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Retirement presents a range of opportunities to reflect on for this new phase of your life. Perhaps you're prioritizing travel, investing in a new hobby, or taking on a more active role within your community. You may also find that your living needs are changing and that the home you've lived in for years no longer suits your lifestyle or priorities. If this is the case, making use of an assisted living evaluation for senior living communities might be your next move.

Senior living communities allow you to live on your own terms while letting go of the demands of homeownership. You can prioritize your hobbies and wellness activities while also connecting with fellow community members who are at a similar stage in life. A good senior living community allows you to have it all — lifestyle services, entertainment, socialization, and medical care — literally on your doorstep.

Here are some questions to guide your decision-making process:

Where Do You Want to Live?

Are you thriving in your current city but want to downsize? Would now be a good time to move closer to your children and grandchildren, or are you finally ready to make the leap to that warm weather locale of your dreams? Choosing your geographic location will help you research the types of senior living options in that area.

What Level of Assistance Do You Need?

There are three types of senior living communities: independent, assisted, and skilled nursing facilities. Independent living communities allow you to live entirely on your own, without the aid of nurses or other caregivers. Some provide cooking and cleaning services.

An assisted living facility allows you some measure of autonomy while also providing support for bathing, cooking, dressing, and mobility as needed. You'll still be able to live in your own apartment or condo, so you can maintain your independent space and privacy.

The third option is a skilled nursing facility, where you can expect around-the-clock support from nurses and other caregivers. Depending on the community, you may or may not have your own room.

What Amenities Does the Community Offer?

Consider your hobbies and priorities. If you like to cook, you'll want to make sure there's a kitchen in your apartment. Perhaps you're a passionate gardener, in which case you'll need to find a location that offers community or individual gardens where you can grow the flowers and produce of your choice. Some senior living packages include regular shopping and entertainment trips as well as game nights and live performances. These provide great opportunities to get to know your neighbors and ensure that you're enjoying the level of activity and engagement you crave.

What Do Current Residents Think of the Community?

If possible, ask friends and relatives for references. Maybe a former neighbor has moved into a community you're interested in — visit them and ask for their honest opinion. They'll have insights into the staff members' personalities and the quality of the advertised amenities — you can use those to make a well-informed decision.

What Support Services Are Guaranteed?

Find out what type of security measures the community implements, such as surveillance cameras or security guards. Ask about emergency services as well. How far is the nearest hospital and are there trained medical personnel on staff? If you plan to live in the community for the foreseeable future, you'll need to ensure that it provides the right environment for you to age in place.

Choosing a senior living community is a big decision, as you want to find a place that aligns with your personality and long-term needs. This assisted living evaluation structure can help narrow down the options and maximize your well-being in retirement.

This information and recommendations contained herein is compiled from sources deemed reliable, but is not represented to be accurate or complete. In providing this information, neither KeyBank nor its affiliates are acting as your agent or is offering any tax, accounting, or legal advice.

By selecting any external link on, you will leave the KeyBank website and jump to an unaffiliated third party website that may offer a different privacy policy and level of security. The third party is responsible for website content and system availability. KeyBank does not offer, endorse, recommend, or guarantee any product or service available on that entity's website.

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