Choosing where to make your home, especially in the years that follow the peak of your working career, is one of the most important decisions a person will make. For those who want to make the most of these years, many will give strong consideration to a community specially designed and tailored for this key phase of life. But with more choices than ever, how and when can you go about choosing the right home?
Here are a few tips to help in the decision-making process:
- What kind of reputation does the community have?
MRC has consistently been a leader in serving the senior population since the early 1960’s, and reputation matters. When assessing a community, ask the opinions of your friends, church members, family and financial advisors. Search online to uncover past problems. A bit of research can go a long way in helping you make the right decision.
- Is the community a for-profit or not-for-profit entity?
While there are many excellent for-profit communities, the need to satisfy shareholders can override the need to provide adequate staffing, ensure high dining quality or maintain the community for both safety and comfort. Since MRC is a system of not-for-profit communities, volunteer board members, who are committed to our service ministry, govern our organization. This is a stark contrast to investors or stockholders seeking profits. As good stewards of the mission, our resources are reinvested to keep our communities fresh. Resources are not distributed as dividends or any form of profit-sharing. Moreover, everything we do is about the mission of serving others in the Wesleyan tradition of Christian faith and wholeness, where each individual can choose their healthiest and most meaningful life.
- Does the community have a stated operational guideline that agrees with your expectations?
MRC staff, led by experienced and many internally grown leaders, are committed to a culture of “ICARE”:
We have found that those who choose an MRC community do so for the stability of our organization, a strong sense of comfort, the clear feeling of belonging and the sense of security we offer. They tell us over and over again, “I can tell you have a heart for what you do, and I trust that you’ll be there for me because it’s your chosen mission.”
When to make the choice may surprise you, though. While we do offer multiple levels and types of health care services if needed, the sooner people move in the sooner they can fully enjoy the amazing and fulfilling lifestyle MRC provides. It’s a carefree time when many choose to continue a career, hobbies, studies, travel and more. In other words, you’re free to do the things you want to do, because you’re free from the burdensome and time-consuming chores of home ownership. So is it any surprise that the single most frequent comment we hear is, “I wish I/we would have moved in sooner!”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ron Jennette is the President and CEO of Methodist Retirement Communities. He has devoted more than 36 years to helping provide high quality housing and health care options for seniors.