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Common problems with retirement communities

As your parent grows older, aging in place may not be the ideal situation. You and your parent may start to look at various options for long-term elderly care. One option that may seem attractive is a retirement community. 

Some retirement communities turn out to be great, but many have serious issues. Here are some common problems you and your parent should know while you search for the right place. 

It is difficult to tell different types of communities apart

There are so many kinds of retirement communities, including assisted-living facilities, active-adult communities and continuing-care retirement communities. It is hard for anyone to learn the terminology. The differences between these communities are vital for residents to know. Generally, continuing-care communities and assisted-living facilities focus on providing residents with extra help and care. Active-adult communities provide people with the ability to live and play and do not offer as much assistance. 

There are often no on-duty doctors

Getting older means your parent will experience an inevitable decline in health. Depending on the condition of mom or dad, you may want there to be a doctor on the premises. Sadly, many retirement communities do not offer this level of care. Some do not even have nurses. If your parent needs consistent, long-term medical care, you may need to look for a nursing home instead. 

They are not always as great as they seem

First impressions matter. Many retirement communities focus on impressing prospective residents with fancy furniture and glossy brochures. While these things may be nice, they are not indicative of the quality of care your parent will receive at the facility. It is necessary to look past these first impressions. Pay attention to staffing levels, available activities and the food offerings. You may need to visit the same facility at different times to get a full idea of what the community is like.

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