Yes! You Can Find Your Perfect Fit.
February 8, 2023
If you’re reading this, you probably have already begun to shop around for retirement living options. Are you confused and overwhelmed? Join the club! Sometimes we have all the facts but still don’t know what it all means and how it applies to us personally.
It all begins with knowing what questions to ask. But, more than that, it helps to know if the answers are good or bad and whether they should matter to you. With so many communities to consider, all with different answers to your questions, how do you know if you have found the perfect fit?
As with all big decisions, a little research and advanced planning help. You know how to measure floor plans and compare amenities. But to weed out communities that are an ‘almost but not quite’ from a ‘this is it,’ here are a few questions about what is important and why the answers matter to your decisions and plans.
Before you move to Lakeside at Waterman Village, we want to be sure that you’ve chosen the best community for you, and we hope this guide helps.
What to ask: How financially stable is the community?
What to know: You should ask to see the community’s most recently audited financial statements. All communities have them, and they are typically part of a disclosure statement. You can ask to have the Chief Financial Officer review the statement with you so that all your questions are answered properly.
What this means to you: This will give you the information you need to know to determine whether the community is stable and efficiently managed. Equally important, it will give you a sense of how the community approaches serious questions from residents and potential residents.
Why this matters: You want to choose a community that is stable and has a history of being well-managed because you want to relax and live there for many happy years! You also want to know you’re choosing a community that shares appropriate information and is willing to communicate with you about anything important to your life as a resident.
What to ask: What are the residents like?
What to know: If you’re interested in living in a community, you’ll be interested in your neighbors! The staff you meet with should offer to have you meet or visit with residents. Most communities will ask if you would like to join a resident for a meal or a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.
What to expect: It is not unusual for someone like yourself to be able to meet with a resident without staff present. Introductions are made and staff will excuse themselves while you break bread and get down to the details from the real experts!
Why this matters: You should be able to ask questions and get responses regarding what a day in the life of a resident is like – from the perspective of the people who live it every day. This will give you the strongest sense of place regarding each community you visit.
What else: Knowing you have met people that have made this decision is a big help. They’ve done what you are thinking about doing. They’ll know how you feel and can answer questions as only they can.
What to ask: How are decisions made if my health needs change?
What to know: Communities are obligated to make sure residents are safe regardless of where they live in the community. This means that if the ability to remain independent changes and safety is affected, a discussion regarding what is the best next step is warranted. The residency agreement should clearly provide detail regarding any possible changes.
What to expect: You are central to any discussion about safety and care, often with people important to you, including your physician. You should ask to meet with someone from the resident services team. Often this person is very familiar with your situation and preferences.
Why this matters: A community that communicates clearly about all topics should be at the top of your list. Asking questions about possible future changes will help you assess who’s willing to talk about all of the ‘what ifs’ that are on your mind.
Let’s be honest: you know how to shop! You’ve seen all the checklists about activities and menus and trips to the symphony. Once you’ve decided all that sounds fine, what really matters is: Did you feel a connection to the community?
If you felt a connection, then you probably trust that staff clearly communicated and shared details important to you and made sure you understood what those details will mean. If you felt a connection, then you met a few people you look forward to learning more about. And they shared it all, the good and the not-so-good, but they love their life in the community. They made it clear: the team in the community is there to empower residents to live their best life. Lastly, you felt confident that the community team understands what matters most to you, regardless of any changes time may bring. This means you have a plan that makes sense for you now and in the future.
Sometimes amenities and services are not that different from one community to another, but the way each community answers these three key questions helps you know which one just feels right. After all the detail is examined and that great lunch is over, what really matters is this: Which place made you feel good? Did you feel a connection? If so, then you may have found your perfect fit!
We would love to have you tour Lakeside at Waterman to meet our team, residents and staff and see if it’s the right fit for you.