. Keep in mind that rent prices are subject to increases. In continuing care communities, financial structures vary, but you will usually pay a costly entry fee in addition to a monthly fee. You can also purchased a downsized home or condo, either in a senior community or in a multi-generational building or neighborhood.
- Cost. Try to compare amenities as well as apartment size. Expect your costs to rise over the years.
- Neighbors. In many facilities, you spend a lot of time with your neighbors. You will share meals and attend events with small groups of people. Before moving in, learn about the culture of your new community and think what is most important to you.
- Location. Do you want your home close to family and friends, in the suburbs, close to neighbors? These are all things to consider before moving to a new home.
- Meals. Many independent living facilities offer on-site dining rooms. Good food matters—is it healthy, tasty, and is there a variety?
See Howard Gleckman, Six Questions to Ask Before you Move into a Senior Living Community, Forbes, Aug. 6, 2014.