Finding a Life Plan Community That’s Right for You

Finding a Life Plan Community That’s Right for You

April 19, 2017

Once you’ve made the decision to move into a life plan community, you may get excited about the next phase of your life, but don’t be in a rush to choose a new home, pack your bags, and move.

All life plan communities—once known as continuing care retirement communities—are not the same. They are each unique and may provide different amenities, programs, and services. Make sure you do some investigating.

Take the time to find a place that’s right for you—a place that will nurture your mind, body, and spirit, a place that you can really call home.

To help you with that important mission, we offer the following four tips on evaluating a life plan community:

Take a look in person. It’s a good idea to rely on printed pamphlets and the internet to help you narrow your options down to three or four choices in a life plan community. Then, make an appointment to visit your favorites in person with your family and loved ones so you can take a good look around. Notice everything. What is the environment like, for instance? Are the community areas bustling with activity, or is it quiet in the halls, and in the dining and living rooms? Do you see people engaged in activity or just passing the time? What is scheduled on the program calendar?

Get a sense of whether the residents are a good fit for you, socially. Ask your tour host in advance if you can meet with several residents so that you can talk with them on a personal level. Ask them about their backgrounds, their families, what they did for work, what activities they are enjoying in retirement. You want to make sure you find a life plan community with residents who share similar interests. Having healthy social relationships is a significantly higher predictor of longevity and is associated with reduced rates of depression and better cognitive health. Find a community that has ready made friends.

Learn what each community does to support dietary health and wellness. During your tour, ask if you can meet the dietician and learn what nutrition support is offered. Make sure you also ask to see the fitness center, the pool. Ask what classes are available and if one-on-one instruction with a trainer is offered, and ask if you can watch a class in progress. Visit the dining venues. Ask to see the menu for the past month or for the month ahead, and ensure that there are varied options that meet your dietary needs. Research is clear that older adults who are physically active and eat well have lower rates of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and some cancers, as well as higher levels of functional and cognitive health.

Find out what personal health and support services are available. During your tours, make sure you also ask what supports you will have access to in terms of one-on-one health care. If you need personal care, are there staff who can help with medication management and daily assistance? And when the time comes, can you obtain additional support when you need it?

We invite you to consider Glenmeadow as your next choice for a place to call home. Please contact us so that we can plan a tour, answer your questions and talk you through what the next phase of your life might be like here.

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