Q: I’ve been widowed for almost two years and am considering a move. I am active and independent but lonely at times. I am considering what they call retirement living. Can you provide some guidance? A: Retirement living is one alternative the retirement housing industry offers seniors. You’ll find this type of accommodation referred to as a retirement community, retirement facility or independent or congregate living. These accommodations are designed for independent senior adults and provide apartment-like living with staff available all the time should a problem occur. Services usually include meals, housekeeping, laundry, social activities and transportation. Visit all the retirement facilities available in your area so you can compare what is offered. During a tour, ask about rules such as whether residents may have a small pet in their apartments. Some facilities also let visitors stay for two or three days to experience life there. Learn what is included in the monthly fee. Meal service is very important. How many meals per day are included in the monthly fee? Can special dietary needs be met? If you are ill, is tray service available and at what cost? If you no longer drive, is transportation available? If so, is there a charge, and how often is it available? If you still drive, is parking available? Check on laundry facilities and the availability of extra storage and on-premises services such as a barber or beauty shop. Does the facility have accommodations for any out-of-town friends or relatives who might visit? Also look into whether the type and frequency of social activities interest you. Be sure to look at the public rooms available for your use and enjoyment. Is the dining room pleasant? When are meals served? Is there a small private dining room where you could host a family get-together? Is an activities room available, and what activities are offered? Is there an exercise room, and do residents appear to use it? Ask a resident to be a tour guide. Try to have a meal as part of your visit. Be aware of how friendly the staff members are to the residents. They should treat the residents with respect and know their names. After your visit, consider whether the facility will allow you to live as easily and independently as you would like. Don’t rush into a decision. Good luck on your search. HAPPENINGS June 5: “Changes to Durable Medical Equipment Processing and Medicare Fraud” seminar. 9:30-11 a.m.; Wilson Senior Center, 350 N. C St., Oxnard. For information call 477-7310. Thursday: “Healthier Living Class” six-week program. 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; Goebel Community Adult Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks. For information and registration, call Brenda at 495-6250. June 12: Cheri Elson will present “Conservatorships” with a special emphasis on probate conservatorships. 5:30-6:30 p.m.; Ventura County Law Library, 800 S. Victoria Ave., Ventura. For information, call 642-8982. June 12: “Will You Pass Your Next Driving Test?” seminar. 1:30-3 p.m.; Westlake Village Civic Center, 31200 E. Oak Crest Drive, Westlake Village. For information call the advocate’s office at 495-6250. Betty Berry is a senior advocate for Senior Concerns. The advocates are at the Goebel Community Adult Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362, or call 495-6250 or email firstname.lastname@example.org . Please include your telephone number. More …
Make informed decisions on retirement living
About the Author: Betty Berry
Betty Berry brings a deep understanding of senior issues to her position as Senior Advocate for Senior Concerns. She has advocated for seniors since 1993. Through the Health Insurance Counseling Advocacy Program, known as HICAP, she is registered with the State of California as an Insurance Counselor, a Long-Term Care Insurance Counselor and a Community Educator. She has served on the Area Agency on Aging’s Advisory Council as a member and Chair, has been a member of the Financial Abuse Strategic Team (FAST) and currently serves on the Conejo Senior Volunteer Program (CSVP) Advisory Board and authors the Senior Advocate column that appears in the Ventura County Star. Betty completed her undergraduate degree at California Lutheran University and earned her Juris Doctorate degree at Ventura College of Law.
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