Selecting a retirement community for yourself or a loved one can be a daunting task. It is a decision that should not be taken lightly, as differences in retirement communities can be dramatic. In this article, we take a look at three factors you should consider during your search to ensure that the community you select fits your needs.

Location

The physical location of a retirement community impacts so many critical components of the retirement lifestyle that it should play a reasonably large role in your overall decision. Here are a few things we would recommend considering when it comes to selecting the location of a retirement community:

  1. Proximity to Friends and Family – retirement should be full of relationships, recreation, and quality time with friends and family. Having friends and family nearby means that they can experience your retirement community with you.
  2. Proximity to Shopping, Dining, and Entertainment – while luxury retirement communities like Oakmont of Orange offer five-star dining, a private movie theater, and a full social calendar, it is still fun to get out and explore your surroundings. This is why we recommend that the retirement community you choose is near shopping, dining, and entertainment options that suit your personality and preferences. 
  3. Weather Conditions – any retirement community you consider should include options for regular outdoor activities, like gardening, walking paths, swimming pools and outdoor games. No matter how nice the amenities are in your apartment or common areas, we all like to get outside for some vitamin D and fresh air. For this reason, we recommend finding a location where the weather fits your personal preferences and is conducive to your favorite outdoor activities. 

Lifestyle

Every retirement community is different and has their own set of rules and regulations. These rules are not much different than living in a planned community, but it is important to know these rules upfront. Some of the rules and regulations you should be sure to ask about are:

  1. Entertaining Guests on Premises- It is common for retirement communities to have stringent limitations for entertaining non-residents at the community. If entertaining is important to you, it is a good idea to find a community that encourages their residents to host friends and family instead of putting rules in place to hinder such activities. That is just one of the reasons Oakmont of Orange is proud to offer a variety of amenities for residents to entertain their guests. From restaurant-style dining, private dining rooms, an on-site movie theater and outdoor barbecue and pool areas, residents are encouraged to welcome their guests as often as they’d like so that they can enjoy their retirement community in the company of family and friends. 
  2. Pet Policy- Quite a few retirement communities have rules in place that restrict you from bringing your pet your new home. At Oakmont, we realize that our furry friends can become as much a part of our lives as a good friend. At Oakmont Senior Living’s corporate headquarters, you will find doggy beds and doggy doors in the offices of our employees who want to bring their dogs to work with them. This love for animals extends to all of our retirement communities where our residents find that pets are not only welcomed but catered to. 
  3. Social Calendar & Excursions- The term “retirement community” has become used by retirement homes, nursing homes, and other facilities. This is a shame because it has watered down the unique designation of true communities for the retired. It is important to find a retirement community that feels like just that, a community. At the heart of any community is opportunities to meet new people, strengthen bonds with existing friends and create cherished memories. At Oakmont of Orange, we pride ourselves on keeping a full calendar of events for our residents including themed dining, game nights, holiday parties, barbecues, and offsite excursions where residents can see the very best that Orange has to offer. These excursions combine masterfully planned events with the many shopping, dining, and entertainment options afforded by our beautiful Southern California location. 

Medical Options

Having professional medical assistance available is a key component to having peace of mind at your new retirement community. It goes without saying that a retirement community should have the proper staff and accommodations to take care of your current medical needs, but it is also important that your chosen community is able to take care of you in the future should your needs change. It is common to hear stories of retirees who have settled into a retirement community, made friends, gotten to know the staff, and then have to be uprooted because the community cannot care for their new health condition. It is with this in mind that Oakmont of Orange offers a world-class wellness center, a full-time nurse and care plans customized to your needs that accommodate varying conditions. These resources are intended to keep our residents healthy, active, and enjoying life to the fullest. 

It is also important to find a community that offers memory care on the same campus. This is the farthest thing from many people’s minds when they first select a retirement community. However, it is a mistake to not take memory care into consideration. One of the most important reasons to consider memory care is because if you or your spouse develops Alzheimer’s or dementia, you will not have to be split up or moved because of a memory care need if memory care is provided at your selected retirement community. There is nothing worse than seeing a couple separated or displaced because they moved into a community that suited their needs at the time with no thought given to future medical needs. 

Choosing a retirement community is much easier when you are equipped with the right questions to ask to narrow your search. We hope that this article has been helpful and as always, if you have any questions about selecting a retirement community, please feel free to contact our caring staff at your convenience.