Do you like the idea of a maintenance-free, carefree lifestyle that allows you to do all the things you want … but feel a little overwhelmed when you think about all you’d have to do to make that move happen? Fear not, says Charles Benjamin, Executive Director of Harrogate, a premier active senior living community just minutes from Toms River and the Monmouth/Ocean County beaches. Making the move to a more enriching lifestyle is easier than you think.
“Making a move to Harrogate is as easy as one, two, three,” he says. “Our 52-acre Life Care Community is designed to tap into your new and rekindled interests, let go of worries and embrace a more fulfilling, experience-rich life. We like to make the move easy, too, so we’re ready and willing to create an incentive package that works for you.”
Charles says that although moving from a private home into a retirement community might seem like a large ordeal, it doesn’t have to be. “We want this stage of your life to truly be the time of your life, so we want to make the transition as smooth and easy as possible,” he explains. “We say that there are three distinct steps that go into moving to senior living. Breaking the process down to three steps makes it feel less daunting and a lot more manageable.”
- Research your options.
The first step to moving into a senior living community means finding the right one first. But before you even start looking for locations, sit down and take stock of your retirement and what you want it to look, sound and feel like. For example, what do you want to accomplish next year? In 5 years? 10 years? Even though plans can and do change, it’s always good to have guidelines that will help you narrow your focus and look for locations that will really enrich your life. For example, do you want to spend a lot of time traveling? Learning a new skill? Visiting friends and family?
Next, it’s time to start thinking about what you need to have and what you want to have in a community. Think of it a little like buying a house: you have your wants and needs, which can help you better find and rate different options for yourself and your lifestyle. If being in nature is important to you, for example, you might want to look for locations that are located near (or on) preserves and other gorgeous natural landscapes so you can enjoy the great outdoors without having to travel far away from home.
Then, once you’ve determined what you want your retirement to be, it’s time to start looking at different retirement community options that meet what you’re looking for. A good place to begin searching is on Google. You’ll find plenty of information, including official websites, that will give you a picture of what is available in your desired location. Be sure to read independent reviews and ask friends and family for their information or experiences. Using all the information available to you, you should be able to narrow down your list to two or three communities that meet your desires.
- Choose your community.
The best way to see if a community is right for you is by actually visiting it in person. Schedule a tour with each of the “made the grade” communities that are on your list so you can get a firsthand look at everything the place has to offer. Much like you would when looking for a new house, it’s good to have a long list of standard questions that you ask each community when you go and visit. Gathering the same information will help you better compare and contrast when it’s time to choose. The questions you ask can be literally endless, but some examples of things you might want to find out include:
- What levels of care do you have available at your community?
- What services are included in the monthly fee? What are not?
- What activities and events are available on a regular basis?
- What’s the dining experience like?
- What is the financial solvency and history of the community?
It’s also good to have a standardized checklist that allows you to rate the community on various things such as appearance, resident health and happiness, amenities, friendliness of staff and so on and so forth. These are the intangibles that you can’t see or feel from the computer screen. Be sure to spend a good amount of time at each community, preferably staying for a meal and activity. You’ll also want to meet some of the current residents and get their take on what life at the community is like. Finally, listen to your gut and what it’s telling you when you’re on site. Does it feel like a place where you could truly be “at home,” or is there something in the back of your mind that’s concerning you?
Finally, after you’ve toured each community on your list (preferably more than once), it’s time to make a decision. In a perfect world, you would know the exact right community for you the instant you walked on campus, but if that isn’t the case, that’s quite all right. Take your various lists and compare and contrast the different communities against each other. Be sure to think hard about if you can see yourself living there or not. Hopefully, you will have a clear winner by the time you’re done with your review, and then comes the fun part – contacting the community and signing a contract for this new stage of your life.
- Make the move.
You’ve made all the hard decisions; now comes the enjoyable part – actually moving and starting life in your new community. If you’re currently living in a private home, you’ll probably need to pack up your belongings and get the house ready to sell. Downsizing and decluttering can be a big project, so you may want to enlist the help of an agency that specializes in helping older adults transition from a private home to a retirement community. They can not only help you go through your personal items, but they can also help coordinate moving companies, real estate companies and everything else that is necessary to get you on your way to your new home.
Be sure to get a floor plan of your new space so that you can more easily figure out what items of yours you can keep and what will go (as well as what you might want to buy new to fit into a smaller area). Remember that even though your private living space may be smaller than what you currently have, you’ve actually gained all the space and benefits that the community has to offer.
Finally, once the house is sold and the moving van is packed up, it’s time to move into your new community. The community you choose will be more than happy to help coordinate everything to get you safely and easily into your new home. Once you’re there, you can take a deep breath, relax and start unpacking. You’ve done it – you’ve moved into your new home, and now it’s time to look around and discover everything that awaits you.
This Is What “Worry Less, Live More” Looks Like
Located near Toms River, New Jersey, Harrogate offers a worry-free, fulfilling and experience-rich life. Here, you’ll be free of the hassles of homeownership while having access to all of the best that life has to offer. From opportunities to engage, enrich and challenge yourself to the peace of mind of future care, socialization and so much more.
No matter what your needs may be, we can meet them, ensuring you are worry-free for years to come. With our Life Care, you can enjoy independent living, home health care, skilled nursing, and rehabilitation for one entrance fee and a monthly fee that covers everything our lifestyle has to offer.
Worry Less and Live More at Harrogate!
Call for information at 866-606-0178 or visit our website.