Now that you’ve decided to move into a St. Louis retirement community, it’s time to find the right living environment. Retirement living communities vary depending on a number of factors, including:

  • Living arrangements
  • Activities
  • Services offered

Therefore, your decision should involve more than selecting a floor plan—it’s all about the community’s lifestyle.

Many St. Louis retirement communities provide residents with the ability to live independently and stay active, but offer access to a full range of care and services if or when your needs change. Since each senior living community in St. Louis has its own personality, you should review this list on what to look for when you explore your options.

Scope Out the Location

Consider the convenience and location of the community. Think about what is important to you:

  • Do you want your new home to be close to family and friends?
  • Do you prefer a community in an urban setting or a more rural area?
  • Do you feel comfortable and safe in the neighborhood?
  • Does the retirement community offer transportation? If not, is public transportation easily accessible?
  • Do you prefer to live within walking distance from restaurants, shops, supermarkets, banks, parks and theaters?

Remember, what would be great in your early years may not work in later years of retirement, so be sure to think long-term before making a final decision.

Explore the Community Culture

Most likely, you’ll be spending a fair amount of time with your new neighbors by sharing meals and attending social events or outings together. Take some time to get a feel for the “culture” by learning about the community and your prospective neighbors.

It is common for residents of a particular community to share the same interests and have similar backgrounds. Planned activities and events can be driven by the interests of the residents. Ask yourself: do you want to be around people who are interested in the same things you are? Or are you more interested in being with people whose experiences are different from yours? Check out the activities calendar to help you decide if the activities offered suit your personality and desires.

Some St. Louis retirement communities have guest apartments used primarily for visiting family, but some allow you to stay for a night or two to experience the place for yourself.

Dining in Your New Community

Food is probably one of the most important factors in selecting a St. Louis retirement community. Many communities feature on-site dining and offer custom-designed meal plan packages where residents can select a number of different meals per week.

Most St. Louis retirement communities will treat prospective residents to lunch, giving you the opportunity to see if the food is tasty, healthy, and prepared from scratch using fresh ingredients.

Figure the Cost

Most St. Louis retirement communities offer maintenance-free living and a carefree lifestyle. However, the cost can vary based on the size of the apartment, location of the community, and services needed. Often, retirement communities offer one or more of the following:

  • A month-to-month rental choice
  • An entrance fee
  • Additional fees for special services

Make sure to ask each community about their individual costs and services.

Compare Different Retirement Communities

Deciding where to live is very important, so spend some time visiting several St. Louis retirement communities before you decide which senior living community is right for you. Most likely, it will take more than one visit to make a decision. Schedule visits that include opportunities to speak with the community’s representative to go over any questions or concerns.

If you’re considering an independent living community in St. Louis, schedule a tour at one of Bethesda’s six communities across the area.