10 Key Questions to Ask When Touring a Retirement Community
If you are feeling both excited and overwhelmed by the number of sophisticated senior living options available, you’re not alone. Over one fifth of the U.S. population will be 65 years of age or older by 2050, and this demographic shift has led to an increasing number of senior communities.
The key to choosing a community that suits your lifestyle is to ask a few essential questions at the beginning of your search. At Village on the Green, we look forward to answering questions from prospective residents like you, especially when they are touring our community. Keep this list of questions with you during your search, and refer to them often.
1. What aspects of community living appeal most to you?
It’s easy to get caught up in the vast number of amenities and upscale settings offered by senior communities today. That’s why it’s important to take a deep breath and ask yourself which of those features is actually important to you. For instance, to many older adults, the location and region of a community may be more important than the presence of a pool. Write down your “must-have” community features and use that to begin your initial evaluation.
2. What is the overall feel and character of the community?
When you are touring a retirement community, take note of your initial impressions. Ask yourself if residents and team members enjoy one another’s company. Are their interactions positive? Is the community itself well-maintained? Also consider the unique feel of the community itself. Does it seem active and energetic or cozy and relaxed?
3. Do you know the complete list of services and amenities available?
While some communities list amenities and services on their website, others may not. Also, available services and amenities can change often, so it’s important to understand exactly what is included when you join a community. Request a detailed list of current services and amenities and a current event calendar. The event calendar is especially helpful for giving you a sense of the types of activities offered each week.
4. How transparent is the community about sharing financial contracts and fee information?
Each community you approach should be open and transparent about financial concerns. Any entrance fees or deposits necessary should be explained in full. The people you speak with should also be pleased to answer any questions you have about this. If they come across as standoffish or reticent, this should be a red flag. Monthly fees should also be clearly communicated. Are there expected yearly fee increases? What do these fees actually include?
5. Are the accommodations to your taste and preference?
There are a wide variety of accommodation types and floor plans available to choose from at retirement communities. Seek out a community that fits your lifestyle preferences. What’s your ideal living environment? What is the community’s policy on renovations or finishes? Also inquire about whether or not there is a waitlist, and ensure that the floor plan or accommodation type you prefer is going to be available when you need it.
6. What safety features has the community put in place?
For many older adults and their loved ones, a key benefit to living in a retirement community is the presence of enhanced safety features. Ask about the community’s safety features, such as emergency call buttons and the presence or absence of trained staff on-site.
7. What are the on-site dining venues like?
Many residents of retirement communities enjoy most of their meals on-site. That’s why it’s important to evaluate the community’s dining options as part of your search. At Village on the Green, we offer residents the opportunity to indulge in chef-prepared meals at beautiful indoor venues. Feel free to request a sample menu, and make time to enjoy a meal or two at the most popular dining venue as part of your evaluation. If you have specific dietary requirements, you should also ensure that these can be met.
8. Does the community have a pet policy?
Every community will have a pet policy, so if you intend to bring a pet with you or acquire one after you move, ask about the details of this policy. Often, communities have specific pet, breed and weight restrictions.
9. What do current residents say?
The best way to get to know a community is to speak with someone who actually lives there. When speaking with a community liaison, ask if they can set up a coffee chat between you and a current resident. Be sure to bring a few icebreaker questions as well as any questions that occurred to you during the tour that you feel they can answer.
10. Does the community offer access to the level of care you may need in the future?
While we all want to live a healthy and active life for as long as possible, our care needs are bound to change. That’s why it’s essential that you ask about whether or not the community has additional levels of care or assistance available on-site. This can give both you and your loved one peace of mind knowing that even if your health changes, you can stay in the community you will no doubt come to love.
Schedule a Tour at Village on the Green
Village on the Green is a retirement community in Orlando, Florida that caters to sophisticated and vibrant seniors embarking on the next chapter of their lives. With a maintenance-free lifestyle and the confidence of Life Care, residents can turn their attention to more important matters — including their passions, friends and family.
So dream a little bigger and look forward to your own next chapter. See for yourself what living at Village on the Green is really like. Learn more and schedule a tour here.