When you first begin looking into moving to a community geared toward active adults, it can be very overwhelming. How do you know which is the right one for you? A great place to start is the actual type of community.
Within the older adult housing industry, one of the terms you are bound to hear is Life Plan Community. Life Plan Communities have independent living, as well as more clinical care settings such as assisted living, memory support, and/or skilled nursing. Often, these communities offer robust life enrichment programming, social group activities, and onsite dining. As residents’ needs change, they transition through the levels of care without needing to move to another community. They are also usually the most costly option, as they often require a sizable entrance fee in addition to monthly services fees.
Life Plan Communities are comprehensive, but they are not the right solution for everyone. Many active adults prefer to make their next move one in which their neighbors are like-minded individuals who are in a similar life stage but still have all the flexibility that comes with living independently. Active adult communities for residents age 55 and better, like Sunstone Village, typically offer a full social calendar with exciting, enriching programming, as well as the friendship and camaraderie of neighbors who care about and look out for each other. They may or may not have dining onsite, as in many situations, residents enjoy cooking for themselves and/or dining out at a variety of local restaurants.
Active adult communities most often are more cost-effective than Life Plan Communities, as they are frequently a rental contract. There is usually a security deposit or community fee, and the monthly rent begins upon occupancy of the residence. If you are downsizing from a house, this type of community makes for a simple transition – without the need for a large outlay of money in order to move in, you have the flexibility to move and sell your house after you are settled into your new apartment.
Should residents’ needs change down the road, they may choose to move to an assisted living community or other clinical care setting, or they may be able to bring private duty care into their residences to assist them. Each community is different regarding whether or not care may be brought in, so be sure to ask the community representative during the sales process. At Sunstone Village, residents are welcome to have caregivers in their residences, so long as they remain safe.
Each type of community has its pros and cons; as you do your research and start identifying what is most important to you in how you envision your next home, you may even want to write down the pros and cons as you see them – because what is a pro to one person may be a con to another.
Now that you have a better understanding of the types of communities available, how do you compare the communities you research? Stay tuned – that is next week’s topic!