Top Seven Things to Look for in a Retirement Community

You’re on the hunt for a retirement home. Whether you’ve just hung up the badge and stepped away from work or you’ve been retired a while and looking to downsize, finding the right place to spend your later years can be a challenge. Lifestyle, medical care, and community are all important factors to consider. Where do you start? 

Consider this your guide. We’ve compiled a list of seven important factors to consider when searching for a smart retirement home. From social connection to medical care, here’s how to ensure your next home is your best home. 

1. Location 

They say it in real estate—location, location, location. When it comes to senior living, location still matters! Evaluate the area surrounding a retirement community just like you’d evaluate any other neighborhood. Is it safe? How close will you be to the places you visit frequently? While there’s no end to these questions, you can narrow your options by evaluating a community based on the following aspects. 


Will you feel safe living in the area? Does it have a reputation for crime, or is it quiet? How is this retirement community being developed for the future? Find an area you’ll be comfortable living in. 

Proximity to Groceries and Other Necessities 

There’s no worse feeling than starting a baking project and realizing you’re out of sugar. How easily can you solve grocery emergencies from your retirement home? Look for a location close to necessities like grocery stores, pharmacies, and home goods suppliers. 

Distance from Your Current Residence 

How far will you be moving? The distance from your current residence to your new home plays a big part in how you’ll downsize. During your search, ask if the community offers relocation support. 

Access to Healthcare 

Will moving make it necessary to find a new healthcare provider? How close will you be to your current provider? Consider these questions carefully, as we all tend to visit the doctor more frequently as we age. 

Access to Transportation 

Don’t feel like driving? How else will you get around? Research the availability of public transportation in the area, as well as the walkability of the community. 

Some of these factors may seem overwhelming at first, but perfect locations do exist. Situated just a few blocks from beautiful downtown La Grange, Illinois, Plymouth Place fits the bill for countless seniors. Our residents enjoy convenient access to grocery stores, a peaceful neighborhood, and quick train rides to the heart of Chicago. The best part? A walkable, beautifully landscaped campus. 

2. Customizing your Residence 

From layout to interior finishing, your retirement home should be a canvas for your style. What should you ask about customizing your residence? Let’s walk through the process together. 

First, ask yourself if the layout of a residence meets your needs. Are you downsizing? If so, will the residence have enough space for the furnishings and keepsakes you want? Find a retirement community with multiple layouts. It’s important to have options. 

Next, examine the interior of the residence. Are the materials made to last? Does the design of the residence fit the decorations and furnishings you plan to bring with you? Ask if you have the freedom to customize the finishings. This is a critical part of ensuring your retirement home is a place you’ll be proud to show others, as well as live in yourself. 

At Plymouth Place, customizing your home has never been easier. Tailored by Plymouth Place allows you to work with our design team to enhance your home with comfortable, convenient, and stylish luxuries such as under-cabinet lighting, stainless steel appliances, and custom tile. 

3. Active Lifestyle Support 

You’re retiring from your career, not your life! Look for a senior living community that supports, empowers, and encourages an active adult lifestyle. What activities do you currently enjoy? What would you like to try? Give yourself the freedom to expand your horizons with exciting new ways to exercise and socialize. 

Whole-person health is at the core of our wellness strategy at Plymouth Place. This means we offer an exhilarating assortment of exercise opportunities, including: 

  • Swimming 
  • Cycling 
  • Dance aerobics 
  • Rock Steady Boxing 
  • Tai chi and yoga 
  • Gardening 

Aging doesn’t mean the end of fun. Join us at Plymouth Place in taking a holistic approach to your health. Read more about our active lifestyle here. 

4. Hobbies 

It’s a question we often hear, and one may have uttered ourselves: “I’m retired. Now what?” Though some of us have plans to travel or start a new hobby, others may find retirement daunting at first. How do manage your free time when you have so much? Look for a community with multiple creative outlets.

Ask yourself these questions: 

  • Does this community allow me to keep my current hobbies? 
  • By moving here, will I have the opportunity to try new things? 

Engage your body and mind with the exciting activities at Plymouth Place. Woodworking, knitting, gardening, and music are just a few of the many hobbies our residents enjoy. But there’s always more to discover! 

