Questions to Ask When Choosing a Retirement Community

Choosing a retirement community is a big decision, one that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Picking a retirement community to reside in takes time. There are many factors to take into account. Whether you, personally, are deciding on a retirement community, or you’re helping a loved one decide; we want to help. That’s why we’ve compiled this helpful list of important questions to ask when considering your options.

Below is our list of questions to ask the employees. Some questions may contain terminology you may not be familiar with; if a specific question requires more elaboration, we’ve included a short description below said question.

Ask Retirement Community Employees These Questions:

  • How are care levels determined and what levels of care are offered?

Levels of care can include independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, etc. it’s important to ask this question first and foremost to ensure you or your loved ones needs will be met.

  • How does the community meet residents’ needs as they change over time?

This question can work in tandem when asking about different levels of care. If you or your loved one want to stay in a community long-term, it’s likely needs will change and a different level of care will be required. Cottage Grove Place offers all levels of care, ensuring residents can stay long-term without worrying about having to move to a different community if their needs change.

  • How are loved ones updated when residents experience changes, physical or otherwise?

  • If the need for specific services arises and they are not offered by the particular community, how is that need addressed?

  • How are team members trained? (both initially and on an ongoing basis)

  • What dining options are available? How does the community meet residents’ nutritional needs and preferences?

  • Is there an appealing range of activities, both within and outside of the community?

  • Is there transportation available through the community? If so, how wide is the travel radius? Is the transportation free?

  • What Do You Do to Keep Residents Safe? Resident safety includes a myriad of things, here are a few key points to review:

    • Do residents have access to alert buttons for emergency assistance? Do these buttons provide the resident’s location so that staff can easily locate them?
    • What about bathing safety? Are there rails or easy-entry bathtubs? Are there grab bars and non-slip surfaces installed?
    • Is staff available 24/7?
    • What system is in place to ensure residents are present and accounted for?
    • Is there an emergency response plan? Does the community perform safety drills?
    • Is there a generator for backup power?
    • What background checks does the community perform on staff?
    • Can residents request nightly safety checks or other regular visits?
  • What can a resident do if they have a complaint?

  • Are there any restrictions on visitors, and does the community make it easy for residents to host family and friends?

  • Can we speak with references?

  • What are the total costs?

Total costs will likely vary depending on residents’ individual needs. Cottage Grove Place provides an online cost estimation tool to help potential residents better understand which type of residential options may be a good financial fit.

Ask Yourself  these Questions about the Retirement Communities

It’s also important to personally ask yourself questions during the process and to take certain topics into consideration. Below are a few key questions to personally consider during and after your visit:

  • During your initial visits, do team members engage warmly with you and those accompanying you?

  • Do the community’s current residents seem to be well cared for? Are they engaged in conversations and participating in activities?

  • Does the environment feel comfortable—does it feel like a true home?

 

Lastly, Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Tough Questions

People who ask lots of questions get better overall care and will likely feel more confident and happy with their decision. By asserting your needs and asking whether a community is equipped to meet them, you can narrow down the list of options. There is no perfect retirement community but there is a perfect retirement community for you.