The “Right” Retirement Community: Questions and Considerations to Make the Right Choice

Your parents have made a big decision. They’re ready to sell their home and move into a retirement community. As they are exploring their options, they’ve probably talked with friends and family, researched communities online and may have visited a few in person. You may have even had a chance to help them assess which communities are the best fit for their needs and lifestyle. Along the way, you’ve all learned that there are a number of variables to consider when choosing the right retirement community.

In addition to the basics – space, location and cost – there are additional aspects of community living you and your parents may not think of right away but are critical to making the best choice. The team at Moravian Village has found that the following attributes and variables make a big difference in finding the best place for your parents to live.

  • Parking facilities: Being able to easily access their car in any conditions is a real plus. Underground parking is available at Moravian Village, which makes it safer for your parents to use their vehicle year round. They won’t encounter wet or icy conditions as they walk to their car.
  • Dining choices: In addition to the quality of food and portions served, you’ll want to consider the structure the community follows regarding dining. Many offer food services from a catering company and utilize a scheduled time, assigned tables and assigned dinner companions for residents. Moravian Village offers restaurant quality service, offering healthy, delicious food made from local ingredients, prepared with pride daily by Chef Frank, our onsite chef.
  • Freedom and Choices: While exploring different communities, look at the fine print and restrictions that may be included in their housing and service options. Moravian Village offers residents a great deal of freedom to choose their options – everything from paint color to size to location – and explains everything right up front.
  • Activities: Community living should offer a variety of activities for residents both on and off site, available as part of their membership. Moravian Village schedules a multitude of activities everyday across a number of different interests, accessible to everyone. For example:
    • Game fans can enjoy a lively round of Bridge, Pinochle or Bingo with friends.
    • Crafters have a needlework group and our choral group, the Village Singers, welcomes music lovers!
    • Residents may join a book club, or attend all manner of lectures, seminars and workshops. We also offer volunteer activities and bus trips.
    • Active residents utilize the on-site fitness center complete with sauna, and may also enjoy exploring our fitness classes or the “Sit to Stand” yoga class.
    • Entertainment options include taking in a movie, or viewing a favorite TV series like Downton Abbey together.
    • Browse the Community’s library and internet or simply attend our weekly “meet and greet” to socialize with neighbors over coffee.
  • Location: While most retirement communities offer on-site activities, being near local attractions and taking advantage of the immediate area is an important aspect of the community your parents choose. Living at Moravian Village, they are within easy walking or driving distance of historic neighborhoods, eclectic restaurants, two academic campuses, and scores of unique shops. They also have easy access to major highways. In addition, Bethlehem celebrates community festivals year round, including Celtic Fest, Musikfest and a picture-perfect Christmas season along historic Main Street.
  • Resident communications: Ask yourself the following as you explore options: How will your parents be heard by the administrators or staff if need be? Is there an open door policy with administration? Does the community offer newsletters, calendars, and emails to residents and their families? Do the residents participate in decision-making or sit on a resident council? Moravian Village has a very active resident community, with ongoing two-way communication between the residents and the staff. Residents have a real say in the community activities, including suggestions from the Life Enrichment Committee, and can walk into any administrator’s office at any time. This isn’t the case in all communities.
  • Social/caring/supportive community: How does it feel to be part of the community? Do the residents really get along? Make sure you understand how the community manages residents’ participation in activities: Can residents choose how much or how little they want to be involved? Moravian Village offers a community of support and positive social interaction, with many residents opting to participate in the activities that feel most comfortable and enjoyable for them.
    • Couples with diverse interests and hobbies will thrive at Moravian Village. Doing things separately – or together – is always an option depending on their needs and interests.
  • Responsiveness and quality of service and maintenance: This is critical! No one wants to wait for their heat or air-conditioning to be repaired. Moravian Village offers residents a dedicated staff that responds quickly to all service requests, day or night.
  • Atmosphere: Finally, how does the atmosphere feel to you? How do your parents feel when they walk around the campus of each community? Are they greeted warmly? Are people smiling at them? How do they feel when they walk into an apartment or a cottage? Can they “see” themselves living there? We’re confident that when you and your parents visit Moravian Village, they will experience an atmosphere that truly feels like home.

All of these intangibles are valuable clues to making a positive move and living in a community that supports the “wellness” lifestyle your parents are seeking. By choosing Moravian Village, your parents will join a community that supports their social, physical, spiritual, intellectual, creative, emotional, financial, occupational and environmental needs.

Moravian Village of Bethlehem is a leader in 55+ independent living and has a variety of senior living options in their cottage and apartment communities located in beautiful historic Bethlehem. On-site personal care and skilled nursing are also available for residents as needs arise. The staff has years of experience and are happy to provide you with insights on how you can best support your parents emotionally and physically as they consider moving to an independent senior living community.

For more information about Moravian Village, please contact Jennifer Granda at 610-625-4885 x 407 or jgranda@moravianvillage.com.