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How to Choose a Retirement Community

Life Care Planning

There are many options to consider when choosing a retirement community for yourself or someone you love. The first thing to do is to do some research to find what will work best for your situation. Senior living communities or retirement communities offer different levels of care and making sure you find the right place is essential.

Asking questions when visiting a senior living community will help in making the decision as each center will have varying levels of care. Different centers offer different levels of care:

  • Skilled nursing for seniors who require the care of a nurse 24 hours a day.
  • Assisted living for those who need some help with activities such as bathing, or taking medication.
  • Independent living is an option to help those who do not require any hands on care.

Knowing the level of care needed and asking the right questions when visiting retirement communities will also lead to choosing the community best suited to the senior’s needs. For example, someone experiencing the early stages of dementia may initially need just assisted living but over time, may require more care such as skilled nursing or a facility focused on cognitive impairement. Finding a place that will adapt to the changing needs of someone in this situation will lead to a better transition.

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Assisted living facilities are the more popular retirement communities. The National Center for Assisted Living publishes a resource, The Overview which provides information related to assisted living. This publication shows that the average age for assisted living is 87, and in most cases, the individuals in the retirement community need assistance with daily activities. The Overview also reports that approximate 74% of residents are women. These facts and others can provide much-needed information in the decision making process.

Other questions to ask when choosing retirement communities are whether or not pets are allowed and if someone may come and stay for extended periods. An older person who has a pet will likely want to keep the pet and to know in advance if this is allowable will help in saving time and avoiding frustration. Asking about the option to grow a garden or having family members come and stay may also be beneficial in selecting a living community.

Safety is another concern, and some living communities are better than others. Researching to find the best place could include looking online at the Medicare site to check on safety reports or additional information. It is also possible to get further information on a retirement community by contacting the local office on aging. While these offices don’t have an organized list of the safety information for each retirement community, these agencies can help in providing additional guidance about a facility.

Choosing the right retirement community begins with research to find the appropriate level of care and exploring options to help find a community which reflects what a senior values the most.

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At Bratton Law Group, we want to make sure our clients receive the best care necessary is the most comfortable, most appropriate living situation. Our life care planning team is here to help you every step of the way. Starting with our elder care coordinators, we provide support and guidance when researching and selecting a facility. Then our attorneys help coordinate resources to pay for long-term care. With each client, we use our knowledge, experience, and resources in the community to guide you through the decision-making process.

Contact us today for a consultation with our compassionate life care planning team.

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