How to Choose A Retirement Community for Your Parents

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Has the time come to consider retirement homes for your parents? If so, you have work to do. Today’s options are endless, varying in medical care, amenities, price points and more. Luckily, you can follow different steps to ensure you pick the best one for your parents.

What Retirement Community Options Exist?

There are two main kinds of retirement communities to consider: independent living communities and assisted living communities. If your parents have special health needs, you’ll want to think about places that offer additional care, like skilled nursing facilities. Those options will be more equipped to provide the proper support.

If you choose an independent living community, your parents will live in their own house or condominium within a residential area. These neighborhoods have a dedicated staff, as well as on-site shops and restaurants, so they don’t have to leave. It’s typically the best choice for older adults without serious medical conditions.

Alternatively, assisted living communities offer a hands-on approach. Residents live in apartment-style housing where they can receive help from staff for activities like eating and bathing. There are normally various amenities provided, as well. This option tends to work well for anyone who requires continuous support.

While various other retirement community options are available, you’ll find that independent living and assisted living are the two main categories.

1. Consider Health Needs

Before all else, you need to choose a retirement community that supports your parents’ medical requirements. Their care needs will likely change as they age, too. It can help to speak with their doctor to see their opinion on which retirement community will benefit them most.

If you choose an independent living community, you should look around the area for a reliable health care provider your parents can visit after they move. Don’t forget about specialists they’ll need, too. This advanced preparation will help them be as comfortable as possible.

2. Discuss Recreation Possibilities

Usually, amenities are a crucial factor in which retirement community older adults choose. It’s the main point for many people, as they have a better chance to socialize with other individuals their own age. Conveniences like gyms, libraries and pools may need to be on your checklist.

Be sure to check out the local area, as well. If your parents can drive, you’ll want to know they have access to whatever activities they normally enjoy. It can already be tough to relocate to a retirement community, so you should aim to make the transition as smooth as possible.

3. Pick a Suitable Location

Don’t be afraid to explore retirement communities in various states. If your parents have always dreamed about warm days in Florida, you should check out options there. Maybe they’d prefer to stay close to you and other family members. It’s up to them, as well as their health needs.

After you pick out a few suitable spots, you should take an in-person or virtual tour to see whether the retirement community will work for your parents. This experience should also be an opportunity to explore the surrounding town or city. If you’ve chosen to look at assisted living communities, you should ensure they offer the environment your parents require.

4. Don’t Forget About Lifestyle

Consider how your parents currently live their lives. Do they have a beloved pet dog? Maybe they love to eat out at a restaurant every Friday night. Either way, you need to ensure the retirement community can adequately accommodate their lifestyle. 

Some places will have certain limitations your parents might not like. For example, you might only be allowed to own cats, and they have a German Shepard. These rules would definitely impact their day-to-day, so you should ask about whatever regulations exist. There may need to be a compromise, but you’ll be able to find a place that checks most boxes.

5. Think About Maintenance and Expenses

Keep maintenance in mind, as well. If your parents would like to purchase a condominium in an independent living community, you need to see how repairs work. Do they need to fix their own leaky faucet, or will a maintenance professional be able to assist them?

Remember expenses, too. This point stands for the retirement community itself, as well as possible additional monthly fees. Each retirement community you consider will have a monthly cost that goes toward expenses like housing and amenities. There might also be an upfront entry fee. 

Be sure to form a budget beforehand so you and your parents can stay within your means.

Consider These Points While You Look at Retirement Community Possibilities

There’s no denying that choosing a retirement community can seem a lot like browsing for a new house. It’s essential to pick a place that works perfectly for your parents’ lifestyle. These tips can help you decide on the best option possible.


Welcome to the Night Helper Blog. The Night Helper Blog was created in 2008. Since then we have been blessed to partner with many well-known Brands like Best Buy, Fisher Price, Toys "R" US., Hasbro, Disney, Teleflora, ClearCorrect, Radio Shack, VTech, KIA Motor, MAZDA and many other great brands. We have three awesome children, plus four adorable very active grandkids. From time to time they too are contributors to the Night Helper Blog. We enjoy reading, listening to music, entertaining, travel, movies, and of course blogging.

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