As you transition into retirement, you may find that your old housing situation is no longer a good fit for your needs. Retirement homes are facilities where seniors can live independently, but have access to resources and a community to help them live healthy and happy lives. Moving into a retirement home is a smart choice for seniors looking to downsize as they get older. With so many different types of senior care on the market, it can be difficult to find a retirement option that suits your needs. If you are thinking "how do I find retirement homes near me?" - read on to find out everything you need to know about retirement facilities for seniors.
What is a retirement home?
There’s not one official definition of a retirement home, but the commonly accepted understanding of a retirement home is that it’s a place where seniors live independently, but have access to amenities onsite that are designed specifically to address seniors’ needs. Retirement homes typically do not provide assisted living care or skilled nursing, although they may be affiliated with a facility that does provide those additional services. Retirement homes welcome singles and couples, and many allow residents to bring their pets as well. Retirement homes are usually quite similar to senior apartment complexes or condominiums in the way they’re laid out. Each suite usually has a kitchen, living room, bathroom, and at least one bedroom.
What amenities do retirement homes provide?
Retirement homes, sometimes referred to as senior homes, offer a range of amenities to their residents to help them enjoy retirement and stay healthy. Each senior retirement community near you will offer different amenities, so yours may not have the exact same services provided as the ones listed here. Retirement homes usually provide group activities for residents, such as exercise classes, arts excursions, or trips to see local sites of interest in the community. There’s also usually transportation provided to residents if they don’t drive and want to go out and run an errand. Many retirement facilities offer gyms, spas, and hairdressers onsite for help with grooming, as well as a cafe or restaurant in the retirement home for dining, and optional cleaning or laundry services. Some retirement homes also work with local healthcare facilities so that seniors can get to their regular doctor’s appointments conveniently and affordably. The aim of many retirement homes is to provide most of the services that seniors would need on site, and that’s what sets them apart from independent living facilities.
Who is a good candidate for a retirement home?
Seniors aged 55 and older who are retired, looking to downsize, and don’t need intensive healthcare are great candidates for a retirement home. Living in a big house after retirement can be overwhelming, and retirement homes give seniors a space that’s appropriately sized for them. The social aspect of living in a retirement home is also great for active seniors, because it gives them a way to make friends, try new activities, and interact with other people. Seniors who need assistance with personal tasks on a daily basis, such as bathing, dressing, and grooming are not good candidates for a retirement home, because they will not get the level of care that they need. This is also applicable for seniors who are struggling with dementia or with serious physical problems like cancer, because they won’t be able to get the daily care they need on site. Assisted living facilities or skilled nursing facilities are a better fit for seniors who need medical care.
How much do retirement homes cost?
The cost of a retirement home is usually directly correlated to the going rent prices of the area it’s in, as well as the number and quality of amenities available. For instance, a one-bedroom retirement apartment in a small city or town, in a community that doesn’t offer many amenities, may cost around $1,000 per month. However, a larger retirement apartment in a big metro area with higher rent prices and lots of amenities could cost as much as $5,000 a month. It is difficult to budget for a retirement home until you decide which amenities you want and where you want to live. If you need financial assistance with retirement home costs, you may be able to find senior apartment complexes that are partially government subsidized or that offer private financial assistance. These retirement homes usually don’t have as many amenities as more expensive and upscale senior living communities.
What are the benefits of living in a retirement home?
For seniors, there are so many benefits to living in a retirement home. Transitioning to retirement after many years of working or raising a family can be quite an adjustment, particularly for people who like to be active and stay busy. Living in a retirement home provides seniors with things to do and an easy way to make friends. It’s important for seniors to have enriching activities to enjoy, and retirement homes provide a wealth of things to do. Having a schedule and staying involved is very good for mental and emotional health, and may even help to slow the development of dementia and other health problems that are common in older people.
The opportunity to be social and meet other people is also invaluable for seniors. Depression is a common problem for seniors transitioning into retirement or living on their own after living with their families for so many years. Many seniors don’t realize the importance of maintaining relationships and social conduct with others. Having a reliable and friendly community around will keep seniors in a good mood and lessen the likelihood of mental health issues such as anxiety and depression in retirement.
