By Max Greenberg
In retirement communities, it’s the old “Location, Location, Location” mantra, but with a different meaningUploaded: Jun 2, 2016
Having worked in 3 very different retirement communities over the past 6 years, I’ve given tours to hundreds of seniors, often with their baby boomer kids in tow (or vice versa.) These seniors have all had various levels of mobility: some used a walker, some used a cane, some were in wheelchairs, some used a walker outside the house and a cane inside. And some were fine without any assistive devices. One of the most important discussions I have had over these years was trying to help folks understand that within a retirement community, the real estate saying “Location, Location, Location” has a lot less to do with what floor they are on, what the view is from the windows, and a lot more with where your apartment is located within the community. How easy will it be when your mobility starts decreasing (or is already a little slow) to get to all the important places you need to go within the community, ie. The dining room; the gym; the pool; the lounge; Happy Hour; the front desk/concierge; the garage. I’ve seen too many residents who choose an apt with the best layout, the best view, on the best floor, who, as they slow down, getting to the dining room is the one activity they can manage each day. That is not a life to look forward to.
So my humble advice when choosing a retirement community is: pay attention to where the apartment is within a community before you get distracted by the view, the built-ins left behind, the quality of the cabinets, the layout etc. And, on a final note, do not sabotage your chances of being medically approved to move into a community while you wait for that “perfect” apartment. You are rolling the dice that your health will remain the same as it is now and nothing will happen to you between now and then. (Tip for getting a larger apt in a community with a long waiting list: take one that’s available and usually communities have a priority waiting list that jumps you ahead of all the folks on the regular waiting list, giving you priority as a current resident. Confirm that with the salesperson before taking this route.)