Choosing a Retirement Apartment

When it comes to choosing the right retirement apartment, one of the first things you want to do is look for practical amenities such as laundry hookups within the apartment and a mailbox within easy reach. Having laundry within the unit eliminates the hassle involved with carrying laundry baskets to a community laundry room. A senior may not want to walk across a parking lot to retrieve the mail, and doing so may not be safe in icy or other inclement conditions. A mailbox located directly outside the door or a mail deposit opening in the door are better options for the elderly.

Consider whether a guest bedroom is required. If grandchildren or other guests will routinely stay overnight, opt for a retirement apartment with a spare bedroom. The spare room can provide additional storage space for photographs or other meaningful items boxed away during the downsizing process.

Mobility Accessibility

Notice mobility-related safety features such as a stabilization bar in the bathtub area, single-level living and wheelchair accessibility if required. Senior apartments may also offer safety features such as an alarm system or one-touch buttons to summons police or medical help.

Ask management who is responsible for maintaining the yard and sidewalks. Many senior apartment communities handle those tasks, taking the stress of outdoor maintenance off the seniors who live there.

Surrounding Areas

If the senior is mobile but does not drive, check the area for grocery stores, pharmacies and restaurants within easy walking distance. Find out how safe the area is by looking up local crime statistics online and speaking with people who live in the vicinity. Drive through the area at night as well as in the day, as the safety landscape can change considerably after dark. A gated retirement community is a bonus where safety is a concern.

Cost of Living

Finally, consider the price. Are utilities included? Are there any hidden monthly fees? If the retiree is responsible for utilities, ask management for an average of the monthly bills to ascertain the affordability of the apartment.

Retirement living can be simple and fun. Selecting the right retirement apartment can make a huge impact on the quality of life of a senior in retirement.