What To Ask When Visiting A Retirement Community

December 12, 2014

Moving to a retirement community like ours at Doverwood Village can be an exciting time for some folks and stress-filled for others. As our families grow and change, downsizing to a smaller, more convenient home or center for independent living may make sense and can be a huge relief. But sometimes the need comes before the choice and you or loved ones you help care for may not be ready for this move. Assisted living and elderly care services may be on your list of needs.

Whatever your circumstance, finding the right retirement community can put you at ease and make all of the transitions worth it. But how do you get started? We’ve compiled a list of basic questions you can ask to get the details you need while comparing retirement communities. These answers along with your visits to the communities and your interactions with the people you meet there will guide you to the best space to meet your needs.

Who can help?

Call and ask for a tour of each community. While visiting, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you see residents and staff throughout the community as you tour?
  • Are the staff members friendly and helpful?
  • Is someone available to help residents 24 hours a day?
  • Are the staff members available to help family members and visitors as well?

What levels of care are available?

During your visit, ask what levels of care are available within the community. Even if you or your loved one does not need additional care now, you may in the future.

  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Assisted Living
  • Alzheimer’s/Dementia Care
  • Skilled Nursing
  • Continuing Care (CCRC)
  • Respite

What types of activities and recreation are available?

Don’t forget to ask about activities and recreation that might be available. If this is going to be your new home, you want it to be entertaining and enjoyable, too!

  • Do you have an activity program and activities director?
  • Can my family participate in the activities with me?
  • Are there common areas with TVs and computers?
  • Are there beauty/barber shops on site?
  • Are restaurants or other gathering spaces available outside of my room?

How much does it cost?

Understanding the costs for each retirement community will help you make a useful comparison. Remember to ask the questions:

  • Is there an entrance or application fee? If so, what is the fee?
  • Are fees charged monthly or weekly? Or is there another billing schedule?
  • What services are included in the regular fee?
  • Are there additional costs that a resident might incur? If so, what are they?
  • Is there a volunteer program available in the community?

What payment methods are accepted?

Once you know the fees required, the next step is to confirm how you can pay. Ask the facility coordinator or your representative about each of the following options.

  • Private Pay
  • Private Insurance
  • Long Term Care Insurance
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid.

These questions are just a start, but they will help guide you and your loved ones to an educated decision about the retirement community that best meets your needs. For more advice on the process, call the dedicated team at Doverwood Village at 513-777-1400.


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