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IRC Blog

IRC Blog
Posted: Wednesday, October 7, 2020
By: IRC Blog

Considering a move to independent living? 7 questions to ask when you visit

If you’ve been entertaining the idea of independent living, starting your search online is a great start. But you won’t really get a clear picture of the lifestyle until you visit a few communities in person.

If you’ve been entertaining the idea of independent living, starting your search online is a great start. But you won’t really get a clear picture of the lifestyle until you visit a few communities in person.

Get the most out of your visit by being prepared. Find out as much as possible about their community life with questions you’ve created ahead of time. There is much you’ll want to know but here are 7 questions you’ll want to be sure and ask:

1. What floor plans are available in the community?

You’ll want to understand what type of homes are presently available or may be in the near future. Hopefully, you’ll be able to see a model or vacant apartment that illustrates the different options and their locations. Consider these preferences:

  • Is the size right for you and do you like the layout?

  • Are there plenty of windows allowing natural light?

  • Is there a personal deck or patio for your use?

  • Are there opportunities to personalize the space to be your own?

2. How does the staff contribute to helping you feel at home?

What are the community’s policies for hiring and training staff? Although this is independent living, you’ll still want to know who is available in case help is needed or you have questions. Try to meet as many staff members as possible.

Ask the residents how friendly and dedicated the management is to make you feel at home. Also ask how the community distributes information on the latest events, news, activity calendars, and menu selections so you’re always up to date.

3. What amenities and services are available?

You’ll want to choose a community that offers the latest or updated amenities. Ask to see what is available and make sure they include something that piques your interests. Having the right amenities that appeal to you can greatly contribute to living a healthy and meaningful life. What makes it even better is that you can have access to everything by simply walking out your front door – yet you’ll have none of the responsibilities of upkeep.

Typical options can include:

  • Fitness centers and exercise classes

  • Activity rooms or studios

  • Swimming pool

  • Security services

  • Library or reading room

  • Salon

  • Massage therapists

  • Game room

  • Housekeeping

  • Internet service

  • Social areas including courtyards, gardens, sunrooms and outdoor areas

4. What type of activities are offered?

The activities should typically fill up a monthly calendar. Be sure to take a look at one of theirs to see what your choices as a resident will be. Joining in is one of the easiest ways to meet your neighbors and make new friends. Sharing activities of interest is also a great way to find others with similar passions.

Here are a few examples of what you might find:

  • Fitness classes, including yoga and tai chi

  • Hobbies, art and crafts, art and woodshop studios

  • Entertainment centers offering concerts, programs and movies

  • Volunteering opportunities coordinated through the community

  • Clubs, sports, games

5. What type of dining facilities and food selections are available?

Some communities will have a choice in where you eat as well as what you order. Look for a more formal dining room and casual café. Take a glance at the menus offered and visit the dining rooms available. Better yet, arrange to have lunch there if possible and taste for yourself.

Make sure to ask if they can accommodate any special dietary requests and whether family members or friends can join you for a meal. Another nice benefit is those communities that can help you host a family dinner or cater a celebration.

6. Is there a fitness center and what type of physical exercises are offered?

There has never been a more important time to keep up with your physical fitness. And while you may find it difficult to get to the gym from your current home or to keep yourself motivated to maintain your exercise plan; independent living can make all of that very easy.

A well-appointed fitness center can make exercising not only safe but fun. Classes that are led by trainers ensure the moves you make are correct and won’t cause an injury. Stop by a community’s fitness center on your tour and see what you think.

7. What other services or conveniences are available to the residents?

Retirement is well earned. Having more control over your daily life is one of the benefits that retirees look forward to as they can finally spend their days on activities that they enjoy most. Most independent living communities are maintenance-free so you can also put away your snow shovel and any leaky roof worries.

Another advantage you’ll want to ask about is if they offer scheduled transportation. For many retirees, it’s a relief to know they can still make their doctor appointments or join in on a trip to the city for theater and dinner without having to fight the traffic or find parking. If you do plan on bringing your own car, however, make sure there is secure parking available.

Two bonus questions to ask yourself

After seeing the communities and having your questions answered there are two remaining that are critical to ask yourself. Your answers should be weighted appropriately when making your final decision about whether independent living could be the right fit for you or which community to choose.

1. What was your first impression?

Although you’ll want to make a more informed decision before you decide to move, first impressions are often uncannily accurate. Ask yourself what you thought when you first arrived at the community

2. Could you see yourself living there?

This will be your new home. It takes everyone time to settle in but from what you’ve seen, when you shut your eyes can you imagine yourself living there?

Ingleside at Rock Creek Independent Living

At Ingleside at Rock Creek, we understand the questions of our future residents  - and we have the answers. We especially designed our community to provide everything you’ll need to support a fulfilling and meaningful retirement. 

We believe you’ll find the perfect home and community if you decide to make Ingleside at Rock Creek your home. Also waiting for you will be the amenities, services, activities and new friendships, all right outside your door. 

Call (202) 905-0018 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a personalized tour today.


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