Best Retirement Community: 5 Questions You Should Ask When Looking at a Senior Community

Angie D'Amours 002

What To Look For In a Retirement Community by Angie D’Amours, Marketing Representative at The Cedars

1. What are the living options within the retirement community?

So often our members talk about the peace of mind that comes from living at The Cedars because we offer a full continuum of senior health services.  In addition to fully independent living we have concierge services, assisted living, short term rehabilitation and skilled care on our campus.  And because The Cedars has been providing health care to seniors for so long, we have a strong reputation in the Portland area for providing excellent care. So when looking at senior living communities not only ask about whether they have the full array of senior services but inquire into the quality of their care. Whether for the short or long term, immediate access to a community of experts and services in senior care is paramount to peace of mind as you age.

 2.       How flexible are the services and amenities?

Most communities offer a variety of programs, events, services and facilities so the members can pursue their interests, socialize, and stay well. Although not everyone takes advantage of everything available, it is important that the amenities offered meet your needs.  In addition, you’ll want to see if the services will work within you lifestyle. For instance, do I need to have my meals at the same time every day or is there a generous span of time during which meals are served? Also, are the fitness facilities, pool or art studio available when I want, or are the times limited?  Think about your lifestyle and expect the community to accommodate your preferences.

 3.       How vibrant are the lives of those who live there?

When visiting a community, be sure to ask about the day to day lives of those who live there.  Are the members continuing to participate in what interests them, or in finding new interests?  Vibrant communities where the members gather for book groups, attend senior college, participate in fitness classes, and hold season tickets to the symphony or stage will promise inspiration to ‘get up and go’ as well as engaging conversation.

 4.       Did you have a chance to interact with the members/residents who live there?

As an extension of the above point, it is important to talk with the people who live in the community to get a sense of how satisfied they are with living there. Was it the right move for them and why? What inspired them to choose that community?  In addition, you’ll want to make sure that the character and culture of the community is comfortable for you.  Members at The Atrium often say that, after visiting other communities, The Atrium just felt right and they knew it was where they wanted to be.

5. What is the financial model like?

Senior living communities generally offer either a rental option or require a membership, or entrance fee, in addition to a monthly fee.  Rental communities are generally leased on a month to month basis. Communities that carry a refundable membership fee, like The Cedars, typically have a richer menu of services and amenities.  For membership communities, ask whether their financial model for healthcare involves a “life care fee” or a “pay as you go” model. For more information on the above, or to schedule a tour of The Cedars, contact Angie today at or call 207-221-7100.