Essential Questions to Ask When Choosing an Independent Living Community
As a vibrant, active older adult considering a move to an independent living community, you have many choices. High demand for senior living options has led to a boom in available residences. Demand is only expected to increase, as by 2025 the number of adults in the US over 75 will grow to 28.6 million, and surge again by 2030 to 34.5 million.
Each independent living community offers a unique mix of amenities and services to suit nearly every lifestyle. Your choice will depend on the lifestyle that fits you best, as well as your personal needs and resources. The community you choose will determine how you live for the years to come, so it’s a choice that should be carefully considered.
In this essential checklist to choosing an independent living community, you’re invited to evaluate which factors are most important to you and your ideal lifestyle. Use this tool as a conversation-starter with a spouse or partner, or bring it with you when touring an independent living community like the one at Beacon Hill.
What is most important to you about the location of an independent living community? Every community will have a different atmosphere. For instance, at Beacon Hill, we are nestled in the Chicago suburb of Lombard, Illinois. This location offers residents an authentic neighborhood feel with hometown values, all within a forty-minute drive to the entertainment and dining options of the big city.
When evaluating the location of independent living communities, ask these questions:
- Is it within a reasonable distance to friends and family?
- Is it located in a climate or region that you prefer?
- Do you already know other residents who live there?
- Are there desirable conveniences nearby, such as a grocery store, pharmacy, hospital etc?
Services and Amenities
What types of services and amenities are you looking for? Is a pool or fitness center a must? What about social opportunities and continuous learning options? Here are some questions about services and amenities to consider:
- Does the community have an events calendar you can view? Look for regular socialization opportunities that interest you, such as happy hours, book clubs or art classes.
- Are residents actively engaged and involved in activities?
- Are there onsite classes or lectures for residents?
- How are residents kept abreast of daily activities?
- Is laundry and housekeeping available and included?
- What are the parking options?
- Are there any future renovation plans you should be aware of?
All of us have unique dining preferences. As you evaluate an independent living community, be sure to ask about dining venues and menus. While an independent living residence often includes a kitchen or kitchenette, many residents enjoy having the option to choose chef-prepared meals.
- How and where are meals served?
- Are there several dining venues or dining options?
- Can the dining venues cater to your specific dietary needs or preferences?
- How often are the menus changed?
- Are meals prepared on the premises?
When we choose an independent living community, we aren’t just choosing a place to rest our head. We are embracing a lifestyle that includes the broader community. This is why it’s vital to ensure that the community shares your goals, values and overall approach to life.
- Does the community share your lifestyle and values?
- Do residents seem happy and well cared for?
- Does the community seem appropriately staffed with experienced and friendly team members?
- Does the community offer high-speed internet service?
- Are pets allowed? If so, what types?
Health and Wellness
Ensure that you ask questions related to your current wellness needs and preferences, but also about possible future requirements as your health changes.
- Does the community have a wellness program?
- Is there a fitness center onsite?
- Does the community offer fitness classes that interest you?
- Is there access to garden spaces or walking paths?
- Will you need to move if your care needs change over time?
- What happens if there is a medical emergency? Who do you contact?
- Does the community offer transportation for health and wellness appointments?
All of the community’s financial policies should be clearly documented and available for you to review in depth.
- Ask to review any sample contracts or agreements
- How often will you be paying fees? How are payments managed?
- If a resident is late or unable to pay, what happens?
- How does the community manage utilities?
- How is maintenance handled?
Explore Independent Living at Beacon Hill
Living in a community creates many exciting possibilities for an even more fulfilling second chapter of your life. From thoughtful, life-enriching programs and built-in conveniences to the more intangible feelings of belonging, Beacon Hill encourages residents to continue exploring their curiosities and saying yes to new adventures. Is Beacon Hill right for you? The best way to find out is to experience it for yourself.
Reach out to us to learn more and schedule a tour.