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Westminster at Lake Ridge Blog

WLR Blog
Posted: Wednesday, November 7, 2018

When to Get On the Wait List at a Retirement Community

If you or a loved one is considering senior living options, you likely have begun doing research on retirement communities. With all of the differing communities, it can be a lot to take in so the decision process can take some time. Once you home in on a few specific places that meet your criteria, you may want to consider getting your name on their waiting lists.

The timing conundrum

Ideally, one should not wait until the day they need to move to begin planning. If for no other reason this can be problematic because of the very subject addressed here. There could be a wait list for the community you like best.

If you are eyeing a continuing care retirement community (CCRC, also known as a life plan community) another consideration is that many of these communities require that new residents be relatively able-bodied in order to enter into a continuing care contract. In fact, many life plan communities have a very active base of residents who live independently today, but want to be someplace where care is available to them on site if needed. Most continuing care retirement communities maintain an assisted living and/or healthcare center in addition to offering independent living. Therefore, residents moving into a CCRC do not necessarily know when or how much care they may eventually need.

How retirement community waiting lists work

Most communities will require a deposit in order to add your name to their wait list; the amount can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. In some communities, this deposit may be refundable if you change your mind or get into another community first; always ask about the waiting list refund policy. Westminster at Lake Ride has a $300 admin fee and the rest of the deposit is 100% refundable.

When adding your name to a CCRC Waiting List, you will typically specify which type of unit you desire, e.g., a patio home, a 1 or 2-bedroom apartment, a single-occupancy room, etc. When a unit becomes available then the community will contact you.

There are two common forms of wait lists that you will find at communities.

The open-ended wait list is the more flexible of the two types. When your name reaches the top of the list, you are not required to move in immediately; you can keep your top position on the list and wait until the next desired unit opens up. The challenge with this type of list is that it gives an inexact picture of how many people are actually ready to move to the community so it can take a long time for your name to come to the top slot.

Some communities have a “three strike rule” wait list. As the name might suggest, for these communities, if you get to the top of the list and turn down that opening three times, you get bumped back to the bottom of the list. You will even run across a few communities that have a one strike rule for their lists. Westminster at Lake Ridge has a very flexible wait list. When one gets on our waiting list, they may turn down an available apartment verbally on the phone and not move their waitlist ranking. If an applicant views an available apartment and refuses twice, then their name would be place at the bottom of the list. Once you are on Westminster at Lake Ridge’s waiting list, we will offer a variety of perks to future residents–with access to our pool and exercise center, or access to other community events and activities. We call it the WLR Waitlist Club.

 

Your waiting list checklist

Before you get on a waiting list:

  • Research, research, research so you are as educated as possible about your senior living options and various scenarios. Be sure you understand the details of the residency contract and what your fees include.
  • Take a tour of your top contenders; you may find that two or three really stand out when you visit them in person, while others may be easy to eliminate.
  • Ask as many questions as you can about the community, their contract types, and their waiting list policies (including refunds).

 

After you get on a waiting list:

  • Relax. You have made a major life decision to plan for your future; it will likely feel like a tremendous load has been lifted.
  • Begin thinking about organizing your home; consider what you will and will not be able to take with you when the time comes to move.
  • Begin thinking about when you will be ready; consider making a list of determining factors such as age, overall health (including ability to safely drive), current housing situation, savings and assets, family considerations, etc.
  • Take advantage of any perks offered by the community to future residents who are on the waiting list; you will grow more comfortable with the surroundings and meet new friends too.

Adding your name to a retirement community waiting list is one of the ways you can plan for your future. This step can give you and your loved ones a level of security, knowing that you will be well cared for as you age.

To get more information on how to join the Westminster at Lake Ridge Waitlist visit our website or call the Marketing office at 703-357-9604.

  

The above article was written by Brad Breeding of myLifeSite and is legally licensed for use.


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