Collington | Bethesda Magazine

Ask the Experts: Seniors & Aging



10450 Lottsford Road

Mitchellville, MD



What should people look for in a retirement community?

When researching and selecting a retirement community there are many important factors to prioritize before you visit. Do you want or need a continuing care retirement community (CCRC)? Do you want a maintenance free lifestyle? Is it important to live in a thriving intellectually stimulating community where you learn something new almost every day? If you enjoy being a volunteer, make sure there are opportunities to give back.

With health care as a very high priority, ask about the health and medical care, and how they are rated. Also ask how they ensure keeping quality of life as the utmost, absolute top priority through the end of life. They should be able to share their plans to improve and adjust to the growing needs of the residents and healthcare industry to remain competitive and innovative.

What mistakes do they make in prioritizing something that won’t matter much once they move in?

I would say it’s the size of their home. Most people move to a community with downsizing in mind. Once they see the size of the floorplans, it’s common to go up a few hundred square feet than originally planned. Many prospective residents devote considerable energy on square footage and measurements, as opposed to exploring the more human components of a community, such as the culture, the value system, and, most importantly, the people. Time and time again, after a resident has lived in a community for a time, it’s the overall lifestyle that they appreciate far above the particulars of their residence. Living with people of like minds and shared interests helps to nurture the connections we all need to thrive.

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