Selecting a Retirement Community Bucks County Women’s Journal April/May 2015
Much like buying a home, picking the best retirement community for yourself or a loved one comes down to location, location, location.
“You want to stay close to your roots.”
That’s the advice Barbara Chierici, senior director of marketing at the
Doylestown-based Pine Run Retirement Community, has for those
shopping for a retirement home.
Why is location so important? For a number of reasons, according to Chierici.
For starters, picking a community that’s close to where the prospective resident is currently living helps ease the person’s transition into the community.
“It allows them to stay connected to their hobbies and interests,” Chierici said, adding that can be something very good for residents’ mental and physical health.
The other reason location should be the No. 1 factor on the shopping list: Residents want to be close to their family and friends for support.
“[Residents] want to have advocacy if they do become ill,” Chierici explained.
After location, she said it’s about what exactly it is they want in a facility.
Some things they may want to ask depending on what’s most important to them: Is the community affliated with a church, a hospital or another organization? Is it for-profit or a non-profit?
“It’s important to learn what the basis of the community is,” she said. “The mission and philosophy will trickle down into ordinary life in the community.”
For example, Chierici said Pine Run Retirement Community is owned and operated by Doylestown Hospital and, as a result, has credentialed nurses and physicians.
Chierici said it’s also important to consider the size of the community you want to live in.
“That’s a very personal aspect of looking around,” she said.
You want the community you choose to have the right ratio of staff-to-residents to provide the level of service that you’re looking for.
There’s also another aspect of retirement communities that’s worth looking at that some people may not even know about, Chierici said, and that’s the programs they offer to assist residents in selling their homes.
She said one big reason some people push off moving into a retirement community is the trepidation they fear about selling their existing homes.
“Most retirement communities have excellent programs to assist you in selling your real estate,” Chierici said.
“[At Pine Run], we have a program called Best Effort to Sell Your Home. As long as they engage a professional Realtor and they have properly prepared their house for market, and given it a realistic price, we’ll wait for them to sell their home before they have to begin paying any fees.
“Do it while you still have your friends and activities, and while you still have a more well-rounded life. Then you’re able to pace your transition in a way that you want to, as opposed to being driven by a health need.”