There are a lot of senior living communities to choose from – and they are not all alike. Here are some definitions to help you narrow down the type of community you want to be part of.
Independent living communities typically offer maintenance-free apartments, condos, or villas, a calendar of activities, and some services such as housekeeping, meals, and transportation. Health care services are not part of your contract.
Some communities offer care within the community, but you may not have priority access over outside admissions, and availability may be limited. Initial costs may be lower, but out-of-pocket health care costs tend to add up quickly.
Life Plan or Continuing Care
Life Plan Communities (also known as continuing care retirement communities) offer the full continuum of care, from independent living residences to assisted living, skilled nursing, rehabilitation care, and memory care – all within one community. Depending on the type of contract, you can be guaranteed access to on-site health care at a predictable rate for life, or a modified fee-for-service arrangement in which you pay only for the health care you use.
of People 65+ will need some form of long-term care.
(National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information)
Where you live makes a difference in how you live. When visiting senior living communities, keep these things in mind.
- Proximity to things that matter to you, such as shopping, dining, cultural and religious venues. Can you drive or walk to these places? Does the community offer transportation?
- Weather, and its impact on safety and yard maintenance, is a factor for some people. Knowing that at Kingswood your fall leaves and winter snow will be cleared for you makes it easier to enjoy Kansas City weather.
Questions to Ask
When meeting with marketing and sales staff at a community, bring a list of important questions to ask. Here are a few to get you started.
- What is an entrance fee, and what does it cover?
- What is included in my monthly fee?
- What kinds of activities, clubs, and programs are offered?
- What does the dining program encompass?
- How does the community promote wellness?
- What kinds of customization are available for my residence?
- What is the pet policy?
- May I visit with current residents and ask them questions?
- How do you help residents transition through the different levels of care?
- Who owns and manages the community?