Senior Housing: Tips for Selecting a Development

There's no huge mystery to selecting housing for able-bodied seniors.  The most important things to review are whether your loved one is ready to move, and whether he or she feels at home in the new environment.  Can you imagine living there happily until the day when you can no longer live independently?  Beyond that, there are a few things to seniors to consider:

  • Do the current residents speak well of the development or apartment complex?
  • Do lawns and common areas appear well-tended? Are the home exteriors well-maintained?
  • Does management answer your questions clearly?
  • Are all deed restrictions, services and obligations stated in writing?
  • Is the corporation (profit or non-profit) that operates the facility financially sound?
  • Do the amenities fit your interests? Can you "opt out" of certain club amenities? (There's no point in paying for the maintenance of a designer golf course if your idea of a good time is reading a book by the pool.)
  • Is the complex or development near people and places you wish to visit? Are there medical facilities nearby? Does the development offer transportation?
  • Does the complex or development feel safe? Do local crime statistics show a safe community, or one riddled with complaints?
  • Can you afford to rent or buy the unit or home you want? Can you afford the monthly fee? Should your circumstances or needs change, can you extricate yourself from the lease agreement? If units are owner-occupied, how quickly do the resale units turn over? Do owners or owners' heirs compete with a never-ending supply of new construction in the development?
  • If you're buying in to a continuing care community, are you willing to bet your savings or your existing home equity that you'll be happy there for the foreseeable future? If your feelings change, how much money will you lose?

>>Review the Senior Care Index for all senior care options.

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