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Things To Consider When Selecting A Retirement Facility

Author : Sarah Dowling

Without a doubt, selecting a suitable retirement facility is one of the toughest tasks anybody can be faced with. Whether you’re a senior looking for a change of location or a family struggling with the idea of rehousing a loved one, ensuring that the facility is perfect is paramount.

As with regular house hunting, searching for an acceptable retirement facility takes a lot of time and effort. In all instances you should take at least one tour of a retirement home and be sure to ask plenty of questions. Under no circumstances should you settle for the first one you see. It’s also a good idea to visit as a family, thus not placing the burden of the decision on one person’s shoulders. Here are some other factors to consider during your search for an acceptable retirement home.

Location and accessibility of the retirement facility

The location is a key factor for the family in deciding upon any retirement facility. After all, you will be visiting your mother/father/loved one so ensuring that you can readily make your way to the retirement community is extremely important. Those with excellent transport links (be it road, rail or air) are obviously more suitable that somewhere in the back of beyond.

Similarly, the location of the retirement facility to the local area can play an important factor. While the family is away seniors enjoy visiting the mall or movie theater as much as anybody else. Being close to amenities such as these greatly increased the standard of living of that person.

At the same time though you don’t want the retirement facility to be in too busy a location. Seniors come here to rest, not listen to the sound of construction, traffic or airplanes.

Amenities found at the retirement facility

Next on your checklist should be the amenities on offer at the retirement facility. This starts with the bedroom. Does it offer enough space (remembering that room for maneuver becomes much more important as we get older)? Does it have a private bathroom? Is there enough storage space? Are there emergency alarm bells? This latter question is particularly important for those moving into assisted living communities and those that have additional needs.

Outside of the bedroom what else does the retirement facility offer? It’s these additional amenities that are likely to play a great importance in the resident’s stay. Are there activities to enjoy? Are communal rooms well-equipped and comfortable? How is the food? It’s okay to try the menu yourself. In today’s day and age many retirement homes offer very nutritious and varied menus – sampling such may even make you a little jealous.

Next up, check the care conditions. Does the retirement facility have the appropriate medical equipment, such as hoists? Does it have clear access throughout? Do staff members have sufficient medication distribution training? Are there doctor services on site?

Following this, find out what type of extra-curricular activities the community offers. Can residents come and go as they please (within reason, of course)? Are there scheduled excursions? When and how often are they able to see visitors?

Others at the retirement facility

It is important to get a feel for those that also reside at the retirement facility as well as those working there. The benefit with visiting as a family is that you can talk to a number of residents and see how they feel about the community. If you’re the one thinking of entering the retirement home you can even spend some time getting to know these people.

The same goes for the staff working within. Most guided tours are conducted by the manager or owner of the retirement facility. They will obviously be able to answer some of the many questions you are likely to have, but you should also take this opportunity to talk with the care staff and see how they find it working with seniors. Remember, a five minute chat will offer you far more insight than any brochure or webpage will.

As well as advising you on the retirement facility itself, these are the people that can tell you about the local community and area. If you’re wondering whether this is a suitable area to relocate to, these people, particularly the residents, can give you an idea of what to expect.

Armed with the answers to these questions and the information that you take home, you should be a far better position to decide if a particular retirement facility is right for your circumstances.

Author's Resource Box

Sarah Dowling has been working for several retirement communities in Downey, CA. If you are looking for assisted living facility or retirement homes in Downey, CA, visit Lakewood Park Manor community website, a fully licensed independent and assisted living facility located in Downey minutes from shopping centers, restaurants, medical offices and hospitals.

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Tags:   senior living, assisted living, assisted living CA, senior living Downey, assisted living facility, retirement homes, independent living facility

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Submitted : 2012-03-20    Word Count : 759    Times Viewed: 687