Picking the right community for your retirement lifestyle is a huge decision. First of all, where should you begin? There are a lot of things to consider, and it can be hard to determine the right place to start. From finding the right location to choosing the care services you need, there are so many questions that you may not even think to ask. It can feel overwhelming at the beginning, but it doesn’t have to be an impossible task, says Rachel Henderson, Director of Community Relations at The Terraces at Bonita Springs.
“Choosing the right retirement community for your needs is a very important decision, but it also can be a fun and enjoyable process,” she says. “You’re choosing a location where you’ll live out this new chapter of your life, and that’s a very exciting opportunity. Just like when you choose where to go to college or purchase a home or any other major life decision, the process begins with understanding your needs and wants. By knowing what’s important to you – really important – you can more easily make an informed decision.”
Whether you already know exactly what type of community you want, or you’re only just beginning to think about it, here are some things to consider as you’re looking for and choosing the right retirement community for your needs.
- What’s the right location?
As they say in real estate, it’s all about “location, location, location.” That holds true for homes and retirement communities alike. Before you begin your search, think about where in the world (or country or state) you’d like to spend your golden years. Do you want to remain in the same area where you currently live? Would you prefer to move somewhere closer to family members? Or would you like to move to a place you’ve always dreamed about living in? There’s no right or wrong answer – only the one that’s perfect for you.
- What do you want to do after you retire?
A lot of us think of retirement as the “final destination.” Most of us think about what we want to do to get there, but there’s still a lot of living to do once you retire. So, what would you like to do in retirement – really? Relaxing is fine, but what sort of lifestyle would you like? Do you want to travel the world? Start a new career? Become a mentor? Spend more time with family? All of the above and more? The best retirement communities provide options and opportunities for their residents to chase their dreams and goals, along with the support and services needed to help individuals live their best lives.
- What do you want the pace to be like?
Some people love living in a city with all the hustle and bustle. Others prefer a quieter, calmer and more neighborly life in a suburban or rural area. Others prefer to blaze the way in a newly gentrified area, while others just want a place that’s established, calm and unchanging. Every location can have many different atmospheres, so it’s important to know what type of community will suit your temperament and needs best. That way you’ll be able to look for communities that will provide a lifestyle that makes you happy.
- What sort of care level and community do you want?
There are all sorts of senior living communities these days – they come in all shapes and sizes. Some communities just have a few levels of care while others (like The Terraces) are completely comprehensive. It’s important to weigh both your current and future needs when choosing a community, as well as determining what your comfort level is when it comes to moving later in life if you need additional services.
- What’s the financial situation?
When you get down to brass tacks, retirement living does have a price tag, and it’s important to choose a place that fits within what you’re willing and able to pay. Financials do play a huge role in our quality of life both now and in the future, so be sure to look into retirement solutions that meet your budget and your financial goals.
- Is the community close to health care and other important services?
As we age, it’s natural that we will need more health care services. Having access to hospitals, medical professionals, specialists and other services are very important for maintaining quality of life. As you’re looking at the community campus, remember to look around the greater community to see what partnerships, access and availability there is that will help you remain in good health.
- What sort of entertainment is nearby?
“Entertainment” means different things to different people. Some may consider art galleries, ballet, theatre and other cultural events as their main source of entertainment. Others may prefer to hit the great outdoors, hiking and kayaking and exploring nature. Other people may be more sports-oriented and want to see major-league talent on a regular basis. Knowing what’s around the retirement community is important for helping make sure you remain engaged and involved. Don’t forget about what’s available on site as well – having activities, events and other opportunities right on campus can be a huge boost to your engagement and happiness.
- What’s the maintenance situation?
There are many reasons older adults choose to move to a senior living community. One of the biggest reasons is being able to say goodbye to chores and the hassle of homeownership. Not having to do things like mowing the lawn, cleaning the house or even doing the laundry are huge selling points. For example, at The Terraces at Bonita Springs, all maintenance (including cleaning and laundry) is included, which gives our residents back all the time they want and need to do the things they enjoy and have been dreaming about.
- Are pets allowed?
Many of us have furry friends we love and cherish, and when moving into a retirement community, we don’t want to leave them behind. These days, more and more communities are understanding the importance of pets and their part in our families. If animals are a huge part of your life and something you need to make you happy, you’ll want to be sure that the community you choose welcomes pets with open arms.
- Does the community feel like home?
We’ve all had the feeling where we’ve stepped into a room, building or location and instantly knew that we were “home.” No matter how good a place looks on paper, there’s a personal aspect that is absolutely priceless. You understand yourself and your needs better than anyone, so as you’re looking at different communities, ask yourself: can I see myself living here? Would I be happy, engaged and fulfilled here? Listen to your intuition, and if the answer is anything but an eager “yes,” keep looking. However, if you know you’ve fallen in love with a place, follow your heart – and we promise you’ll be on your way to a retirement lifestyle you’ll enjoy.
About The Terraces at Bonita Springs
Recreation, special events, holiday celebrations, educational programs, guest speakers and a variety of inspiring activities take place throughout the year at The Terraces at Bonita Springs as part of the community’s active lifestyle programs. The Terraces is the only Life Plan Community for senior living in the Bonita Springs area. Living choices include independent living, assisted living, memory support, skilled nursing and rehabilitation. All levels of care, including assisted living, skilled nursing and memory support, are open for direct admittance with no entrance fee.
For more information, visit TheTerracesAtBonitaSprings.com or call 239-221-8907.