Factors to Consider When Choosing an Independent Living Community
The magazine, U.S. News and World Report, published an article suggesting questions people should ask when choosing an independent living facility. Other sources make similar suggestions. A few of the questions include:
- Is living in an Independent Living Community right for you? Do you want to live in a community with others nearby? If so, do you want to stay in the same vicinity as your current home, or do you want to move to be nearer other friends, relatives or grown children?
- What type of community are you looking for? Do you want a large community with your own small apartment in a high-rise apartment building, or do you want to live in more of a cottage setting or an environment with small private homes?
- How do you want to take your meals? Do you want to eat some or all of your meals in a community setting or do you prefer to maintain your own kitchen and do most of your own cooking? Eat a meal or two at the residence to see if the meals are compatible to your taste.
- What types of activities does the community offer? Are they ones you hope to participate in? Do people actually attend, or are they advertised but don’t really take place?
- Is there transportation provided to medical appointments, shopping or other important places you may want to visit? If so, are the transportation options flexible or only at set days and times?
- What services are provided and which ones are extra? Are utilities included? What about television and internet? Are housekeeping services included or do they cost extra? Does each unit have a washer and dryer or are you expected to do your laundry in a community laundry room?
- Ask to see the contract and evaluate it carefully so you know exactly what the expectations and costs are and what services you will be getting in return.