Six Things to Look for When Touring Retirement Communities in Georgia
Choosing a retirement community is a major decision. Georgia has a wide variety of options that provide different amenities, services and accommodations. To ensure you make the right choice, you should look for specific features when touring the communities you’re interested in. You also want to get a feel for the lifestyle of the community while you tour. The right community will give you a welcoming sensation and allow you to picture what it would be like to live there long-term.
Before scheduling tours of retirement communities in Georgia, prepare a list of questions for staff members that address your most important must-haves. Write down their answers, and when each tour is over, save contact information in case you have any other questions. The best communities will be highly accessible and address your concerns promptly.
In addition to following those steps, the following are the top six things to look for when touring a Georgia retirement community:
1. Convenient Location
One of the key aspects of any community will be location. Your location requirements depend on what you’re looking for in a residence. Things to consider include:
- Is the community located near relatives or friends?
- How far do you need to travel for shopping?
- Are you able to easily get to your doctor’s appointments?
Another consideration is your proximity to your attractions around Georgia. You may want a home that allows you to easily travel to concert halls, museums, beaches and sporting events. Choosing a Georgia retirement community gives you the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful weather year-round, so many of those attractions are open even in winter months. Many residents relocate from northern states as a way to escape the harsh cold during the winter months and gain access to similar location-based attractions.
Just because the community you’re touring is located further from one or more of these places than you are used to doesn’t mean you should rule it out. The community may offer scheduled transportation to make it easier for you to visit your doctor and other community destinations. Furthermore, the staff may have private transportation options to help residents get around without needing to rely on a car or public transportation, so make sure to ask about this service.
2. Health Care
Many communities provide support for common health or daily living tasks, such as medication management or memory care for dementia. Ask the staff about available professional medical personnel and what hours they work. Common services in personal care communities, for example, include assistance with bathing and in-house rehabilitation services such as physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy.
Most importantly, the community you’re considering should have some type of emergency response system. Preference should be given to the communities with a 24-hour health monitoring team. The bedroom and bathroom area should be outfitted with alerts to help you get in touch with the staff immediately if you need any type of assistance. While most adults won’t need to use an emergency system, the presence of one can help you get prompt care if necessary, potentially avoiding more serious complications later.
Besides medical monitoring, you may also want to look for a community with a security team or monitoring system that helps improve your safety and peace of mind.
3. Friendly Staff
Since you’ll be spending a lot of time in your new community, you want to make sure you get along with both residents and staff, but also pay special attention to community employees. You’ll likely be interacting with them regularly, especially if you’re interested in having a level of support for your daily tasks.
Community staff should be friendly and welcoming. You can also ask about staff experience during your tour. Do employees have experience with different types of assistance? Accommodating dietary restrictions? Any areas that you’re concerned about make for good questions. Other insightful information includes details on staff turnover rates and overall resident satisfaction. If possible, talk to residents to get perspective on how they like the staff and whether they are happy with the community as a whole. Monitor how engaged staff seems to be when interacting with community members.
After your tour, gauge how the staff made you feel and how they answered your questions. Did you feel welcome? Were they supportive or were they abrupt? This is often a good way to gauge how you’ll feel interacting with staff when you live in the community.
The food offered through a retirement community should be evaluated during all tours. Talk to the staff about trying out any dining options offered on the grounds during your visit – most communities will invite you to spend a meal with them so you can see what you think.
Many communities that you’ll tour have restaurant-style dining options with all meals prepared by a chef. Although taste is important, consider the nutritional value of the meals available as well. Delicious and nutrient-rich meals will keep you healthy and happy throughout your stay. The dining staff should be able to accommodate specialized diets, too. For instance, if you need a lower sodium diet to control blood pressure levels, the chef should be able to adjust meals to fit your needs.
5. Maintenance and Upkeep
An important part of touring a retirement community is how well the community is maintained. Although the brochures may make the residence look breathtaking, you want to confirm that the interior and exterior of all areas are clean and aesthetically pleasing. Lawns should be trimmed with weeds removed. Buildings and walkways should be clean with no signs of debris. During the rare bouts of bad weather in Georgia, you want to confirm that sidewalks and driveways will be cleared of ice and snow.
Many retirees look for a community with charming outdoor areas where they can relax and unwind. Preferred locations provide residents with access to walking paths and courtyards. If the outdoor areas are run down, the interior is likely not well maintained either. All indoor common areas within the community should be clean and give you a feeling of relaxation as you walk through. Although maintenance is important, you want the décor to add to an overall pleasant atmosphere. If you’re turned off by the appearance of the common areas, then it will be hard for you to spend time there as a resident.
Finally, all private residences should be well maintained. One of the benefits of a retirement community is that they offer services that relieve you of the burden of common tasks and chore, such as maintenance and repairs. The community staff should be responsible for repairing appliances and finishing the jobs in a timely fashion, for instance. Additional services may include laundry and housekeeping.
6. Wellness Options
The best retirement communities in Georgia go above and beyond the typical services offered, focusing on whole body and mind wellness to enhance their residents’ quality of life. Wellness programs may include different activities that residents can choose from, allowing them to pursue what they’re most interested in. For instance, the community may have a fitness center with a schedule of workout classes daily. There could be a walking or jogging club that meets on a regular basis to explore the community’s walking paths.
For social individuals, recreation is very important and gives them a chance to meet others. Even if exercise isn’t a priority, review the community event schedule. Preferred communities will have plenty of activities that appeal to all interests.
Along with an activity schedule, the community should offer ways for families to get involved. The personal care community may offer family support groups and educational seminars. Encouraging family support is crucial to guarantee that the resident doesn’t feel isolated from loved ones. In general, family and friends should also be welcome at the wellness, social and cultural events offered in the community.
Find the Georgia Community that Meets Your Needs
There are many options when considering retirement communities in Georgia, but the best choice typically contains all of the options above, along with additional characteristics that are important to you, such as being pet-friendly.
Heritage of Peachtree offers all of the above and much more. We’ve specially designed our community to be warm and welcoming to residents and their friends, family and even pets. Situated in sunny Peachtree City, our amenities and services are customized for your needs, so you can worry less about daily tasks and chores, and instead devote your time to the interests and activities you’re passionate about. Contact us today to schedule a tour and find out more about our residences.