Shopping for a retirement community can be a daunting experience to tackle all on your own. Many questions come up when considering a move from your longtime home: How will you finance your move? What type of community is best for your needs? What should you be looking for when shopping for a retirement community? What amenities and features do you want?
To help ease your stress, it may be wise to involve family members in the decision-making process. Reaching out to your adult child or children for help will not only lighten your burden and allow you to divvy up responsibilities, it will also offer you a valuable second opinion from someone you trust. And for seniors looking at retirement communities out of state, relying on an adult child who lives in the area can be especially beneficial.
Though involving your kids in your search can be helpful, having multiple opinions and feelings can complicate the process and even lead to conflict. To ensure your search is productive, it’s important to begin the process with clear expectations. Follow these four tips to maximize your time and effort when shopping for a retirement community with help from your adult child.
Communicate what you want. Have a discussion with your adult child about what you want in a retirement community before you start looking. While you’ll learn more about what communities offer once you start doing research and making visits, communicating budget, basic needs and preferences from the beginning will ensure you’re both on the same page and can help save time as you search.
Divvy up the search. Streamline your search by divvying up responsibilities. For example, if your daughter or son is more technologically savvy than you are, perhaps they’d be willing to do the initial online research to help you find communities to visit. If you like making phone calls, perhaps you can be the one to call and set up a tour. Dividing and conquering will also ensure you’re both at least somewhat acquainted with a community before you visit and will allow you to come together with a comprehensive list of questions to ask of a community’s staff.
Tour communities together. Consider touring retirement communities together, as it’s often smart to have a second opinion from someone you trust. Your adult child may bring up points or questions you did not consider, and they may be more knowledgeable about certain considerations like financial matters or healthcare offerings.
Attend an event or activity at the community. While tours will help you get an initial feel for the community, they won’t necessarily give you a glimpse into day-to-day life. Not only will attending an event or activity with current residents give you a better understanding of the community’s culture, it’s a great opportunity to spend quality time with your son or daughter. Plus, it might be nice to have someone there you already know.
Create a virtual experience. If you’re looking at retirement communities out of state and your adult child lives in the area, it may make sense for them to tour communities of interest and report back to you. Recording video during a tour is an easy way for your daughter or son to capture the physicality and atmosphere of a community to share with you. It will also help give you a better idea of how individual residences are laid out.
While shopping for a retirement community may feel overwhelming at times, getting help from your loved ones can make the process easier and more enjoyable. Be open and honest with your adult child or anyone else who helps you when searching for your next home and don’t hesitate to communicate your wishes along the way. Remember: The choice is ultimately yours, and the most important thing is that you feel confident and comfortable in the place you call home.