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Independent Living

How to Evaluate Services & Amenities in Your Retirement Community Search

When it comes to the matter of where you want to spend your golden years, you may not know where to start. If your search has led you to explore the senior living communities in your area, you may be wondering what distinguishes one senior living community from another. We can help answer that for you — and even fill you in on what other questions you should be asking.

What is most important to you?

Before you start asking questions about senior living communities, start by asking yourself one: What is most important to you? Once you know what matters most to you, the easier it is to find a retirement community that checks all of your boxes.

  • Where do you want to live? This question is more about location, rather than the community. How have you envisioned spending your retirement years? Perhaps you’d like to be close to the beach, or maybe a residential neighborhood is where you’d feel most at home. Consider the setting and climate of your retirement community.
  • What type of care do you need? You may be able to live independently now, but what about further down the road? Continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) offer a continuum of care for when you need a greater level of care as you age. Make sure you’ll have access to the level of care you need, when you need it.
  • What activities and programs are important to you? Services and amenities are going to vary from one senior living community to the next. Many will be focused on health and wellness, whereas others may be more about recreation and social engagement. Figure out how you’d like to spend your days in retirement and that will make it easier for you to identify which services and amenities are most appealing to you.
  • What type of organization do you want to trust your future with? If the core mission of a particular community is important to you, do your due diligence and take a look at who is running their operations. There are many communities that are a for-profit business, and there are many that are operated by a not-for-profit entity. One is not inherently better than the other, but peeking behind the curtain can offer insights into their operations.

What do you need to know about services & amenities?

Once you have begun researching senior living communities, it is best to have three to five options for at least the sake of comparison. To help you better evaluate them and determine which is the best fit for you, here are questions to ask of each community.

Is there an entrance fee? If so, what is it and what does it cover?

Communities like The Waterford will often require an entrance fee. It is an upfront fee that will generally vary depending on the size of the community and the services and amenities offered. It may also cover community operating expenses and, in the case of a Life Care community, prepay the fees that ensure a resident has access to higher levels of care.

What is covered under the monthly fee?

The monthly fee typically covers every aspect of your community life, from the services and amenities to the maintenance and housekeeping. It can also be used to cover the cost of utilities, activities, events and more.

What levels of care are available in the community?

Your top priority in choosing a community should be ensuring you have the levels of care you need, both now and in the future. This is why CCRCs offer a variety of care services, including assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation. Some communities may offer all of them on-site, while others may only offer a few. Identify which levels of care you feel are most critical to your health and well-being and that will help you narrow your choices.

What are the dining options?

Everyone needs to eat. Dining options are a necessity, and you’ll want to know what those options are for each community you are considering. Having a variety of dining options is as important as having a menu of diverse meal choices. Be sure to ask if private dining rooms are also available, so you can dine alone with family and friends on occasion if you so choose.

What type of activities and programming are offered?

A senior living community should provide you with more than a place to live. They should also have things for you to do. You’ll want to ask what social, recreational and leisure opportunities are available to residents. There also may be community-sponsored trips and amenities around the greater community where you can roll up your sleeves and get busy. Fitness centers, art studios, woodworking shops and resident gardens are all common examples.

Is transportation available?

Not every community can provide absolutely everything you need. Every once in a while, you may want or need to venture out. Many communities will offer free transportation for residents, often for specific purposes, such as medical appointments or grocery shopping.

See what The Waterford is all about

As a not-for-profit community, The Waterford is dedicated to providing for our residents. Nestled in the heart of Juno Beach, we strive to create an authentic coastal retirement experience for the people who call our community home. That means ensuring our residents are able to live a maintenance-free lifestyle and even empowering them to make themselves at home with the freedom to remodel our apartments and villas to suit their specific wants and needs.

The amenities also reflect our desire to give each resident a vibrant senior living experience. One of the perks of living at The Waterford is membership privileges at the PGA National Resort and Spa, which grants residents access to golf, tennis, croquet, the fitness center and social functions. We also have on-site banking services, an on-site drugstore, and a number of other convenient amenities that provide for the everyday needs of our residents.

All that’s left to do is come see for yourself. The doors of The Waterford are open to you when you want to come take a tour, attend an event or chat with our residents. If we’re the right community for you, you’ll know for sure once you’ve seen our standard of living firsthand.

To schedule a visit, fill out the form below or call 561-627-3800.

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