There is a lot to consider when choosing a retirement community for yourself or a loved one. At Seasons, our team members want to make the process as easy and comfortable as possible, which is why we’ve put together a list of things to ask and consider before choosing the right accommodation for yourself or your loved one.
If it’s important to you to be close to family and friends, how long is the distance from the residence to where they live? If you no longer drive, it’s best to consider how far the home is from other amenities such as shopping, a library, a park, a place of worship, the hospital, public transit, or other conveniences.
If ageing in place gives you peace of mind, it’s valuable to know what services you would likely use today and the ones available to you, should you need them in the future. You might ask what will happen if your health, or the health of your loved one, changes. Will you have to move again?
You will ask questions about the different levels of care offered, what is included, and how much they cost. In Alberta, certain levels of care are accessed through Alberta Health Services (AHS).
Digging deeper into the above, what medical and support services do the residence provide? Even if they aren’t vital to you today, it’s good to know that it’s available if and when you need them. Be sure to ask about medication administration services, pharmacy services, vitals monitoring, access to a doctor and other medical professionals.
At Seasons, we know dining is very important to our residents! Be sure to ask about other lifestyle services such as the number of meals served per day, the availability of snacks and refreshments, housekeeping services, personal laundry, and transportation.
Most communities offer various living arrangements in multiple sizes, layouts, and locations, from apartments with full kitchens to suites with kitchenettes. Consider where you’ll be happiest and in what kind of floor plan, then ask to see a similar suite. Picture your possessions there. Can the staff provide a floor plan with measurements so you have an idea of what furniture to bring?
In the suite, there are safety features to think about and ensure everything is in working order, such as fire alarms, sprinklers, and the call bell. Your new home should feel safe and secure. Depending on your preferences, suites have the option for individually controlled heating and air conditioning, a kitchen or kitchenette, a private bathroom, storage, and the choice between one or multiple rooms. Will cable TV, phone, and internet access be included? If not, how much will it be?
As you view the amenities and suite options, are you comfortable with what they have to offer? Your suite is undoubtedly important, but you should consider the entire retirement community and all of its amenity spaces as part of your new home. When it comes to those shared spaces, think about what you like to do and what you are expecting from this new chapter in your life. There is likely a common dining area; is there a spot you could reserve for larger family gatherings?
Other common areas might include:
People often choose retirement residences for the sense of community, camaraderie and the many opportunities for having fun! Ask what activities are available and if you’re able to provide input. Do you love to volunteer? Ask about the opportunities to give back and get involved. Some communities also offer transportation for shopping, events and excursions, so inquire about these options as well.
How do you communicate with residents and families?
Seasons is now using an integrated communication platform designed for senior living, connecting staff, residents, and their families called Cubigo. Cubigo digitizes services like dining and menu selection, transportation, communication, and activities. Users are invited to sign up directly and can choose which notifications they would like to receive.
Last but not least, it’s time to talk about the cost. You’ll need to know the monthly rate that you’ll be expected to pay and in which method, what’s included and what services could be an additional cost, and if a deposit is required to secure your place. When will the rate increase, and how will you be informed?
While it may seem like a lot to ask, these considerations will help you make the most informed decision for yourself or a loved one. When you have time on your side, you can tour your local residences and find the one that suits your personal needs and desires.
For more information on retirement living at Seasons, we encourage you to speak with the Leasing Manager at your desired location or complete our contact form to arrange a virtual or in-person visit. You can rest assured that all visits will be scheduled following COVID-19 safety measures. For the most up-to-date protocols, see our Company tab.