Submitted by: Michael Smith, Corporate Director, Public Relations, ACTS Retirement-Life Communities

Are you or is someone you know considering a move to a retirement community? Today’s senior living communities have a lot to offer and cater to a variety of lifestyle and health needs. It’s important to take your time exploring the many options available, keeping in mind factors such as present and future needs, personal preferences, and financial situations.

These tips from ACTS Retirement-Life Communities can help you find a reputable retirement community that best fits your needs and lifestyle.

1.  Check the background of the community: Find out who owns and manages the community as well as the track record of management. Determine whether the community is accredited for meeting high standards in services, operations and finances. Visit www.carf.org for a list of accredited communities by state.

2.
 Consider future health needs: Retirement communities today offer many amenities and services but not all provide medical care, making another move a possibility should health needs change. Be sure to find out if health care services are provided and whether they are on-site.

3.  Get detailed information about fees: Learn what all fees do and do not include, when fees are subject to increase and under what conditions. Ask about the average fee increase over the past five years.

4.  Meet with residents and tour the community: Arrange an appointment to tour the community, meet with residents and staff, and sample the food and the service. Notice if the community is clean, well maintained and secure. Is there adequate parking?

5.  Use a services and amenities checklist: Get a complete information packet that includes application for admission, fee schedules, floor plans and the resident contract. Compare each community’s pricing to amenities, programs and services that are important to you.

6.  Ask about recreational and social activities: Find out what kind of social, cultural and wellness activities are available. Is there an activities director on staff to plan entertainment, events, and trips? Is transportation available?

7.  Consider location and find out if there is a waiting list: Is the community located near family, friends, doctor’s office, place of worship, and shopping? Find out if there is a waiting list to move into the community and how it works.

For more tips visit