Moving to a Retirement Community
The best way to begin to compare facilities is to go and tour them. Visiting in person gives you the chance to talk with the residents and/or their family members, meet the staff and ask questions, and get a feel for the atmosphere.
We asked people who made the decision to transition to a retirement community or helped loved ones make this decision what to ask when evaluating a community. This is what they said:
The U.S. government administers a website called Care Compare. You can enter your zip code and see a list of facilities near you.
Care Compare has a quality rating system that gives each facility a rating between 1 and 5 stars. Facilities with 5 stars are considered to have above average quality and facilities with 1 star are considered to have quality below average. The rating system uses information from health care surveys (both standard and complaint), quality measures, and staffing. Details are available for each facility so you can see why they earned a particular rating.
The Medicare Nursing Home Checklist is a helpful document to take with when you visit a community. You can use it as a guide during your visit and a reference for comparison as you consider your options.
You can also take the results from your Priorities & Preferences for Living document with you to discuss your needs and preferences with the community staff.