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Choosing the Perfect Retirement Community in South Florida

senior couple on the beach

For people close to retirement or looking to retire now, the life they can expect to live should fill them with anticipation. Retirement is an exciting milestone. After all, it’s a time when you can finally relax and enjoy after years of working hard to provide for family and loved ones. You can take up new hobbies or explore ones you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time. Play golf to your heart’s content. Or if you prefer, you can just take the time to admire the flowers and enjoy the world as it comes. The choice is yours.

You will also have to choose where to spend these exciting years and many have chosen South Florida, thanks to its magnificent coastline, endless sunshine, and the state’s tax benefits. Plus, the area is lined with various retirement communities equipped with resort-like amenities, perfect for seniors who want to live their retirement years to the fullest.

With so many retirement communities to choose from, how can retirees and their families pick the right one? In this guide, we’ll discuss the important factors to consider in finding the best retirement community based on your needs and lifestyle.

But before that, let’s first take a look at the various types of retirement communities in South Florida and the different levels of care and independence they offer.

Different Types of Retirement Communities

The terms “retirement community” or “assisted living” are sometimes met with negative connotations. Some may associate these terms with a loss of their independence or a sense that to go to one is to be cast away. These would be misconceptions. Retirement communities are designed and planned to offer a home where seniors live forward-looking and engaged lives surrounded by peers and friends.

Let’s take a look at the various types of retirement communities and how they cater to different seniors, according to the level of care they need and their lifestyle preferences.

  1. Independent living communities generally have apartment-style or single-family homes designed with comfort and independence in mind. Houses in these facilities tend to be compact and therefore easier for seniors to navigate.

    This type of community is well suited to older adults who require little to no assistance with essential day-to-day activities, such as eating, taking a bath, and basic housekeeping. Independent living communities won’t necessarily provide in-house medical or nursing care, but residents can hire in-home help if needed.

    Most independent living facilities offer various amenities and services to help seniors prolong their independence and thrive in their retirement. Some of the best retirement communities in South Florida have recreational and fitness centers on-site, giving seniors opportunities to take care of their health, connect with peers, and engage in social activities without having to travel far.

  2. Assisted living communities provide all the fun and convenience of independent living, but with more options for personalized care and support upon request. The needs of older adults often change over time, so the flexible setup of assisted living facilities is perfect in making sure senior residents are kept safe and healthy, without restraining their independence.

    woman giving food by caregiver

    Assisted living communities have staff members who can provide help with basic tasks such as bathing and medication reminders. The best retirement communities in South Florida can also offer more holistic support upon request, from diet consultations to fitness advice.

  3. Nursing homes have skilled nurses and nursing aides on call 24/7. These communities provide a higher level of care and support than independent and assisted living facilities, making them the perfect choice for seniors who require frequent care.

    Nursing homes offer different services and are equipped with various facilities to cater to a broad range of medical needs. Some nursing homes provide physical, speech, and occupational therapy. Other communities also have special care units for people with serious memory challenges, such asAlzheimer’s or dementia.

    Since most residents in nursing homes stay there for the long term, these communities make their facilities feel more like a home. They plan various activities to keep the residents moving, maintain their quality of life, and build relationships with other people in the community.

  4. Skilled nursing facilities. In these communities, residents get the assistance they need to accomplish essential day-to-day activities. Additionally, these facilities are designed to provide residents with significant medical conditions the care and attention they require.

    Highly trained and certified staff members are on call 24/7 to monitor and manage residents’ medical conditions. From rehabilitation therapies and intubation to wound care and medication administration, skilled nurses and aides are there to provide the holistic care each resident needs.

    Some seniors stay in skilled nursing facilities for the long term, while others stay until their health condition becomes stable. Once they are in better condition, they then move back to their family home or another type of retirement community.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Retirement Community

Aside from the level of independence and care required, there are other important things to consider before making a decision when choosing which home is best for you.

Location

One of the most important factors to consider is the retirement community’s location. This may seem basic, but looking at it closely, a retirement home’s location greatly affects a person’s way of life.

For example, South Florida is known for its warm summers and vibrant nightlife. It is also known to have a very large population of seniors. Then there’s the proximity to family and friends. You’ll want a place where people can easily visit you and from where you can easily visit others. For seniors who are highly mobile and would still want to travel once in a while, it’s good to think about their prospective retirement home’s accessibility to transportation and airports.

Before deciding which retirement community to move into, it would help seniors to go through these questions.

  • How far is the retirement community from immediate family members and friends?
  • Are there hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies nearby?
  • Is the area pedestrian-friendly?
  • Is the location accessible using public transportation?
  • Is the neighborhood safe?
  • Are there restaurants and shopping centers nearby?
  • Are there parks and fitness centers nearby?

These are just some of the questions to think about to determine whether a retirement community’s location will provide the lifestyle a retiree wants to have. The answer doesn’t have to be a yes for all these questions. Just pick out which items are non-negotiable to make the decision-making process easier.

Day-to-day assistance and healthcare needs

Health is wealth, as the saying goes and this is particularly true for those who need that little more medical assistance.

