How to find the community that's right for you

When looking for a retirement community for yourself or a loved one, do your homework. Here is a simple check list of things you should look for.

_________ What are the differences between Independent Living, Assisted Living and Skilled Care in your state?

_________ What type of lease is required? Is a monthly or lifetime lease or do you purchase your home?

_________What is included in the rate? Are maintenance, transportation, meals, laundry, parking and housekeeping included?

_________What services are included at an extra charge?

_________ Is there an emergency response system available?

_________ Can you bring in outside assistance if needed?

_________What types of meals are offered? How Many? Can you be a guest at a meal?

_________Does the community offer recreational programs?

_________Is a copy of the residents' handbook available?

_________Are special events held at the community? Can you get copies of the activity calendar?

_________Are religious services conducted?

_________ Is the agency licensed by the state?

_________ Are services covered under Medicare or other thirds party payer?

_________ Did the residents seem happy when you were touring the property?

_________ Have most of the staff been there for a long time?

You want to be comfortable in your new home. If you plan correctly, before you are in a crisis, you will be making the choice, not your physician. For more information in your area call the local Area Aging Agency. Pick up a free copy of Senior Living Resource Magazine or go to for retirement communities in your area.