5. Medical Care and Wellness 

Looking after your health becomes more involved as you age. How can your future retirement home support your well-being? Many communities offer onsite medical care, but only the best have comprehensive support for a variety of situations. Plymouth Place features a unique care structure that allows residents to smoothly transition from Independent Living to Assisted Living—and back! Here’s an in-depth look at our healthcare support: 

On-site Wellness Clinic 

Scratchy throat? Sore neck? Eliminate the need to travel offsite for simple medical needs by visiting our on-site clinic. Our friendly, professional staff is dedicated to your well-being. 

Rehabilitation Support 

Falls happen to us all. If your mobility has been impacted by an injury, our team of physical and occupational therapists will help you get back into the rhythm of life. This also applies to hospital stays. In an uncomfortable situation, Plymouth Place lets you recover where you’re most comfortable. 

Assisted Living 

If you or your loved one needs to transition to Assisted Living, you can stay in the community you love. Plymouth Place makes this transition easy, and the many different levels of care we provide mean there’s a perfect solution for your situation. 

Health and well-being shouldn’t be a challenge. It shouldn’t be uncomfortable. At Plymouth Place, medical care is seamlessly integrated with the active and engaging lifestyle our residents love. 

6. Culture and Community 

Where you land in retirement has a huge impact on your happiness and overall health. We all love to gather with friends, go to parties, and find new ways to celebrate special occasions. Sometimes this means attending planned events, and sometimes it’s as simple as taking advantage of community spaces. It’s important to join a retirement community with a strong culture, but how can you truly know without joining it first? On your search for a new home, look for these three things: 

Community Spaces

Lounges, game rooms, and libraries are the types of community spaces that make senior living fulfilling. Plymouth Place is endowed with countless community areas. Looking to savor a glass of wine with a friend? Visit The Pub. Searching for the perfect place to watch the sunset? Take a stroll through the gardens. 

Special Events and Entertainment 

Part of finding a good location is proximity to local entertainment. But what if the entertainment came to you? Find a community that hosts special events, celebrations, and productions. And when it comes to entertainment, Plymouth Place is buzzing with activity. We frequently host musicians, storytellers, and more. 

Transportation to Area Attractions 

Sometimes you just want to get away. How can your retirement community support you when wanderlust strikes? Plymouth Place takes residents on routine excursions to museums, performing arts events, and historical sites. With transportation covered, there’s no need to fret over planning an adventure when you can simply join one. 

Finding the right culture in a retirement community isn’t always easy, but at Plymouth Place, you can participate in as many (or as few) activities as you want. Your lifestyle is in your hands. 

7. Dining 

Cooking. Sometimes it’s a treat, and sometimes it’s a chore. When you don’t feel like breaking out the pots and pans to craft a gourmet meal, it’s important to have access to food that lives up to your own—as well as being nutritious! Beyond taste, what should you look for in the dining service at a retirement community? 


Does the menu rotate? How often? It’s no crime to expect variety. Nobody wants to eat the same meal every day, and it’s important to diversify your diet. 

Healthy Options 

The quality of food matters just as much as the taste. Where does the kitchen source its ingredients, and are they fresh? Look for a menu that has fruit, vegetables, and quality proteins as the star of the show. 


Everyone loves to get gussied up and go to dinner. But some days you just want to eat in comfortable shoes and your favorite sweater. Find a community where dining encompasses a range of formalities. Or, better yet, find a community with multiple dining areas. 


When family or friends come to visit, will there be a place at the table for them? Ask retirement homes if they welcome guests to their dining areas. 

With chef-prepared dishes, a seasonal menu, and locally sourced ingredients, dining at Plymouth Place isn’t just a routine—it’s an experience. Our dining rooms range from casual to formal. And for those who don’t feel like joining the crowd, we’ll deliver meals directly to your residence. Take a peek at a sample menu here. 

• • • 

Finding the right retirement home doesn’t have to be overwhelming. We’ve seen seven things to consider during your search, including location, culture, dining, entertainment, and medical care. But these are just a few factors. Add your own requirements to the list! Above all, prioritize what will make you and your loved one happiest. 

We invite you to explore what Plymouth Place has to offer. Our family-like community fosters meaningful social connections, encourages an active lifestyle, and offers luxury living from independent living to assisted care. The transition to a retirement home shouldn’t be a chore. Make it an adventure and join us at Plymouth Place.