Choosing independent living in Shreveport doesn’t have to feel stressful. In fact, it can be fun going from community to community, comparing and contrasting amenities and services, and daydreaming of the maintenance-free lifestyle that is on your horizon. The key to embracing the fun of researching retirement communities near you is to go into each tour with a checklist that will help you grade each community you visit with the same criteria. This will make comparing and contrasting easier, which means you’ll be able to make a quick and confident decision.
Here is an independent living tour checklist you can use when visiting independent living communities in Shreveport.
What to Look For
When you tour a retirement community, you’ll have an opportunity to catch a glimpse into what life looks like there. Keep your eyes peeled for these qualities:
- Is the community clean and well cared for?
- Are the outside grounds and paths clean, clear, and well cared for?
- Does the community feel comfortable and luxurious?
- Do team members wear name tags? Are they interacting with residents in a friendly manner?
- Are family members visiting while you are there?
- Is the community accessible for your specific needs? For example, if you use a cane or walker, are there automatically opening doors into the community and main spaces?
- Are there a variety of shared community spaces for residents to use? For example, look for a game room, library, and living room.
- Does the dining menu look diverse? Do menu offerings sound tasty?
- Does the community have an active and varied activity calendar? Do activities and events look interesting to you?
- Are there multiple floor plans to choose from? Do apartments look well cared for?
- Do apartments feature modern upgrades and high-end finishes?
- Do apartments and public bathrooms offer emergency response devices, such as pull cords or phones?
- Is there a community bus or car service that provides transportation to residents?
Remember, while first impressions aren’t everything, they do mean a lot and can give you insight into follow-up questions you might want to ask.
Questions to Ask
You can’t get a full picture of a retirement community just from looks alone. You also want to ask good and thoughtful questions throughout the tour and follow-up process that can help you make a confident decision. Here are just a few questions to add to your “must ask” list if they are not covered during your tour.
- What hours are security guards onsite?
- If there is an emergency in the middle of the night, who responds? How do I call for help or assistance?
- Can I safely use my mobility device throughout the community?
- What are the dining plans available here? Can I change my plan preference if I would like something different?
- Can family members attend meals with me? What is that process?
- What is the monthly cost and what does that include? What are other expenses that are not included that I should plan for?
- Do you have physicians who have office hours onsite here?
- Do you ever have special dining experiences or special occasion meals?
- How do I sign up to get involved with activities? Are events free to attend and if not, how much do those typically cost?
- Is it hard to make new friends here? How do you suggest going about meeting new people and connecting with my neighbors?
- If I need additional support or assistance down the road, can I bring that into my apartment or will I need to look for another type of community that meets my needs at that time?
- Can I bring my car? Is a parking spot included with my rent?
- Is additional storage included with my monthly fee? If not, how much does that cost?
- Can I return and have dinner or attend an activity?
You don’t have to ask every question during your initial tour. Instead, follow-up with your community representative as many times as you need to get the answers you need to make your best decision. Remember, returning for a follow-up tour, meal, or activity is a great way to get another look at your top communities before making a choice.
Premier Amenities and Services
Finally, if you are looking for a five-star experience in your retirement, find an independent living community that features premier amenities and services. Not every independent living community offers these high-end amenities, but they can make life there that much sweeter. Look for amenities and services like:
- Concierge services, which can help you sign up for activities or coordinate your mail deliveries
- Onsite swimming pool and spa
- Onsite group exercise classes as well as gym equipment
- Physical and occupational therapy services onsite
- Transportation services around town and by appointment
- Al fresco dining options, as well as multiple dining venues and alternatives throughout the community
- Onsite salon that includes spa services
- Yoga or fitness studio
- Outdoor walking paths and shared community green spaces
- Bocce ball courts
- Onsite chapel or worship services
- Gated community security and safety
- Access to a continuum of care if it is needed, including assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing rehabilitation
Begin Your Research Now
Before you can jump into the touring process and begin to compare communities, it is wise to start your research online. Look for independent living communities in Shreveport and the surrounding area online, visiting their websites and social media pages to get a sense of what the community offers.
You can also make an appointment with your financial advisor to discuss independent living and how that will affect your retirement budget goals, if you haven’t already had that conversation. This way, you’ll begin tours knowing how much you can spend each month as well as what you have in assets that you can leverage for any applicable buy-in fee.
Enjoy your time touring communities and be sure to add The Glen to your tour list. We offer two independent living options and look forward to meeting you!