What Does Retirement Look Like To You?
As you exit the career phase of life and enter the vast, uncertain world of retirement, the transition can seem intimidating. We all envision retirement differently, so there is no universal approach. If you are evaluating a retirement community as an option, how do you know which one is right for you? What should you look for?
Retirement communities like Southgate At Shrewsbury are as diverse and unique as the individuals that reside with us. We greet new residents in various stages of retirement with different care needs, and our staff is well-versed in assisting our community members adapt to their new lifestyle. Furthermore, each retirement community also offers a different campus aesthetic and a plethora of on- and off-campus activities for residents to take advantage of.
Because you are unique, creating a list of what you value at this stage in your life will help you select what will ultimately be your home during this new and exciting phase of your life. We will go over some important factors to consider in helping you narrow your search.
The first thing you should do is make a list of what is important to you in retirement. If you have a close-knit family and being close to them is important, check into regionally convenient locations. Southgate At Shrewsbury is a good example of regional convenience—our location is centralized for Massachusetts, all New England and the entire North Atlantic region.
If you are active and enjoy outdoor activities, this will also help you narrow your location based on access. Do you desire the hustle and bustle of a big city, or quiet suburban or rural surroundings? If you require specific medical care, is there easy access to the appropriate medical facilities and personnel?
All these factors can help you narrow the possible locations for your retirement community of choice. SeniorLiving.org contains a large database of retirement communities searchable by city or zip code so you can compare your options in target areas.
After you have successfully narrowed your possible locations, it’s time to delve deeper into what each retirement community offers. Like each individual retiree, communities come in all shapes and sizes. It’s time to make another list—think about what you have at home that you use or what you would like to have at home that you would use.
If cooking is a big part of your life, make sure living units are equipped with a kitchen you deem adequate (on the other hand, if you burn toast, make sure you find a community with quality on-site dining facilities and services). If you like your home equipped with the latest technology, you’ll want to ensure your new living space has the same capabilities.
Additionally, you’ll want to consider your hobbies and interests. If you’re handy or crafty, you will find retirement
communities like Southgate At Shrewsbury often offer dedicated facilities for various crafters.
Perhaps you like to garden, play card games or bowl. Maybe you like to swim, do yoga or lift weights. Ultimately, you want to make sure your retirement community contains the proper facilities to allow you the ability to maximize the enjoyment of both your life at home and your recreation. You can now narrow your location-based list of retirement communities, even further.
Services & Amenities
At this point, your list of possible retirement communities has been trimmed down, significantly. To cut out the final chunk and find the place that’s right for you, it’s time to open the blinds and see what lies beyond the windows in each potential community. Each retirement community has a unique list of services and amenities that will play a role in your experience as a resident. Identifying the services and amenities you are most likely to use and enjoy is key.
Your health and the outlook of your future health should play a critical role when considering services offered. You may in perfect health now and capable of living at home independently, but if something were to come up, you want to make sure your retirement community provides the assistance you would need. The transition from independent to assisted living within your community is very important, as are the health-related services available to residents.
Other lifestyle changes should also be considered when evaluating the services offered at retirement communities. If you become unable to drive, does the community provide access to chauffeur services? Is there an efficient, built-in alert system in case of emergencies? Particularly important if you desire a community in a densely populated city, what is the on-site security like?
At this point in your search, schedule tours at your already-narrowed list of facilities. Pay special attention to the upkeep, and ask about maintenance services, requests and response time. Particularly in areas where harsh weather is more frequent, 24-hour emergency maintenance services are vital.
Many amenities may sound great on paper, but which ones would you really use? It’s time to make another list—compile your hobbies and interests and compare them against the amenities advertised. As you tour retirement communities, take notes about the facilities and amenities offered that you’re interested in to compare against other communities with similarly advertised amenities. Developing a simple numeric rating scale is an effective tool that will aid you when comparing different communities that offer similar amenities.
Other amenities to consider are those that could benefit your overall quality of life. Retirement communities like Southgate At Shrewsbury offers a variety of such amenities such as health spas, salons, libraries and even on-site convenience stores to make your daily life more efficient and enjoyable. Take note of these conveniences, as well, and determine which are more important to you.
There are several factors to consider when choosing a retirement community; it is a decision that will play a large part in shaping your retirement lifestyle. By narrowing your search by desired location and required facilities, and by asking lots of questions during your tour, you will arm yourself with the knowledge you need to make the most informed decision for the well-being of your post-career life. You’ve worked hard to get to retirement—make the best of it by selecting the retirement community that will be the best fit for you.