Home Discover Senior Living 55+ Retirement Living Options

55+ Retirement Living Options

Joan Rettman Transforming Age

The term ‘retirement community’ covers a lot of different types of options, some with care, some without care. Joan Rettmann from Transforming Age joins Suzanne to talk about what they all mean.

Joan says, “There are a lot of terms that are used out there in the industry. The first step may potentially be one that falls in the category of 55 plus, starting with a younger age group. A lot of times those communities can be designed in an apartment-like complex. They can be more of a campus-like setting or a town home. Some folks choose that option if they’re ready to have a little bit of a lower maintenance lifestyle, but still have it feel most similar to the situation that they had been living in. They typically come with some sort of a community space too. Maybe it’s a specific building designed for that, or there are common areas, central areas for people to come together and enjoy that social experience without necessarily all of the maintenance responsibilities of their former home.”

If you’re looking to retire or downsize, ask yourself some key questions. Joan says, “Regardless of age, sometimes a lot of folks assume that, they have to wait till a certain age to consider it. Or that’s a goal that they have in mind. Rather than looking at a number, look at other things. Ask yourself some other important questions. First of all, ‘Do I have any health diagnosis that might I might need care within the next year or two?’ Then that might tell you, maybe I’ll focus on communities that have care services built in as part of it, instead of ones that are independent only.

“Next would be: ‘What are my goals? What do I want? What would be my expectations when looking at a community?’ For some people, the socialization piece is top on their list. Maybe where they’re living right now, that piece is missing. So they want that piece, which is really common in retirement communities. Other people are more private by nature, so what’s more important to them would be the types of care available. If something changes in the future, maybe they’re more focused on certain amenities. A big reader will want to make sure they have a great library. Or a pool, or other things that I want to do more independently. So the amenities can be part of it. But definitely think about what’s important to you in the long term as well. If something changes down the road, how comfortable am I with the the plan for the services that may or may not?”

* Transforming Age website
* Hear more podcasts about discovering senior living

Answers for Elders is part of the Senior Resource Network. Check out our affiliate podcast Alzheimer’s Speaks.