Thankfully, many of the best retirement communities in South Florida have on-site medical facilities and healthcare providers. This is especially convenient for older adults who have limited physical mobility or those who want to avoid frequent trips outside the retirement community.

For seniors requiring specialized treatments such as dialysis or rehabilitation, finding a retirement community offering these services on-site might be the way to go. However, this does not mean that you should rule a particular community out if it doesn’t have one. Many retirement facilities provide transportation assistance, making it easier for residents to get to and from their medical appointments off-site. While ultimately it may be easier just to choose a community with the medical assistance you need, if a community without the facility you need catches your eye and provides transport, it may be a viable option.

Aside from healthcare, some seniors may need help with daily activities such as meal preparation, housekeeping, and medication administration. Most of the best retirement communities in South Florida have skilled nurses and staff members on-site to handle these, giving seniors the level of care and attention they need.

As mentioned before, most retirement communities offer flexible arrangements when it comes to the level of assistance they provide. Retirees can discuss this with the staff members to ensure seniors can still get the care they require without compromising their independence.

When visiting a retirement community, it’s recommended to check if the community’s staff members are certified healthcare professionals or if they have people who are trained to administer emergency care. This is especially important for retirees with existing medical conditions or those with known potential health concerns.

Also, observe if the staff members are approachable and attentive. These are the people who interact with the residents every day, so how they interact with residents should be of the utmost importance.

Housing options and amenities

While entering retirement is a major life event to be celebrated, it can also be a bittersweet moment, especially for those who plan to move out of their family homes. To help with the transition, retirees should find a place that excites them, a community they look forward to joining. As well as having the amenities and facilities the housing should be of a standard that will please if not delight.

senior couple on the golf course

The best retirement communities in South Florida have various housing options available, from apartment-style to single-attached family homes. Whether retirees prefer a small space requiring minimal maintenance or a house with a yard where they can do gardening, people planning for their retirement will be able to find a place they can call home in the Sunshine State.

Many of these communities are masterfully planned to create a safe, comfortable, and engaging environment for seniors. Some of the amenities often included are:

  • Fitness center
  • Walking trail
  • Golf course
  • Spa
  • Cafe
  • Community garden
  • Swimming pool
  • Entertainment area

With all these amenities, seniors will not only have their choice of activities, but they’ll also have more opportunities to socialize, connect with their peers, and build a strong bond within their community –– factors that are equally important in making one’s retirement years fun and meaningful.

Recreational activities and services offered

The best retirement communities in South Florida offer more than great facilities and housing. They’ll know how to prepare different recreational activities and entertainment. Staying true to their goal of maintaining every retiree’s quality of life throughout their aging process, these retirement communities have programs and activities to cater to various interests, such as:

  • Art classes
  • Continuing education
  • Book club
  • Group exercises
  • Cooking classes
  • Gardening club

Those who want to maintain an active social life, can go to retirement communities that regularly arrange group activities and social gatherings, such as book clubs and game nights.

Cost

A crucial aspect in deciding where to move for retirement is cost.

Seniors and their family members should sit down with trusted professionals to review their finances and how they should be used for their years in retirement. This can include investments as a source of passive income and of course, the costs involved in moving to a retirement home.

Those who are planning to move to a retirement home may already have an idea of how much they can spend per month. When comparing retirement communities and their monthly fees, it’s recommended to ask for a breakdown of the services and utilities covered. Every community offers different services and charges different fees, so getting a breakdown of the costs involved will help retirees and their family members narrow down their retirement home options based on their needs and budget.

  • Choose a retirement community that’s within budget. The last thing every retiree wants is to get stressed because their monthly dues have spiraled beyond what they thought was their financial capacity. Sure, enjoying some extra amenities is nice, but only if it’s within budget. The monthly costs should also be something they can sustain for at least the next five years, especially for those who plan to stay in the community for the long term.
  • Don’t compromise safety and comfort. Choosing a place for retirement within a budget doesn’t mean cutting corners when it comes to safety. Thankfully, the best retirement communities in South Florida are designed to cater to their residents’ needs and well-being while still being reasonably priced.

Other Considerations

Finding the right retirement community takes some thought in a time that is often emotional and transitional. Sometimes the subject may be avoided by both the retiree and family members, neither wanting to acknowledge that the time may be right for the options to be explored. However, in many cases, once the subject has been raised in the spirit of love and care, it becomes easy to explore the possibilities of living in a retirement community.

Find your Retirement Home in South Florida

Ready to live your best years in South Florida? At The DeMarco Real Estate Group, we go the extra mile to provide you with a seamless and hassle-free experience in finding the best retirement home.

We are a brokerage firm specializing in real estate properties in South Florida. For many years our team has helped countless satisfied clients achieve their commercial and residential real estate goals through our unmatched experience, in-depth expertise of the locality, and comprehensive marketing strategy. As well as commercial and residential real estate, we also have extensive expertise in Assisted Living and other retirement communities, and we’d love to help you relocate to the best community for you.

When you work with The DeMarco Real Estate Group, you get a team of dedicated real estate professionals who’ll listen to your needs and strive to find you the best home from the best retirement communities in South Florida.

Schedule a consultation with The DeMarco Real Estate Group today! You can reach us at 954-453-1000 or by sending us an email here.