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Should My Loved Ones Go to a Retirement Community

Many elderly people still want to remain fiercely independent.  

They want to keep driving their cars, shop for themselves, and perform normal activities.  As caregivers, we want to make sure that our loved ones stay safe and secure without exposing themselves to undue harm.

Like a medical alert service, a retirement community can provide a transition so that your loved one can feel independent and still have the support they need in case of emergency. 

What is a retirement community?
A retirement community is a housing complex for older adults who are mostly able to care for themselves.  Mobility and other services (like home health care and scheduled activities) are provided to individual residents.   This works well for loved ones who still want to remain independent.
What can you expect in a retirement community?
That?s honestly dependent upon both your personal needs and the services that the community offers.  At the very least, it offers a social outlet for our loved ones to develop friendships with potentially like-minded individuals.  At their best, retirement communities are a full-service system of aging care for our loved ones.
Is a medical alert service needed when living in a retirement community?
Yes.  While nursing homes offer 24/7 coverage in case of emergency, retirement communities offer services which are based on the resident?s needs.  Your loved one isn?t going to have someone around them at all times, and emergencies happen in the blink of an eye.  A medical alert service will be there for you in case of falls, serious injuries, and other emergencies.
How do you choose an independent living retirement community?
Taking the step to go into a retirement community is more complex than choosing which medical alert service that you?re going to use.  It?s still very much like choosing an apartment or a house.  Retirement communities are located all around the US, so there should be one that?s close to where you are.
  • Is this a huge community or is it a more intimate setting?
  • Are there people walking around the community?
  • What kinds of services do they advertise?
  • How about the accessibility?  Is it close to everything or out in the middle of nowhere?
  • Are there doctors and home health care professionals on site?  Do they stop by there regularly?
  • Are the residents encouraged to socialize with each other through activities and other events?
  • Are there green spaces where your loved one can enjoy the ?great outdoors? in the protected environment of a retirement community?
  • Is it affordable?  Are there transition plans in place for those with declining health?
Choosing to live in a retirement community is a wonderful step that our loved ones can take to keep living independently.  They not only live independently, but they still have the blanket of protection from having support systems nearby. Consider talking about it with your loved ones to see if it?s right for them.