SmartMoney is trying to spin it as a “take care of yourself” article, but we know that the real reason you’re in the market for a good retirement home is because Dad has gotten older and he’s nowhere near the madcap character Abe Simpson is on TV. Luckily for you (and your dad), they’ve put together a brief guide of 5 things you should look for when choosing a retirement home. You know, for “yourself.”
Health Services – look for an on-staff nurse or visiting health practitioner, at the very least. Smells of urine indicate unsanitary conditions (oh, really? we didn’t know).
Complaints – eat at least one meal with the residents and find out what they think about the place. Smart Money also offers several resources you should use to further investigate.
The Fine Print – ask a lawyer who specializes in elder care to review the retirement community’s contract. Although it’s rare, try to negotiate an exit clause so you don’t lose a huge amount of money if it doesn’t work out.
Staff – it’s sort of like schools: the better the staff-to-resident ratio, the better the care, but you’ll pay more.
Security – Look for not only locks, gates, and alarms, but what sort of technology is employed to help residents request help should they experience any health problems.
We can add that if you see a giant cocoon-shaped pod in the swimming pool, pay whatever they’re asking to reserve a spot. And one thing that absolutely should not be in the retirement home of your choice is a cat that can sense when you’re about to die. Not only is that creepy, but it just encourages the residents.