How to Find the Best Retirement Communities Near St. Louis

As the kids leave the house, your friends move out of the neighborhood, and you spend your last day at work, you might find yourself wondering, “How do I find the best retirement communities near me?”

And you wouldn’t be alone.

The AHCA and NCAL report that about one million Americans lived in a retirement community in 2016. By 2030, that number is expected to double.

It’s crucial, then, that you know how to find the best retirement communities near St. Louis. This guide helps you do just that.

Inside, we’ll look at six qualities to look for in a retirement community, as well as a few frequently asked questions from people just like you.

Table of Contents

1. Determine the Level of Care You Need

Mother and son talking togetherAll retirement communities don’t offer the same level of care. And as residents begin to age, many will find their care needs changing along the way.

That’s why you want to be sure you’re choosing a community that offers the right level of care for you.

In general, there are three main types of retirement communities, each with its level of care from staff.

  1. Independent Living Facilities – These communities allow for the most significant independence among residents. Depending on the facility, the only genuine “care” services provided are home maintenance, lawn care, regular check-ins, and some administering of light medical care.
  2. Assisted Living Facilities – An assisted living facility, is a great step up, in terms of care from staff. These facilities typically help residents stay on top of their medication, clean their homes, prepare meals, and check in daily.
  3. Nursing Homes – A nursing home offers the highest level of care. If needed, residents receive help bathing and dressing, performing daily tasks, eating, and taking medication.

2. Decide on a Location

It’s not just what choosing a first home is all about. The location should also be a significant factor you consider when choosing your retirement community.

Here are just a few things you want to be on the lookout for when it comes to choosing the best location for you.

  • Nearby community (look for plenty of cultural events and opportunities for social outings)
  • Family (be sure to consider children, grandkids, parents, siblings)
  • Friends (being nearby friends is vital for a vibrant social life)
  • Weather (do you prefer milder temps, or do you love the seasons?)
  • Access to healthcare (some communities do provide onsite medical support)
  • Expenses (cost of living and taxes vary among locations)

3. Think About the Amenities

Elderly Couple WalkingMost retirement communities aren’t just neighborhoods filled with people of a similar age. Instead, they also tend to offer lots of valuable and helpful amenities.

During your search for the perfect retirement community, look for those that provide the following amenities and services for residents:

  • Maintenance-Free Living – Look for facilities that take care of lawn care, home maintenance, itemized expense billing, and more.
  • Meal Plans – Depending on how much you like to cook, the right retirement community for you might include daily meal plans.
  • On-Site Medical Expertise – Staying safe and secure is essential, especially as we continue to age. Be sure your community has onsite 24/7 emergency response.
  • Schedule Transportation – While you may not need it at first, having access to complimentary transportation can reduce your expenses.
  • Exercise Classes – Now more than ever, you must take care of your physical health. The best retirement communities will offer exercise classes to help.
  • Recreational Courses & Events – These are supposed to be the years you get to relax and have fun. Be sure your chosen community coordinates plenty of recreational events too.
  • Therapy – Some residents will have various physical and occupational needs. Onsite therapists can help make day-to-day life more comfortable and more fulfilling.
  • Resident Facilities – Finally, pools, libraries, golf courses, gyms, media rooms, and more are all shared facilities for residents in the best retirement communities.

4. Don’t Neglect the Social

For most people moving into retirement community living, this shift marks a new phase of their life. They can stop focusing on work and start focusing on living a happier, more fulfilling life. And part of that new life is becoming more social.

Being social in our later years is incredibly important for our mental and physical health. The CDC reports that proper socialization over the age of 50 is linked with lower chances of heart disease, stroke, depression, and hospitalization for any reason.

Since socialization is so important to your health, be sure to find a retirement community that offers plenty of regular social activities for residents.

Events like happy hours, holiday celebrations, potlucks, bingo nights, and more don’t just leave you feeling more comfortable and more connected. They also keep you healthier too!

