There are so many things to consider when you’re choosing a retirement community that you may not know where to begin. Relax and take a deep breath. Then, get started by asking yourself a few simple questions:

1. Where do I want to live?

Do you want to stay in the area you’ve lived in for years or plan a retirement relocation? How important is it to be near family and friends? Do you prefer an urban area or something more rural? All three of Ingleside’s Life Plan Communities feature fabulous locations in the Washington, DC, area, and each has its own unique charms. Ingleside at Rock Creek is set in an urban oasis, with the world-class shopping, dining and culture of the District of Columbia just blocks away and the natural haven of Rock Creek Park in its backyard. Westminster at Lake Ridge is nestled in a natural sanctuary in Northern Virginia, minutes from the energy of our nation’s capital. Ingleside at King Farm is situated in the heart of King Farm, a walkable, intergenerational neighborhood with metropolitan attributes and a small-town feel.

2. When is the right time to move?

Initially, we hear a lot of future residents say, "I’m not ready yet" or "I'm too young” or "It's too soon." Once residents become part of our community, they say they wish they’d moved in earlier! They realize that they were really ready to give up the yard work, the cleaning and the upkeep years ago. The sooner you move to a community, the more time you’ll have to enjoy its many opportunities for engaging with others, with your passions and with life.

Many seniors immediately nix the idea, believing their home will always be where they belong. And others, who’ve made the move, state consistently that they wish they would have done it sooner. So, how do you decide what’s best for you?

3. What should I look for in a community?

When you’re shopping for a community, you’ll want to consider location, as discussed above, as well as a host of other factors, including:
  • SIZE OF COMMUNITY—How big or how small do you want your new place to be? Ingleside communities are large enough to boast a full schedule of programs and amenities, yet small enough so it’s easy to get to know your neighbors and form deep friendships.
  • NOT-FOR-PROFIT VS. FOR-PROFIT STATUS—Ingleside is a not-for-profit organization, which means that profits go back into the community and toward the needs of residents, not to shareholders.
  • FOUNDATION—Does the community have a foundation? What happens if I run out of money? The Westminster Ingleside Foundation serves Ingleside communities directly, assisting residents whose personal resources can no longer cover the costs of care and services, as well as special projects and programs serving the broader needs of our communities.
  • LEVELS OF CARE—Before deciding on a community, you’ll want to make sure that a full continuum of care is available so that you’re protected, should your needs change in the future. Ingleside communities offer a full continuum of care, including independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing care/rehabilitation services.

Wherever you are in your journey, we have resources to help guide you. We know you might be feeling a little overwhelmed about how and where to start the search.

View our Guide: Choosing the Right Senior Living Community

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4. How do I find the right community?

There are so many options out there that the process can be overwhelming. You may want to start by looking at websites for communities in your chosen area. Once you’ve found a few candidates that seem like a good match for your needs, email them for more information and sign up for some on-campus or virtual events to get a feel for the flavor of life at each place. Then, schedule a personal tour at the communities you like the most, being sure to take along a list of questions to ask the marketing counselor who’s showing you around. You can find some good questions to ask here. Many people say that they know when they find the community they’re going to call home because it just feels right, but it’s still a good idea to examine your final choice carefully to make sure it contains all the qualities you’re looking for during the next chapter of your life.

5. How do I start the conversation with family?

Early on in your search for a community, you’ll want to have a conversation with family and let them know your plans. If you’re helping a loved one find a new home, you’ll want to remember that it’s his or her decision. You’ll want to start the conversation early, talk several times (if necessary), involve them every step of the way, and make sure not to rush the process if the person isn’t ready to make a move.

6. How do I make the move?

It’s not easy to make a major life change like selling your house and downsizing your possessions. At Ingleside, we have years of experience in helping thousands of new residents make the move and can offer an abundance of resources, tips and checklists to help you get started. We can also recommend senior move managers, who’ll coordinate everything from simplifying your belongings to preparing your property for sale to putting your home on the market and even making the actual move itself. Another piece of good news is that we are in one of the hottest real estate markets ever, and you couldn’t pick a better time to sell your home! Please contact us to learn more about the ways we can help you simplify your move.

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