Contributed by The Piedmont at Buckhead, an SRG Senior Living community

Photos courtesy of The Piedmont of Buckhead

When looking for a retirement community, whether for you or a loved one, planning, alongside knowledge of local senior living resources can help you choose the retirement lifestyle that is right for you. The Piedmont at Buckhead offers these helpful tips.

1. Begin researching in advance—before the need arises.

A good place to start is to ask family, friends and valued advisors, such as a trust officer or estate attorney, for their recommendations and help with researching retirement communities. The Internet, professional resources, senior directories, local newspapers and social circles may also provide helpful information.

2. Determine which type of retirement community will best fit your needs.

It’s important to understand the different types of senior living options that are available and the types of services and care they offer. From continuing care retirement communities (CCRC’s) which require upfront entrance fees, to rental communities that offer similar services with the flexibility of a monthly fee, there’s a community to fit every budget and lifestyle.

Narrow the list of potential communities to a few possibilities by taking into account location, care services, amenities and activities. Working from a checklist and matching your preferences and needs to those being offered can be very helpful in the selection process.

3. Visit the community.

Tour retirement communities in your chosen area to best evaluate your options and get a feel for their level of hospitality and friendliness. Sample the dining services by visiting for lunch or dinner. Or, attend a community event or social—there are numerous low-key opportunities which provide fun-filled, no-pressure invitations to mingle with current residents and preview the community. All of these are great ways to get a feel for the social, cultural and operational workings of a community.

4. Does a retirement community make sense financially?

When compared to the monthly expenses and upkeep of a house, many seniors have found that they actually spend less per month and gain countless additional benefits by moving to a retirement community. To help you determine if a retirement community makes sense financially to you, we suggest you take a few moments to compute what it actually costs you to live in your home and compare your present costs to the senior living community. Many communities offer a “Compare the Value Checklist” for your convenience.

5. Does the community offer a continuum of care?

The timeliness in finding a community that is right for you can make all the difference. Waiting until the need arises may result in a short-term decision that does not meet all of your long-term needs. Make sure your selected community offers access to a comprehensive menu of licensed supportive care and services on-site to meet your needs today and tomorrow.