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Independent Living

12 Essential Questions to Ask When Touring a Retirement Community

Our population is getting older, and with more people entering retirement, more living and care options for seniors are being made available to meet demand. According to a Gallup survey, the current mean retirement age for retirees is 62 years of age. It’s estimated that more than a fifth of the U.S. population will be 65 or older by 2050. 

As a result, retirees have no shortage of choices when it comes to how they want to spend their retirement years, though the abundance of options can make it difficult to decide which is right for you.

If you are looking for a retirement community to call home, the best way to find the right fit is to explore your options in person. Take a tour of a community you’re considering, like Newcastle Place, and get a feel for what living there is like. Also, come to the tour prepared with questions that can help you narrow your choices. Reference this list of questions as you determine what you want from your ideal community.

To get you started, consider asking these questions. 

1. What matters most to you in a retirement community? 

It’s often difficult to know exactly what you want in a retirement community until you’ve seen one for yourself, but you can at least identify your “must-haves.” For example, a community may have an on-site fitness center, but if exercise is not an essential aspect of your lifestyle, a fitness center should not be high on your list. Consider the location of the community, too. How close would you like to be to your friends and family? What is the community’s proximity to restaurants, shops and performing arts venues?

2. How do you feel when you walk into the community?

Wherever you decide to spend your retirement should feel like home. Your comfort is of the utmost importance. If you walk into a retirement community and it doesn’t feel right, that’s a red flag. You should give any community you visit a fair chance to make an impression, but take note of the vibe and energy of the community. Is the community too quiet? Too busy? Are the residents warm and friendly?

3. What services and amenities are included in the monthly fee? 

The cost of a community’s services and amenities are typically included in your monthly fees, so you should know precisely what you’re paying for. Also, living in a retirement community is about more than finding a living space. It’s about finding a place conducive to the lifestyle you want to live. A community’s services and amenities should support your desired way of life.

4. What kind of team members support the community?

Retirement communities are designed to provide for your wants and needs, so you should be able to trust that you’re in good hands. While on a tour, ask about the team members who provide for the residents. The more you know about them, the more comfortable you’ll feel. It’s also worth asking about any special training or certifications they may have.

5. Is the community fully transparent about their costs and fees?   

Ensure any community you are considering is transparent about their entrance fee and monthly fees. The last thing you need is unexpected bills or surprise fees. Also inquire about contract terms and types. 

6. What are the accommodations like?

From one-bedroom apartments to carriage homes, retirement communities offer a variety of different floor plans. Ask whether the available living spaces come fully furnished or if you’ll be able to customize them to suit your style. If you plan to bring your own furniture, find a floor plan that provides the space you need. Make a point to ask about the community’s policy on decor, such as paint colors and flooring styles if you intend to renovate. 

7. What are the community’s specific safety policies and features?

Safety is one of the most important elements of community living. Everyone should feel safe in the comfort of their home and among their neighbors. During your tour, be sure to ask what safety and security measures are in place. It’s also worth asking what the procedures are when a resident suffers a health emergency. Who would be the first to respond? Who should be contacted, and how? 

8. How many dining venues are there and what do they offer? 

Do not underestimate the value of a good meal. Many communities like Newcastle Place offer multiple dining venues, each with their own unique atmosphere and delectable menu of chef-prepared meals. If you have specific dietary requirements or restrictions, be sure to ask the community whether their culinary team would be able to accommodate your needs.

9. Are there transportation options? 

Whether or not you own a car, it’s sometimes more convenient to schedule a ride with a car service or shuttle. Many communities offer on-site transportation for when residents need to run errands, such as a quick trip to the grocery or a medical appointment. Ask what the community’s transportation options are and what the process is for requesting this service.

10. What is the community’s pet policy?

If you have a pet, a community that does not allow pets can be easily crossed off your list. There are also retirement communities that have pet restrictions related to breed and weight. If this is an important feature for you, ensure you ask about it up front. 

11. Can you speak with a current resident about what life is like?

Tours are a preview of all that a retirement community has to offer, but there is no substitute for speaking to a current resident about their experiences. They’ve likely gone through the same search you have and can help ease your uncertainties about the process.

12. Does the community offer the care you need now – and the care you may need in the future? 

Our health, like so much of our lives, can change in an instant. As you explore your options, ensure that whatever community you choose can accommodate your care needs now and in the future. For instance, many Life Care communities have on-site health services to provide for the needs of their residents; services such as assisted living and memory care to skilled nursing and rehabilitation

Schedule a Tour at Newcastle Place

Start your search at Newcastle Place, a retirement community nestled in Mequon, WI. Our community is located near Milwaukee, offering residents all the benefits of small-town living while keeping them within close proximity to the amenities and opportunities of the big city. Newcastle Place is home to a variety of engaging events and activities, in addition to a community of friendly and passionate residents.

To schedule a tour and see what living here is all about, call 262-387-8800 or contact us

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