There are no national standards for naming the many types of "Retirement Communities" so you'll find that "Retirement Community" may mean anything from a region like "Southern Oregon" to a specific type of retirement village or building with varied ameneties. These often include dining, golf, recreational directors, swimming, and in some facilities may include hospital care for life. Here at Oregon Retirement we recognize that "Retirement Community" means all this and more, and that choosing a retirement community will likely be the most important decision of a lifetime. Some communities require a substantial financial commitment - effectively obligating you to either stay put or pay a huge premium for moving to a new community. For this reason it's imperative that you or your loved ones do the extensive homework needed to find the best place to meet your needs. Lifestyes vary dramatically - even within families - so be careful not to assume that your own preferences are the same as others.
As you choose a community to best meet your own needs be sure you and your spouse have outlined your preferences before you visit homes. Is your lifestyle active or passive? Do you want a lot of social activities, and if so do you want them to have professional direction or be more casual? How likely are you to stay put for many years? How is your current health and prospective health? How important is the food quality to you? Dining preferences?
... and of course cost will be a key factor for most people. Can you afford the home and amenities that you want? Are you comfortable with a long term commitment where leaving could mean paying a huge premium?
This is probably the biggest decision of your retirement lifetime, so don't let a few people or a few good or bad items influence you too heavily and make sure you review places very carefully.
If you are in charge of finding a great retirement community for parents or other loved ones it's best to meet with them beforehand to discuss their preferences, and then take them along for meetings, lunches, and introductions at several prospective communities. Talk to the staff as well as the marketing folks, enjoy a slow lunch and pay close attention to the details, food quality, dining areas, and staff who can make such a big difference in the quality of life.
We'll have a lot more about the many types of retirement communities and how to choose the best one for your needs coming soon at the national website, Retire USA. There we've used the idea of helping you to find the best "Retirement Lifestyle" as we continue our quest to provide you with great retirement information for the entire country.
In the meantime here at Oregon Retirement Directory, you can browse our listing by retirement community by first clicking to a region from our state map and then selecting the "retirement community" category.