Hampton Roads Area Information

Selecting the Right Retirement Community for You or Your Loved Ones?

Is an Independent Living Community Right for You or a Family Member?

When making the choice of moving yourself or a family member to an Independent Living Community in Hampton Roads, there are many considerations.  As an experienced real estate specialist in Hampton Roads, I, Diana Rondinelli, have composed a list of things to think about before, during and after your visit to each community. For each question, ask it of yourself first so you can determine of these things are of importance to you.  Then I would encourage you to print it out and take it along on each visit.  The list of considerations includes:

• Am I able to remain independent?
• What concerns do I have about my health?
• Would I like to live where there is emergency medical help available?
• Is housekeeping assistance important to me?
• Would I like assistance with home maintenance and repairs?
• Can I get assistance with some outdoor maintenance?
• Do I want an opportunity to meet new people in a social setting?
• Would I like to have planned social and recreational activities?
• Do I need transportation services?
• Would I like meals to be prepared for me?
• Am I willing to move from where I live now?
• Would I feel safer if I moved somewhere else?
• Am I willing to have less living space in order to receive the services I need such as
• prepared meals, housekeeping and maintenance?

An Independent Living Community in Hampton Roads (what to look for)

After you have asked yourself the initial questions above and determined that finding a Hampton Roads Independent Living Community is the best decision for you, take the following list of questions along to each community as an in-depth research tool.

Location Questions:

• Is the area around the community attractive?
• Is there easy access to recreational attractions nearby, such as parks, walking trails, country clubs, golf courses, beaches, etc?
• Can friends and family visit frequently and conveniently?
• Is there convenient access to medical centers, places of worship, shopping, dining and other services?
• Are there cultural options in the area (i.e. theatres, museums, gardens, concert halls, historic sites, etc.)?
• Is area transportation nearby or easy to access (i.e. public transportation, airports, highways, etc.)?

Community Questions:

• Do the common areas and apartments have a good design to allow you to live as easily and independently as you would like?
• Is the floor plan well planned and easy to understand?
• Of the available home styles, is there one attractive to me?
• How will my furnishings fit well in the current style or home layout?
• Is there enough storage space?
• Are there good views from the homes?
• Can the homes be individually climate controlled?
• How is the kitchen outfitted and is it suitable to my needs?
• Are all appliances included?
• Are there modern finishes throughout (i.e. carpet, cabinets, window treatments, fixtures, etc.)?
• Can I easily entertain family and friends in my home at this community?
• Can hallways, doorways and all rooms easily accommodate wheelchairs and walkers?
• Are elevators and handrails available to aid in walking?
• Is the residence community outfitted with good lighting, sprinklers and clearly marked exits?
• Is there appropriate heating/cooling in the residence, and is it clean and free of odors?
• Are all common areas attractive, comfortable and clean?
• Does the community have an outside courtyard or patio to socialize and can they garden there?
• Is there plentiful security and what is the emergency evacuation plan?
• Can residents have single units and/or double occupancy units for living with another person?
• Are the rooms furnished or unfurnished? What is provided and what can residents bring?
• Can rooms be decorated individually by residents?
• Is their sufficient storage space?
• Is there a 24 hour emergency response system accessible from the unit with my own lockable door?
• Are telephone and cable TV available in each residence and how is billing handled?
• Do residences with kitchens have refrigerator/sink/cooking component and can food be kept in the residence?
• Are there designated public smoking areas and/or can residents smoke in their home?

Community Area Questions:

• Does the landscaping appear attractive and well maintained?
• How visually appealing is the architectural design?
• Are the interior furnishings tasteful and elegant?
• Are there amenities that are important to me (i.e. nice dining room, comfortable lounge, fitness center, computer room, game room, etc.), and are they attractive and clean?
• Is it easy to get from my residence to common community areas?
• Ask yourself, were any residents using the community areas during my tour?

Questions for Moving In Procedures and Finances:

• What happens during the move in/out process?
• Can I receive a written statement of the residents’ rights and responsibilities?
• Will I receive a contractual agreement that plainly divulges all healthcare services, accommodations, personal care services, supportive services, all fees, along with admission and discharge specifications?
• What is the monthly fee? Will it be increased, how often and for what reasons? Is
• there an annual amount increase limit? Can I see the history of past increases?
• Is renters insurance required for personal property in the residence?
• Are billing, payment and credit policies fair and reasonable?
• Under what conditions and when can the contract be terminated and what are the refund and transfer policies?
• Do dissatisfied residents have the rights to an appeal?
• Are there government, private or corporate programs available to help cover costs?
• Are there additional services available for residents needing something changed? Is there staff available to manage these services?

Dining Questions:

• Are the dining areas attractive, clean and feel like places you would enjoy eating?
• Is there variety on the menus and attractive food selections?
• Are there healthy menu options available and/or changes to meet special dietary needs?
• Are the community’s executive chef and pastry chef classically trained?
• Are there choices of dining plans?
• Are private dining spaces available and offered?
• Can the staff provide catering arrangements for private functions?
• How many meals per day are served and can they be delivered by tray service (if ordered
by a doctor)?

Questions About Services and Programs:

• Are there community services such as housekeeping, maintenance, concierge and scheduled transportation?
• Are there any on-site pay services available such as, a salon, dry cleaning pickup, banking, etc?
• Is there a full calendar of activities for residents, and are there any scheduled activities that will be of interest to me?
• Is there staff member or team dedicated to organizing services and programs?
• Is there a resident council to be a liaison between residents and management?
• Is there access to a continuum of care, should a need arise in the future?
• How is the quality of care provided? (don’t be afraid to ask current residents)
• How similar is the care in residential setting and the independent living residences?
• Is there an onsite Barber Shop/Beauty Salon? What are the charges?

Staff Questions:

• Were the staff friendly, smile and make eye contact?
• Were the staff addressing residents by name and interacting with them during the tour?
• Was the top community manager or any of the management team available for a meeting?
• Is there a feeling that staff are committed to residents and their duties?
• How long have staff members been with the community?
• Is there a sense of hospitality and compassion throughout the community?
• Did the staff person conducting the tour seem to have what’s best for you in mind rather than their own interests?

Prospective Neighbors Questions:

• Are the other residents friendly and sociable?
• Were there activities, programs and events occurring during the visit?
• Were residents willing to talk and share their viewpoint of the community?
• Do any of the residents seem to have interests similar to my own?

General Questions:

• Did the community have a home “feel”?
• Is there a strong sense of excellence and attention to detail throughout the community?
• Would I be happy living in this community?
• Is there a waiting list? If so, how long before a unit will become available?
• What percentage of residences are being rented and occupied?
• What are the Licensure and Certifications and are all up-to-date and displayed (if applicable)?
• What is the community’s reputation in the surrounding area?
• How long has the community been in business, and is it in good financial health?
• What were the results of the last state survey?

Questions? Just Ask!

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