When looking for a home to carry you or your elderly parents through retirement years, make sure the senior-living community you’re considering features “continuing” care. That is, it should offer different living arrangements for different stages of retirement:

  • a. Independent living. When you (or your parents) are in good health, mentally and physically, these communities offer a full range of recreational and cultural activities. You can enjoy the swimming pool, the golf course, the bridge club, and so on.

  • b. Assisted living. When you reach the point when you need some extra services, these communities will provide it–for an extra fee, of course. Someone might help with housekeeping, for example, or you might eat your meals in a communal dining room.

  • c. Long-term care. Many seniors eventually will need full-time custodial care. Continuing care communities promise to provide that care, in your home or in an affiliated nursing home.