What to Look for in a Retirement Community

Senior man reading the BibleDo you have a loved one in need of skilled nursing or personal care services? Are you nearing retirement and looking for Christian retirement communities for yourself? Either way, it’s vital that you do your research to ensure you get the services and amenities you’ll need to enjoy the retirement years.

Today’s post offers some key questions to consider when choosing a retirement community, and particularly those with faith-based missions.

Who the Community Is for?

As you get familiar with your options for retirement living, you’ll discover how broad the range of choices is today. There are age-restricted communities, independent living facilities, Continuing Care Retirement Communities (aka CCRCs, like Calvary Homes) with or without a faith-based heritage, and many more. There is even a variety of in-home care services now available.

Start by asking yourself just who the community you’re considering is designed for and who their service offerings cater to. For those who seek an assisted living type living atmosphere, a personal care establishment is for seniors requiring a moderate level of care. In contrast, an independent living community is designed more for those who are healthy, active, and can live on their own. The best of both worlds can be found on CCRC campuses that offer a continuum of care.

To further understand who a particular community is aiming to serve, there are a variety of very specific questions that you can ask to be sure it is right for YOU and your unique needs and values. Additionally, our 9 Things You Need to Know checklist can help you quickly and easily discover the true character of a community.

What Services and Fellowship Opportunities Do They Offer?

If you’re looking for a Christian retirement community like ours, you’ll want to get insight into its pastoral staff/worship leaders and the types of regular services offered.

Look to activities listings to see if there are prayer groups, bible classes, fellowship gatherings, and other worship opportunities that appeal to you. Additionally, see if transportation to neighboring churches is offered that would allow you to continue your current church life activities. Some believe that moving to a retirement community campus means that they must form new church ties, but this isn’t necessarily the case. It’s important to find a Christian retirement community that supports your current spiritual life.

What Additional Activities Do They Offer?

Apart from its faith-based offerings, you’ll want to take a good look at the available fun activities, events, and campus amenities on offer when choosing a retirement community. These can range from niceties like beauty salons, game rooms, and treasure-filled thrift shops to necessities like medication management, transportation, and laundry services. The better the services and amenities, the more enjoyable your retirement community living experience will be.

What Levels of Care Do They Offer?

For seniors in need of assisted living like care services, retirement communities offering personal care may be a good option. Overall, these organizations offer a cost-effective, residential approach to delivering services associated with skilled nursing by employing trained healthcare professional staff.

However, it’s important to note that there is no nationwide definition for assisted living, even though all 50 states have regulations for assisted living facilities. As a result, the level of care provided by individual communities may differ. Some give only lighter duty care (such as supervision with tasks of daily living), while some offer a full spectrum of care options. Pennsylvania much more clearly defines the difference between the two to help you understand which is best for you. You’ll want to understand what levels of care you will receive before selecting your ideal retirement community.

Retirement community campus-based personal care offers an alternative to home care. When 24/7 care is required, it’s often more convenient to be on a centralized campus. Other considerations like isolation, accessibility, caregiver management, and quality of care should be compared when deciding whether home care or campus-based care is a better option.

Rehabilitation services are offered by many personal care communities. Seniors needing these services can receive the latest therapies designed specifically for them. Therapy types can include speech, occupational, and physical to assist community residents in becoming as independent as possible following a surgery or illness. Additionally, specialized memory support and dementia care are now available at many retirement communities.

Are Doctors Available on Campus?

Going along with the levels of care availability question, you’ll want to research the quality of care provided by doctors on campus. Doctors who see residents at personal care communities are typically not employed by the organization. They may maintain their private practice with their fees paid by Medicare. Having doctors available full-time can help prevent a crisis like an emergency room visit and hospitalization. Before choosing a retirement community, ask them how they staff their doctors and the level of care those doctors can provide.

If you’re in the process of choosing a retirement community, particularly a Christian retirement community, talk with us. Calvary Homes offers a great selection of services and amenities. Call 717-393-0711 or use our Contact Us form and we’ll be in touch.