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5 Factors to Consider When Shopping for a Continuing Care Retirement Community

Posted on November 27, 2017 in General

If you’re just beginning your search for the right Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), you may be a bit overwhelmed by the process.

There’s a lot of information available to retirees and their families about retirement communities, but your Google search may leave you with even more questions than when you started! The best way to have all your questions answered is by requesting a personal appointment with each community you’re considering.

To make your shopping experience a little easier, we’ve developed 5 categories into which you can break down a community:

  • Services and amenities
  • Costs
  • Care
  • Residences
  • Culture

It is wise to plan ahead and ask plenty of questions during each of your community visits. To help you pick the right community for you, here are five questions that will help you to learn more about each of the community categories:

1.) What on-site amenities and services are provided?

Most retirement communities have a host of amenities and services to offer residents, but it’s worth taking the time to really consider which of these amenities and services you see yourself using in the future. Do these services replace any household chores you currently do? Are there any services that would simplify your life? Services are meant to free up your time so that you can spend it doing things you enjoy most.

Do you enjoy reading? How about woodworking or painting? Do you like to exercise on land or in the water? Depending on your answers to these questions, you may want to make sure that the community you select has an on-site library, woodworking shop, creative studio, or a swimming pool. Campus amenities should speak to your personal interests and encourage your active lifestyle.

2.) What’s included in the monthly service package?

During your tour or appointment, ask your guide what is included in your monthly service package, and what services or amenities will be an additional cost. While it may be obvious to ask about the community’s entrance fee or monthly service fee, some of these less obvious costs could make a difference in your bottom line.

3.) What other levels of care are provided?

When planning for your retirement, it’s important to look to the future. Consider the different levels of care the community provides, including personal care, skilled nursing care and memory care.

As you age, your needs are likely to change. If you choose a community that provides additional care levels, there will be no need to move again in the future to a different community. All of your needs will be met right on-site. Another advantage to choosing a community with multiple care levels is that if you or your partner’s needs were to ever change, each of your needs can be met on campus, without having to live in separate communities.

4.) What kind of residences are available?

What kind of home do you envision yourself living in during your retirement? A cozy, maintenance-free studio that will allow you to spend your days pursuing your passions, or a larger apartment that allows room for frequent visitors?

Depending on your lifestyle and your passions, your needs in an apartment might change. Take these interests into consideration during your retirement community shopping.

5.) What is the community culture like?

Lastly, but arguably most importantly, what is the community culture like? Do the staff and residents welcome you during your visit? Are there events, trips and activities that align with your interests? Is there a focus on the arts, volunteering, wellness or exercise, or the environment?

During your visit, be sure to talk with other residents about their community lifestyles. Ask them what they’re interested in and how they like to spend their time on campus. Peruse the activities listings to see if they have ones that interest you.

Several other factors may influence community culture, including whether or not it’s not-for-profit, or if they have a religious affiliation. The answers to these questions may make a difference in whether your values align with the values of the community.


By taking the time to decide what truly matters to you in your retirement, you’ll be able to select a community that is the right fit for you. The right community will nurture each of your interests, and provide the security and peace of mind you deserve.

For more information about Pennswood Village, or to schedule your personal tour, give us a call today at 866-740-4977, or visit us online here!