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Independent Living, Resources for Caregivers, Resources for Seniors

How to Evaluate Senior Living Services & Amenities

At Beacon Hill, we are passionate about helping seniors age successfully. Our goal is to ensure you are able to thrive in retirement, whatever that looks like to you. If you or a loved one is beginning the search for a senior living community, we’re here to help. There are a variety of senior living options and it can seem overwhelming at first. So we’ve outlined some of the preliminary criteria to consider and how to evaluate services and amenities that best meet your needs.

What matters to you in a retirement community?

As you’ve thought about retirement, you’ve likely started to think about how you’d like these years to look. Weighing factors like care and location in addition to amenities, can help you determine not only where you want to retire but also what you’d like to do.Considering these factors will also help narrow down which options you’d like to explore further.

  • Operational structure Is an associated religious affiliation important to you or not so much? Some communities are run by faith-based organizations while others are guided by non-denominational not-for-profit foundations. Other senior living communities might be run by a for-profit company that specializes in senior living. While one is not necessarily better than another, communities have different missions and values based on their different operational structures.
  • Location. Have you always wanted to retire by the beach? Or maybe you’d rather be close to friends and loved ones. Urban communities will have a different vibe than suburban communities, just like communities in warmer climates will likely have slightly different amenities than those in colder climates.
  • Available care. Consider how important on-site long-term care is to you. Some communities might cater solely to an active, independent senior lifestyle, while others, like continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), have different levels of care available on-site.
  • Services & amenities. How do you want to spend your time in retirement? Services and amenities are an integral part of every senior living community. From the size and features of your residence to the types of community-wide amenities and programming offered, think about what kind of space you’d like to live in and what various hobbies and activities you’d enjoy pursuing.

Questions to Ask About Services & Amenities

With your senior living community criteria in mind, schedule some tours! We recommend touring three to five communities to help get a feel for what your options are and where you feel most at home. Asking the questions below can help you further narrow down your options as you weigh the services and amenities at each community.

Is there an entrance fee?

Not all senior living communities charge an entrance fee, but many do, including CCRCs like Beacon Hill. The cost of an entrance fee can vary greatly depending on the geographical location and various services and amenities offered at a community. Typically these fees include the cost of purchasing your new home in the community as well as the cost of long-term care while you live there.

What is covered in the monthly fee?

Monthly fees typically include the cost of utilities as well as services like cable and internet. Meals, programming and maintenance might also be wrapped up into your monthly costs.

What are the dining options in the community?

Food is an essential part of our daily lives. Pay attention to the atmosphere of restaurants in a community, the kind of food they are serving and the number of options available. Request a sample menu or better yet, see if you can enjoy a meal on your tour. At Beacon Hill, we offer both formal and casual options for dining in as well as grab-and-go options.

Is there transportation available?

Even if you have your own vehicle, sometimes it’s just easier to be dropped off and have someone else do the driving. Inquire about the type and frequency of transportation available within a community, and whether or not there is a distance limit on the services provided.

What kind of classes or activities are offered on-site and how frequently?

Classes, events and activities play an important role in getting to know others in a community as well as stimulating your brain and just being downright fun. Ask about a sample activity calendar and see if there are classes listed that interest you. And if there aren’t specific classes, are there places in the community dedicated to particular hobbies? Perhaps a swimming pool, garden, library, art studio or woodworking shop.

What types of group outings are offered and how frequently?

Engagement within the community is one thing, but you might also wish to consider the ways in which a community engages with the city around them. Do groups of residents get together to volunteer for local causes? Or perhaps there is a partnership with a local university to audit classes.

What additional care is available within the community?

If on-site care was a qualifying criteria for you, then chances are good the communities you’re touring have some sort of long-term available to residents. CCRCs might have assisted living, skilled nursing, memory care and rehabilitation services, or some combination of those services, available to residents.

Take a Closer Look at Beacon Hill

At Beacon Hill, our residents tailor their days exactly to their liking — whether that’s swimming in our indoor pool or taking a group exercise class in our fitness center, getting creative in an art class or building something in our woodworking shop, relaxing in our beauty salon or reading quietly in our library, exploring one of Lombard’s many parks or shopping in the Chicago suburbs.

Beacon Hill independent living residents enjoy abundant wellness opportunities, a close-knit community and the security and predictability of Life Care. If city living and an active community meets your criteria, we invite you to take a closer look at Beacon Hill. Sign up for an event, schedule a tour and enjoy a meal with our team. We’d love to get to know you.

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