Essential Features to Look for in a Retirement Community

If you’re looking for the best retirement community, you’ll want to consider several essential features. These include location, amenities, and staff. Many people choose to move into retirement communities for the freedom they offer — freedom from housekeeping, cooking, and other daily tasks.


A good retirement community, for example, The Villas Wichita, is more than just apartments. Look for ones that feel like homes and feature easy-to-use appliances. Plenty of natural light should also be designed to suit seniors’ needs. For instance, they should have smooth floors and step-in showers. Ask about the activities offered in the community.

Does it have art classes, music, gardening, or cultural outings? If it does, residents may get bored very quickly. Also, find out if the community has beauty salons, barbershops, and on-site convenience stores. It would be best if you also inquired about pet policies. Some communities allow pets while others do not, which can be a big deal for people with beloved animals. If you own a pet, make sure the retirement community accepts it.


Choosing where to live is one of the most significant decisions you’ll make during retirement. Many people choose a community that offers the services they need for daily life. This may include shopping, banking, and medical facilities, among others. Some communities are substantial and offer a small-town experience; others are more residential and provide a sense of closeness to other residents.

A community with a gym and swimming pool is essential if you want to be active. Music and art classes are also popular as group outings to local attractions. If you have pets, check the community’s pet policies. Some restrict pets while others welcome them, so understand the rules before deciding. You’ll also need to know if the community is near respected hospitals and medical centers.


Whether independent living, assisted living, or nursing care, retirement communities offer various services. Visiting each is essential in choosing for you or your loved one. A big part of a thriving retirement community is the staff. They need to be trustworthy, full of love and have the patience to work with seniors daily.

While visiting, try to introduce yourself to some staff members and observe how they interact with residents. Also, a good idea is to talk with an advisor who can help you understand financial resources, such as life insurance policies that could be used to pay for retirement housing.

Meal Plans

Whether you’re looking at independent living, a cottage or condo, or assisted living, retirement communities offer a variety of meal plans. Typically, residents are assigned a certain amount of declining balance dollars each month, which allows them to dine at the community’s restaurants and cafes with minimal financial transactions.

Many communities offer gourmet restaurant-style dining experiences, where the staff will take your order and provide a meal similar to a fine restaurant experience. Many of these dining experiences also include a social atmosphere and tableside service. When selecting a community, it is essential to visit during mealtime to see how the food tastes. It is also recommended to ask about the chef, their experience, and how they handle dietary needs.


A retirement community may have meager entry fees, but the cost can increase. Be sure to ask about annual increases for inflation. Many communities also require a yearly homeowners association fee and monthly maintenance fees for the home they provide. Those are important considerations when choosing the right community for you. One final feature to look for is how a community feels.

A great retirement community puts a lot of emphasis on comfort and making residents feel like they belong to the space. That feeling of belonging is a huge factor in seniors’ happiness and well-being. The staff should be trustworthy and full of love to help keep those feelings high. Ask about the staffing at a specific retirement community to see the experience.