Questions to Consider Before Choosing a Retirement Community Once upon a time, the words “retirement home” conjured up the image of elderly seniors needing nursing care, but now that image is firmly in the past. Today's retirement homes are often thriving senior independent living communities, and they're an attractive option for lively seniors looking for an easier lifestyle in their golden years.

As with any move, it’s important to do your research before making a decision about your future retirement home, and part of that research will involve finding out the answers to the following questions.

What’s Included in the Cost?

Many retirement communities offer a good range of services for your monthly fee while others offer services on an a-la-carte basis, so to avoid unexpected surprises, it’s vital that you understand what your full costs will be each month.

One area that can yield heavy additional expenses is nursing care. While many people move to senior communities while they're fit and healthy, sometimes ill health strikes and they need either short-term or long-term skilled care.

Find out if the communities on your short list include care as part of their standard package or if you’ll be expected to pay extra.

Will You Have Access to Nursing Care If You Need It?

Not all communities cater for residents needing nursing care. Unless you’re happy with the idea of moving to a new community if you find yourself needing help, you should find out in advance if you can stay in your chosen community if your circumstances change.

Making a move once you’re unwell will be a very stressful experience, so the best option is to choose a community like the one at that make sure you have access to the care that you need, enabling you to continue living in your home.

What’s the Average Age of Residents?

One of the attractions of moving to a retirement community is the chance to make new friends to enjoy life with, or even find a new partner if you're single.

If you’re a fit, healthy, active 65-year-old, but the majority of residents in a community are over 80 and looking for a quieter life, that community might not be the best choice for you.

Are There Good Recreational Facilities?

Communities vary widely when it comes to recreational facilities. Some offer pools, tennis, lawn bowling, spa treatments, craft lessons, gardening space, and more.

Access to on-site facilities makes life easier because you’ll have more opportunity to socialize with other residents, you won’t have to travel anywhere, and you won’t need to dip into your retirement income every time you want to have some fun.

You should be able to find the answers to all of these questions on a community's website, but if you can’t, you can call and ask, or wait until you take a tour of the community and get the answers then. And it’s always a good idea to make a list of your questions so that you don’t forget to ask them.