5. Learn the Rules & Guidelines

Retirement community living brings plenty of benefits. Benefits like:

  • Consolidated living expenses
  • Maintenance-free lifestyle
  • Lots of social activities to choose from
  • Plenty of onsite amenities
  • Facilities for residents like pools, golf courses, and more

But all these benefits do come at a cost. Beyond monthly fees alone, residents are also expected to adhere to community rules and guidelines. So before you settle on a community, in particular, be sure you understand what’s expected of residents.

Some rules you might encounter could include home decorating guidelines, acting within specific community standards, being of the proper age group, and perhaps even falling within a specific income range.

6. Double Check the Reputation

Elderly lady researching onlineLast but not least, be sure to check the community’s reviews.

And check them diligently.

You may feel like you’ve got a good feel for a facility after talking to the staff, touring the grounds, and reading about the available services.

But the absolute best way of getting the inside scoop is hearing from the residents themselves.

Google reviews are a great place to start. But also be sure to check out other social media pages (like Facebook) and any complaints listed on the Better Business Bureau.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions you may find helpful if you find yourself asking, “how do I find the best senior living communities near me?

How Do I Find the Right Retirement Communities Near Me?

Not all retirement communities are built equal. And different communities offer different amenities, services, and facilities.

As a result, you’ll want to be sure to get a good understanding of the following questions to ask as you search for the right retirement community for you.

  • What amenities are included in your monthly dues
  • Whether they offer the level of care you need
  • What activities do they usually have on their calendar
  • How they ensure their residents stay safe
  • What training and qualifications their staff has
  • If they offer any onsite spiritual services
  • If you can visit their community and talk to the residents

Can You Live in a Retirement Community?

That all depends.

Many retirement communities have strict age requirements. These age requirements ensure residents have the opportunity to socialize with plenty of neighbors in a similar station in life. It also keeps the “feel” of the neighborhood in line with community standards.

Most retirement communities require a household to have a resident 55 years or older. For spouses, children, and other immediate family members, that age limit is typically closer to 40 years minimum for adults and 18 years minimum for children.

On top of the age requirements, residents may also abide by specific community rules. These rules may involve:

  • Exterior home decoration (similar to a homeowner’s association)
  • Curfews
  • (Light) behavior requirements
  • Income requirements

Be sure to carefully review all retirement community living rules and requirements before settling on any facility.

Should I Move to a Retirement Community?

There’s no simple answer here as everyone’s needs as they age are different.

Here are five signs it might be time to move that you should be on the lookout for, including:

    1. You want to simplify your life (consolidate expenses, let someone else do the cooking, etc.)
    2. Safety and security are becoming a concern
    3. You want a more active social life with people around your age
    4. Health and wellness are becoming more of a priority
    5. You need transportation help and other amenities (therapy, onsite medical care, spiritual counseling, etc.)

If any of these signs sound familiar, it might be time for you to consider moving to a retirement community.

Where Can I Find the Best Retirement Communities Near Me?

Finding the proper retirement living community near you can be challenging. There’s settling on a great location, weighing the pros and cons of specific types of communities, taking note of various amenities, checking staff qualifications…

And most of the time, you’ll find a community that offers one of the benefits you love but none of the others you want.

But if you’re looking for a retirement community in the St. Louis area, you won’t find another community that offers all the extensive perks of The Harbor at Cape Albeon.

At The Harbor, we provide our residents with a premium living experience. Elegant private apartments, graceful dining options, near-endless community activities, and a gorgeous campground are all par for the course for our residents.

Plus, all staff members are experienced, vetted, and (above all) passionate about what they do. For you, that means peace of mind knowing you’re in great hands.

But that’s not all. We also offer:

  • Delicious daily meals
  • Bi-monthly housekeeping
  • A 24-hour emergency response system
  • Indoor pool and whirlpool
  • Chapel for worship services
  • And much more

If you’re searching for a retirement community near you that has top-notch amenities, skilled staff, and a beautiful, bustling environment, schedule a tour at The Harbor by Cape Albeon today.

We’re looking forward to meeting you!

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