Top 10 Questions To Ask When Considering a Life Plan Community

If you’ve started to consider retirement living options, you’ll soon discover the incredible value that Life Plan Communities offer.  

Many remarkable benefits are available in Life Plan Communities that you won’t find by remaining in your current home, such as maintenance free living and a continuum of care.  

One of the most important parts of doing your research is taking the opportunity to visit communities in person. 

Life Plan Communities boast an outstanding array of benefits. Make sure to bring along this list of Top 10 Questions To Ask When Considering a Life Plan Community when you make your visits. 

We believe that the answers to these questions will help you pick the right community for all your needs and wants.

#1. Is this the right location for me?

Whether you are looking to stay near your hometown or move out of state, you want to LOVE where you live. Does the setting comfort you and delight you? Are the environment, location and weather what you want?

Do you want to be near family and friends? 

Are top-quality medical facilities nearby? 

In addition to boasting on-campus health care, most Life Plan Communities are located near hospitals and medical centers. 

map view of Lincolnshire, where Sedgebrook senior living community is located

#2. What type of residence will best meet my needs? 

Most Life Plan Communities require that you move in when you are still able to live independently. 

Independent living options include spacious cottages, welcoming patio homes, and varying sizes of well-appointed apartments. 

People are often delighted when they visit Life Plan Communities to discover how carefully designed their residences are. From open floor plans that promote mobility, to accessible bathrooms and showers, to well-lit kitchens with user-friendly appliances, independent living residences are often easier to live in than one’s current home.

a nicely decorated senior living apartment

#3. How do I evaluate other levels of care I might need in the future?

When you visit a Life Plan Community, be sure to visit residences in higher levels of care, including assisted living and skilled nursing. You may never need to move to a higher level of care, but visiting them and understanding that they are residential in look and feel is truly reassuring and comforting. 

#4.  Do they offer a full continuum of care?  

Life Plan Communities, like Sedgebrook, offer a continuum of care, which simply means that

several levels of care are offered on the same campus. 

Inherent in that “continuum” is the promise that you will never have to move out or leave the campus to receive any health care, other than critical or emergency hospital care. 

Residents are assured that all current and future health care needs are met in one community. 

With a continuum of care  you have access to multiple levels of care in the same community:

  • Independent living
  • Assisted living
  • Memory care
  • Skilled nursing care (including hospice care)
  • Short and/or long-term rehabilitation
  • Respite Care (available to non-residents)
  • Home health care

#5. How do I wisely evaluate a community’s amenities?

Evaluating amenities in a retirement community is not too different from considering a new home or a vacation destination. They all have bells and whistles, but what do YOU want?

Consider what features are important to you in each of the following categories. Remember to ask if those features are offered at the communities you visit.

  • Dining & Shopping   
  • Sports & Fitness       
  • Intellectual Pursuits   
  • Social Interests       
  • Religious/Spiritual    
the Harvest Bistro interior, one of the amenities at Sedgebrook senior living

#6. What should I ask current residents?

Some of the most important conversations you can have when you visit a Life Plan Community is with current residents. Ask to be introduced to at least three current residents. 

As you tour the community, make it a point to interact with residents and their family members. If you have time, you may even want to enjoy lunch or coffee with a few residents. 

Ask questions! This is a terrific opportunity to find out from actual residents what you really want to know.

  • What can they tell you about the community?
  • How long have they lived there?
  • Why did they choose this community?
  • What do they love about living here? What would they change?
  • What surprises did they encounter when they moved here?
  • What advice would they give you?
  • What do their family members think about the community?

#7. What should I ask staff and caregivers?

When you tour a retirement community, be sure to meet several staff members. They will welcome your questions, and they’ll give you a good feel for the community’s culture. Here are a few important questions to ask them.

  • What is the resident-to-caregiver ratio in assisted living? In memory care? In skilled nursing?
  • Do staff members give residents the opportunity to provide feedback and suggestions?
  • Do staff members undergo screenings and background checks prior to employment?
  • Do staff members receive continual training on lifesaving procedures?
  • Do staff members receive continual training for medical emergencies, natural disasters and other crises?

#8. What is the community’s mission?

Beyond whether a Life Plan Community is for-profit or not-for-profit, the mission of a retirement community tells you what makes it unique and different from its competitors. It also tells you about the philosophy of the parent organization that owns the community. 

#9.  What are the various costs in the community?

Most Life Plan Communities will charge an entrance fee and a monthly fee. These are influenced by the size of your residence, the location of the community, the level of care you may need, and the number of occupants who’ll be living in the residence. 

Life Plan Communities also offer varying contracts or agreements – be sure to have the details of the different options explained to you. The options are provided to meet your financial needs with care and foresight.

Remember – one of the major benefits of Life Care Communities is that they frequently offer refundability options in one or more of their contracts that essentially protect part of your estate. Be sure to ask your sales counselor about these. 

#10. Is there a waiting list for the community?

Choosing a retirement community takes time, thought and effort. But it often can come as a surprise to find out that in some cases, there are waiting lists for the exact residence you may want. It’s good to know that as quickly as possible so you can set realistic expectations. 

Your sales counselor can reassure you about normal wait times based on the residence you want and your ideal move date. 

Explore Your Future at Sedgebrook!

Our beautiful Life Plan Community in Lincolnshire, IL, provides seniors with everything they need to remain in control of their retirement. 

At Sedgebrook, it’s all about choices. From a variety of dining options, to endless amenities, flexible floor plans, and comprehensive health services, you’ll never have to second-guess leaving homeownership behind.  

Contact us today to learn more and to plan your visit! We look forward to welcoming you. Call us at (847) 496-3351.

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