Another benefit of living in a retirement home is that there are many conveniences available on site, so you don’t have to go out and run errands around town. This is very helpful for seniors, because as you get older, driving often becomes much more difficult, particularly if you’re dealing with issues like chronic pain or deteriorating vision. Many retirement homes have spas and salons on site to help with things like haircuts and gentle physical therapy, as well as gyms for exercise. Retirement homes also will often provide transportation to their residents as part of their services, so if residents do want to go out and run an errand or visit family members, it’s easier for them to get there.
Retirement facilities are usually very safe and clean as well, so you don’t have to worry about maintaining your space the way you would if you were living in a stand-alone facility. Retirement homes often offer regular cleaning services and sometimes laundry services as well, so you can spend more time enjoying retirement and less time stressing out about chores. The spaces are usually designed with seniors’ needs in mind as well, so there usually aren’t too many steep stairs, and design features like grab bars and ramps are incorporated into the retirement units design as needed. Although medical services usually aren’t provided on site, many retirement homes have relationships with a medical provider, so if an emergency were to happen, your senior will receive care right away. This is very helpful for families as well, because it can reduce the stress you may feel about a senior member of your family living on their own.
What are the downsides to living in a retirement home?
For seniors, there aren’t many downsides of living in a retirement home. The biggest potential negative factor is that the cost of the retirement facility may be stressful or even out of reach for some seniors. Many seniors are living on a fixed income, which makes it difficult to pay for a retirement home. Some seniors get support from their families, but this isn’t always possible. If you’re struggling with the cost of retirement facilities in your area, try looking a few towns over, or looking for a retirement home with fewer amenities. This may help you find a retirement option with a lower cost. Another way to prevent this problem from happening is to take out long-term care insurance earlier in life. This will help pay for the cost of living in a retirement home.
Another potential downside to living in a retirement home is being away from extended family and friends, particularly if you are close with them. Luckily, retirement homes will still allow you to visit your loved ones or for them to come visit you, although some senior living facilities may have rules about how long they can stay. The community factor of living in a retirement home may also be overwhelming for some seniors, although this can be mitigated by choosing a retirement apartment in a more private location.
What should I look for in a retirement home?
There are many things to look for when choosing a retirement home for yourself or the senior in your life. The size and quality of retirement homes vary widely throughout the country, so it’s important to decide what factors are most important to you before you start looking around. The first thing to consider is what amenities you would like in your retirement home, and this is something that’s personal to each potential resident. Some seniors want activities and a sense of community, some want health-oriented amenities like a gym or a spa, and some just want a clean, spacious retirement apartment. Deciding which amenities you really want and which ones you can live without will help you narrow down potential retirement options.
Once you’ve decided which amenities you want, the next thing to do is tour the retirement facilities and decide how you feel about the actual retirement building. It’s important to make sure you’ll have enough space to comfortably relax, but not so much space it will be a struggle to keep everything clean. Most retirement homes come furnished, but some don’t. If you would prefer to bring your existing furniture with you, talk to the staff to see if that option is available and if they offer assistance with the move-in process. Ideally, the space should be bright and clean with lots of light, and the communal facilities should be easy to navigate. It’s also helpful if there’s outdoor space in the retirement home where you can spend time. Getting enough sunlight is important for seniors, because it provides essential vitamin D, and being outside is also important for mental health. Having outdoor space accessible also makes exercise more convenient and fun.
How do I talk to my loved one about retirement homes?
Moving into a retirement home is a big transition, and for many families, it can be a difficult conversation as well. It’s hard to bring up the idea of moving into a retirement home if you think your loved one will have an aversion to it, and it’s even harder if they live with you and you’re very close. A good way to handle it is to start gently bringing up the idea well before the need becomes pressing, so they have time to get used to it, share their thoughts on it, and you both can make compromises as needed. It’s also very important that you reassure them that you will be around to visit them in the retirement home and that they’ll still be able to be independent and participate in all of their favorite activities. It’s also essential that your senior is a big part of the decision process and that they tour the retirement facilities and talk to staff with you. After all, they are the ones who will be living there, so their input should be weighed most highly in the decision-making process.
Where can I find retirement homes near me?
There are so many different types of retirement homes throughout the United States, so it won’t be too difficult to find one in your area. A good place to start is by asking friends and family who are older or who have seniors in their family for recommendations on retirement homes near you. You can also ask your doctor if they treat many seniors and are familiar with the demographic. On SeniorLivingHelp.org, you can search for retirement homes by location and find any amenities you may be interested in.