18 Aug Must-Ask Questions When Visiting a Life Plan Community: Westerwood Has the Answers!
Shopping trips can be fun and exciting, but when it comes to choosing a Life Plan Community, it’s an entirely different experience with unique considerations. Deciding to move into a Life Plan Community may have some uncertainties. After all, you’re not just selecting a place to live; you’re planning your future.
Decision-making can feel overwhelming with all the amenities and options that Life Plan Communities offer. The best way to get a sense of what life might be like is by touring the campuses you’re interested in. However, knowing the right questions to ask during your visit can be challenging, especially when it comes to understanding what truly matters and getting to the heart of it. At Westerwood, we provide the guidance you need through every step of the process.
Let’s start with the basics. These questions cover the fundamental offerings, amenities and services you might find in other communities. We’ll provide comprehensive information about floor plans, pricing, contracts, utilities, dining venues, wellness programs and more. We’ll gladly answer all your inquiries and give you a deeper dive into any areas that interest you the most.
Start with the things that matter most. If you’re interested in floor plans, take your time and ask to see as many as you can. If dining and menus are essential, listen to what they share and ask for samples. See if you can have lunch there or try a dessert. And don’t be shy about asking to speak with the chef. If participating in wellness, learning or volunteering matters to you, ask for a deeper dive into these topics.
Don’t forget to ask about these important topics:
- Floor plans
- Pricing and contracts
- Rental insurance
- Dining venues—Many communities offer various options, from casual cafés and pubs to fine-dining venues with table service and haute cuisine. Some even offer private dining.
- Dining plans, hours of service, dress codes, reservations and seating
- Menus to accommodate special dietary requirements
- Availability of take-out or delivery dining services
- Interior common spaces including the library, theater, art studio, gym, fitness/wellness class spaces, living rooms, salons, spa/massage room, guest suites, woodshop, pool, business/computer center, chapel or meditation space
- Exterior common spaces such as porches and patios, vegetable and flower gardens and other planting beds, walking paths and picnic areas, dining areas with grilling space, fire pits, wellness paths with equipment and direction
- Housekeeping and maintenance services
- Parking and transportation services
- Security, messages and postal deliveries
- Policies for overnight guests in your residence or guest suites
- Availability of other levels of care, including home care in your independent living residence should you need it
The Heart of It All
While you get your basic questions answered, you’ll start to get a feeling for the community. However, the real question may become, “If I choose to live here, will I be able to live every day to the fullest?”
Asking this question helps you shift your focus from the transactional details to how the community makes you feel. Although the communities you visit will likely share many of the same features, how each community makes you feel is often a deciding factor.
Here are a few final questions that can help you get to the heart of it. Always look for signs that the community is interested in what is best for you. This will increase confidence that you’ve covered the basics and will better help you determine how the community makes you feel.
For confidence and clarity, ask the following:
- How financially stable is the community?
- Ask to see the community’s most recently audited financial statements. It may help to meet with the chief financial officer. They understand you plan on being there well into the future and that your questions are reasonable and intelligent.
- What are the residents like?
- What are the residents like? What are their interests? Ask to meet a few residents and talk with them candidly about their life in the community.
- What happens if my health changes?
- Ask about policies and processes in place that will provide you with support and care if you need more than you need today. Inquire about how much say you’ll have in your residence options if your health changes. Be sure you understand how it all works.
Although they may seem rudimentary, the answers to these questions will provide much clarity regarding critical elements of your decision.
At Westerwood, we answer these questions every day. As your questions are answered, you’ll get the necessary information about how a community communicates. If the basics make sense, and ‘the heart of it all’ feels good to you, then you may be ready to say, “This must be the place!”
Even if you don’t make your home at Westerwood, we aim for you to leave with the best possible understanding of your retirement living options. Ready to start asking your questions? Call us today at (614) 568-0503, and we’ll find the answers together!