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From the Neighborhood Press

A group of seniors sitting socializing indoors engaged in various activities such as reading and conversing with each other.

How to Pick a Retirement Community

Choosing the retirement community where you will spend your golden years is a big decision, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly without some planning and forethought. Your safety, health, and enjoyment of life are all things you should consider when looking at a senior community.

As you consider these things and more, it may become more clear what type of senior living fits your life best. For example, maybe you’re living an active and independent lifestyle, and an independent living community could offer support to help you make the most of your free time. But it’s worth considering the potential for an easy transition into assisted living if you choose a community that offers both options.

Types of Retirement Communities

To understand the considerations for choosing a senior community, let’s review some common types of retirement communities.

Independent Living

Independent living accommodations may be ideal for someone who feels comfortable tackling activities of daily living, such as bathing, cooking, eating, or generally taking care of themselves.

An independent living community typically has a care team available to help residents, but much of the benefit comes from amenities and services such as housekeeping, cooking, and the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals. 

Assisted Living

Assisted living could be the better option when a senior needs more support. These communities also have care teams but a significant difference is the amount of assistance included.

Common things included in an assisted living community may include help with personal care, chef-prepared meals, and a 24/7 care team available when you need them.

Memory Care

Some degree of memory loss is normal as we age, but those with dementia can benefit from an added level of care. When someone develops dementia, it’s typically a progressive disease, regardless of which form of dementia they develop. Memory care is a service that caters to seniors with dementia and related conditions.

Respite Care

When a senior first develops a cognitive issue or needs assistance with daily activities, a family member or close friend is often the first to step in and help. Caregiving can be a rewarding experience; however, sometimes caregivers need time to rest.

With respite care, a caregiver can rest knowing their loved one is receiving high-quality care while they get the break they need. Typically, respite care is relatively short-term but some communities offer longer stays.

A skilled caregiver helping a senior woman in her daily activities.Considerations when Choosing a Retirement Community

While looking for the right retirement community for you, there are many other considerations to make, including location, amenities, and more. 


The location of the community will likely be one of your primary considerations. Will you be close enough for loved ones to visit? Do you like the area? Are there shopping and entertainment options nearby? These are all questions you may ask yourself. 


The services and amenities available may directly impact your quality of life. For example, if you’re someone who likes to stay active, a community that includes a fitness room, pool, or walking trails could be a perfect fit.

Sense of Community 

One of the greatest benefits of senior living communities can be the sense of community. Social activity is important for our health, and retirement communities can give you the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals, enjoy group activities, and discover new hobbies. 

Overall Health

It’s wise to consider your health when planning your retirement. Having a care team available 24/7 can be convenient while also offering peace of mind that you won’t have to navigate health changes on your own. For example, if you need a more supportive lifestyle later in life, communities like The Neighborhood in Rio Rancho offer an easy transition from independent to assisted or memory care living.

Find the Community that Supports Your Retirement Lifestyle

The transition into some form of retirement community can be a big change, but it can also be a fulfilling and exciting one. Finding a community that has experienced team members who can help you through the process can make the transition more comfortable and stress-free.

If you’re considering retirement in Rio Rancho, reach out to our team. The compassionate staff in our community can answer your questions and book you a tour so you can experience our community for yourself! 

A group of seniors sitting socializing indoors engaged in various activities such as reading and conversing with each other.

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