Retirement Communities Offer Something for Everyone
Offering everything from low-maintenance homes to luxury apartments, retirement communities in the Mid-Atlantic Region are as distinctive as their residents. Local retirees have a seemingly endless array of options to choose from when selecting their new home. However, before they can select the appropriate community, retirees and their loved ones should be sure to fully understand all the options.
Learning the basic terminology used in the retirement living industry will help consumers begin to consider and compare options. The chart after this article features a list of communities that offer a variety of retirement living options.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities
The wide range of retirement living options starts with Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs), which generally feature care options ranging from independent living to long-term nursing care on one campus. Residents can transfer to higher levels of care as needed and enjoy a wide array of amenities and activities.
CCRCs offer long-term contracts that guarantee lifelong shelter and access to specified health care services. Most CCRCs establish requirements for incoming residents based on age, financial assets, income level and physical health.
Residents are typically expected to move in while they are still independent to get to know the community. In return for guaranteed lifelong shelter, amenities and health care, residents usually pay a lumpsum entrance fee and regular monthly payments.
Independent Living Communities
For seniors who want to leave the burdens of home maintenance behind, Independent Living Communities may be the ideal option. In addition to property upkeep, these communities also generally offer 24-hour security and activities to keep residents engaged.
Independent Living Communities are similar to any apartment, condominium or single-family development, except that they provide special services including security and activities. These communities typically offer a full range of activities such as shopping trips, outings to cultural events and organized gatherings that promote socialization. Many communities also feature tennis courts, swimming pools, activity rooms and other amenities to keep residents active and engaged.
Assisted Living Communities
Individuals who need assistance with the activities of daily living—including eating, dressing, walking, transferring and toileting—may want to consider an Assisted Living Community. In addition to daily assistance, these communities also offer activity programs to fit the interests of almost any resident.
As opposed to Independent Living Communities, health care services are available at Assisted Living Communities. Residents of assisted living generally need some assistance with at least one of the activities of daily living. They may also need transportation assistance and help with housekeeping and laundry, all of which are typical offerings. Additional amenities can include private units, state-of-the-art facilities, beautifully decorated common areas, barber shops and beauty parlors, pharmacies, physical therapy services, recreation rooms, libraries, gardening areas, fitness centers, and many others.
Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers
Finally, whether for a short-term rehabilitation or a long-term medical stay, Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers are a vital senior living option. These centers are equipped to help residents heal and/ or maintain their best quality of life and often feature a full schedule of activities.
At a Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, care is administered by professionals under the direction of a physician. Many facilities also offer sub-acute, respite, rehabilitation and other short-term care. Rehabilitation services can be especially helpful for individuals who are recovering from surgery or an illness.
Choosing a Community
After selecting the type of community that best fits their wants, needs and budget, retirees should start calling individual communities to request additional information. Communities will also likely have detailed websites, as well as staff members who will be happy to answer questions about the property.
When researching potential communities, retirees should be sure to ask about admission and discharge criteria. Prospective residents should fully understand the entrance and monthly fees, as well as any additional fees that may be incurred. Finally, potential residents should ask about amenities, activities and resident involvement.
Once they have narrowed their search down to a few communities, potential residents should plan on-site visits with friends or relatives. Only by visiting a community in person can individuals get a true feel for the lifestyle residents enjoy.