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Westminster At Lake Ridge Blog

An illustrious past meets an exceptional future. We are committed to creating meaningful lives of purposeful engagement for every resident as well as those who serve them.

Westminster At Lake Ridge Blog

WLR Blog
Posted: Thursday, May 10, 2018

Questions about life plan communities you never thought to ask

You’re ready to take the next step in your life and move from your house to a continuing care retirement community (also called life plan community). You’ve started investigating nearby communities that provide retirement living, and you’ve asked the obvious questions, but you wonder if there are other questions you should be asking. 

You know you’re going to want a full explanation of the contract you’ll sign when you  join a retirement community. You’ll want to know exactly what services are included in your monthly fee and what services are available at additional cost, and what health care benefits are covered in your agreement. 

You can get answers to most of these questions by visiting the websites of the communities that interest you. The best way to evaluate a retirement living community, however, is to visit, preferably more than once. While you’re there, feel free to talk to staff members and residents. 

Here are five questions you might not think to ask: 

Life plan communities that provide the best services are accredited by CARF International, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. The mission of CARF is to ensure that communities meet internationally recognized standards and have committed to continued improvement in enhancing the lives of their residents. 

Additional information about the quality of health care services is found on Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare site. Communities undergo rigorous evaluations and are awarded ratings from one to five stars. 

Many communities provide numerous opportunities for residents to get involved in running the community. Residents can choose to join committees that help steer the community’s finances or plan entertainment and educational events. 

This is a good question to ask so that you’ll have a complete picture of the community’s financial health and stability. Changes in Medicare or Medicaid or increases in the cost of operating a community are among the reasons why rates might change. 

Some communities make special provisions for residents whose financial resources, through no fault of their own, have been exhausted. The Westminster at Lake Ridge Resident Supporting Fund was established for exactly that purpose. True to the spirit of neighbors helping neighbors, residents themselves are generous with their contributions and in helping to raise money for the fund. 

The answer to this question lies in visiting the community. People usually are eager to share information about themselves and their community, so plan several visits. If you go for lunch, you’ll not only get a sample of the community’s cuisine, but you’ll be able to gauge how friendly and receptive the residents are. 

Westminster at Lake Ridge schedules monthly events just so you can learn about the community. These events also are great opportunities for meeting residents. Please join us at one of our upcoming events or call 703-436-8122 for more information.

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