Types of Communities
- Active Adult Communities are designed to offer older adults the chance to enjoy independent, active lifestyles, while providing easy access to a range of social, recreational, and educational pursuits. Often, such communities offer designated dining areas and clubhouses Generally, daily living and medical needs are not covered. Many active adult communities are age-restricted.
- Assisted Living Facilities (ALF) are designed to provide “assistance” to people who require help with activities of daily living (ADLs). An ADL may consist of medication reminding, bathing & ambulation. Accommodations within an ALF are typically studio “suites” with limited kitchen facilities. Some ALFs obtain an Extended Congregate Care (ECC) license which allows them to provide additional care services. ALFs are handled on a rental basis with additional fees for higher levels of care.
- Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) offer independent living with a combination of a private residence, services, amenities and care in return for a monthly fee and an entrance fee. Many compare living at a CCRC like being on a cruise ship since the services and amenities are plentiful. The maintenance-free lifestyle includes dining, social activities, housekeeping, transportation and maintenance services. Should care be needed, most CCRCs offer assisted living, Alzheimer’s memory support care and skilled nursing care on the same campus so that residents may continue to stay within the same community, close to their spouse, friends and neighbors, even as their care needs change.
- Rental Retirement Communities are usually designed for independent living; however it is common that independent living and assisted living are combined. On-site services and amenities are common including dining, housekeeping and transportation. The lease agreement at a rental community typically does not include the provision of a continuum of care. This means that a resident who requires care must make separate arrangements for care services and pay for this care at market rates on a fee-for-service basis. If these services are not available within the community, the resident will be required to move from the community. Some rental retirement communities offer short term leases arrangements for seasonal people.
Research: Make a list of the living options available in your hometown and what they offer.
Plan Ahead: It’s usually best to plan ahead and make decisions while your loved ones are able to physically and mentally able to assist in the decision making. Making the decision to move to a senior community while still active is usually the healthier choice because the senior can be more involved in the move and better equipped to adjust to the changes and thrive in the new environment.
Visit Various Communities: Schedule an appointment to tour the community. Pay Attention.
- How do the grounds look?
- Is the staff friendly?
- Is the community clean and well-maintained?
- Are the apartments nicely appointed?
- Could you visualize yourself living at this community?
What Amenities are Most Important to you?: Make a list. Remember, that you are not just thinking about today, but more importantly, you are planning for tomorrow.
Evaluate Finances: There are a variety of financial arrangements available in senior communities. This includes rentals and entrance fee options. Learn the pros/cons of each. Understand what is included and what is “extra.” Ask about increases in fees and “what if” scenario if you outlive your assets.
Plan for Future Health Needs:
- What levels of care are available?
- Does the staff seem caring and professional?
- Are current residents well cared for?
- Are there activities for the residents who are receiving care?
- What is the community licensed to provide and what are the costs.
- Does it look like they are happy and engaged?
- Do you feel at home in the community?
- How is the atmosphere in the dining room?
- Is there a dress code for dinner?
- Does the menu offer good variety?
- Is the service attentive?
- Can the chef accommodate specific dietary requirements?
- Are there a variety of educational, social, cultural and fitness programs available?
- Bridge groups?
- Theme parties?
- Can residents volunteer within the community?
- Are special travel opportunities available to residents?
- Ask if you can attend any activities.
Reputation: Talk with your friends, physician, attorney, clergy, trust officer or anyone else you can think of to learn about the community’s reputation.
Take your Time: Don’t feel rushed, but don’t procrastinate, either. Determine the kind of lifestyle you want for yourself and make the decision to enjoy it! Don’t be one of those people who end up saying, “I wish I hadn’t waited so long!”
For more tips or to discuss moving, storage or Logistics needs call Florida Moving Systems, Melbourne today at (800) 283-6683 or visit www.flmove.com.