Time is perhaps best spent in the company of those who have lived full and interesting lives. Chester County is bursting with people who have contributed to the rich heritage of the Delaware Valley, making the region an ideal spot to find a retirement community filled with spirited seniors.
The downside of this wealth of options, however, is that it can be dizzying to figure out which community is right for you. Here are a few things to know about the retirement communities in Chester County to make the process a bit less daunting:
A Wide Range of Care Is Available
Although the options may seem infinite, there are four main types of communities available to seniors:
- Independent living communities are ideal for seniors in relatively good health who desire the social aspect of a retirement community without the maintenance demands that come with owning a home.
- Personal care communities are designed for those who need help with a few basic services, such as taking medications, housekeeping, or bathing.
- Nursing home communities are perfect for those who have a chronic illness, limited mobility, or require assistance with daily living activities.
- Continuing care retirement communities typically include all three community types (independent living, personal care, and nursing care) in one general location so that residents can easily transition to an increased level of care as their needs change.
It’s also important to note that only some senior living communities provide dementia care, which is a crucial aspect of senior living for any resident who either has dementia or will likely develop dementia in coming years.
Costs and Payment Methods Differ
The monthly cost of senior living communities in Chester County varies widely, and it’s important to know how much you can afford to spend as you check out your options. Most independent and personal care communities are not covered by public funds, but by private funds such as income from employment and investment, savings, Social Security benefits, and/or financial assistance from organizations or family members.
Another detail worth noting as you peruse local communities is what type of payment plan they offer. Though some communities require a one-time entrance fee plus a monthly charge for the remainder of a resident’s life, other communities are fee-for-service, meaning residents only pay for services they use. And other communities still may require a property purchase and offer the purchase of discounted healthcare benefits. The best payment method depends on how much you’ve saved for long-term care, what assets you have, and what types of financial assistance you have at your disposal.
Some Communities Don’t Allow Certain Activities
It’s also important to figure out what your priorities are as you select a retirement community. Some communities don’t allow pets, for example, while others prohibit residents from keeping a small garden. Many independent living communities will allow you to keep a vehicle, while many personal care and nursing home communities may not. If a community doesn’t allow you to practice a favorite hobby or spend time with your best furry friend, it’s best to know up front so that you can land on the best fit for you.
Recreation Options Vary Widely
Maintaining a vibrant social life is one of the main perks of living in a senior living community. The quality of life in each community will depend heavily on what recreation options are available, as well as the dining experience provided.
Some of the best communities have event calendars full of continuing education and cultural programs, facilities that feature high-tech movie theaters and game rooms, free transportation to area events and attractions, and organized outings to keep things interesting.
And it goes without saying that dining quality is of the utmost importance for any senior living community. The best communities offer gourmet dining served in a restaurant atmosphere that can be easily modified to fit any tastes or dietary restrictions.
The Best Way to Get the Right Fit Is to Schedule a Visit
Even if a community looks perfect on paper, the experience could be completely different on arrival. The best way to really know if a community is right for you is to schedule a visit, talk with current residents, and have a meal in the dining room to see if it meets your standards.