June 6, 2024

6 Tips for Choosing the Best Retirement Community for Older Adults

As an older adult, moving into a retirement community is typically a significant decision. These communities provide security, social opportunities, and desirable amenities. However, not all retirement communities will be a suitable fit for every person. Careful planning is needed to ensure your move takes you to a place where you will be happy with your new home life. Here are six essential tips for selecting the best retirement community.

1. Identify Your Priorities

Before you start your search, it’s essential to understand what you are looking for in a retirement community. Make a list of your must-haves and nice-to-haves. Consider factors such as:

  • Location: Do you prefer to be close to family, in a warmer climate, or a bustling urban area?
  • Amenities: What facilities are important to you? Standard amenities include fitness centers, pools, dining options, and transportation services.
  • Healthcare: Proximity to quality healthcare facilities and availability of on-site medical care are crucial considerations.
  • Lifestyle: Think about the kind of lifestyle you want. Some communities offer a range of social activities and clubs, while others may focus on tranquility and privacy.

2. Research Online and Visit

Search online for retirement community information. Many communities have detailed websites with photos, videos, and lists of amenities. Visit your shortlisted options to get a sense of the environment.

Consider the cleanliness, safety precautions, and overall atmosphere during your visit. Speak with current residents and staff for their perspectives on daily life in the community. A personal visit can reveal much about the community’s culture and whether it feels like a good fit for you.

3. Evaluate the Costs and Financial Options

Understanding the financial aspect of a retirement community is essential. The level of care and amenities can affect costs. Here are some financial considerations:

  • Entrance Fees and Monthly Costs: Many communities require an initial entrance fee and monthly maintenance charges. Ensure you understand what these fees cover.
  • Additional Costs: Inquire about extra housekeeping, meals, and transportation costs.
  • Financial Assistance: Check if the community offers financial assistance programs or accepts long-term care insurance.

4. Check the Community’s Reputation and Reviews

Look for reviews and ratings of the retirement communities you are considering. Websites like A Place for Mom,, and Google Reviews can provide valuable insights. Additionally, check if the community has any accreditations or awards from senior living organizations. Talking to residents and their families can also give you a more personal understanding of the community’s reputation. 

5. Consider the Levels of Care Available

As your needs may change over time, choosing a community offering a range of care options is essential. This can include:

  • Independent Living: For those who can live independently but want the convenience of community services and amenities.
  • Assisted Living: For those needing help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and medication management.
  • Memory Care: Specialized memory care for people with Alzheimer’s dementia.
  • Skilled Nursing: Comprehensive medical care for those with serious health conditions.

Choosing a community offering multiple levels of care ensures that you can transition smoothly as your needs evolve without having to relocate.

6. Trust Your Instincts

Finally, trust your instincts. After researching and visiting communities, choose one that feels right. Consider your comfort, the staff’s friendliness, and the general atmosphere.

Choosing a happy, secure, and homey community for retirement is crucial to a fulfilling life.

Get Moving Help 

Make moving arrangements after choosing a location. Our goal is to make your retirement community move easy. Contact us for a free moving quote. 


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