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When To Join the Waitlist at a Senior Living Community

Nov 8, 2022

Chances are you’re researching senior living options for yourself or a loved one. The time frame for making senior living decisions varies from one person to another because some are needs-driven and move much faster, while others are preference-driven and can take months or years to complete.

You may consider joining a waiting list once you visit a few specific places that meet your needs. Canterbury Woods Williamsville, for example, has a waitlist for independent living residences. Read on to learn more about when to join the waitlist at a senior living community.

What Is a Senior Living Waitlist?

The move to senior living will be here before you know it. The best course of action is to start planning as early as possible. If nothing else, this can be challenging if you aren’t able to move immediately into an independent living residence.

This is where a Priority Waitlist comes in, which saves a spot in independent living for the active senior who’s signed up.

CCRCs require new residents to be relatively able-bodied when they first move in, but they are ensured access to higher levels of on-site care as they need them. Residents moving into a CCRC can’t predict how much care they may eventually need, so this is an especially attractive option.

Senior living waitlists. How do they work?

Most communities or facilities will require a deposit to add your name to their waitlist; the amount can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. In most communities, this deposit is refundable if you change your mind or get into another community first, so always ask about the waitlist refund policy.

CCRCs also have waiting lists. As mentioned above, CCRCs provide a continuum of care, and new residents begin living independently, so their waiting lists do not necessarily correspond to assisted living or skilled nursing care. You usually specify the type of unit you want when you add your name to a CCRC waitlist, such as a patio home, one or two-bedroom apartment, or single-occupancy room.

What you need to know about senior living waitlists.

Once on the waitlist, future residents may be able to access CCRCs’ or other retirement communities’ pools and fitness centers, as well as other community events and activities. CCRCs are increasingly calling their waitlists “memberships.” It’s recommended that waitlist members take advantage of on-site benefits to become acquainted with their future neighbors even before they move into their residence.

You can sometimes move into the community but stay on the internal list and wait for your preferred unit to open up if you need (or want) to move into the community and your preferred unit is unavailable.

There may be a transfer fee or additional cost if your preferred residence is more expensive. If you are a current  resident, you’ll typically be given priority over nonresidents, so you may be able to get your preference relatively quickly.

You should do the following before joining a waiting list:

  • Be sure you understand the details of the residency contract and what will be included in your fees so you are as educated as possible about your senior living
  • Visit your top contenders. As you’re drawn to some, you can eliminate others from your short list.
  • Make sure you ask questions about the community, the types of contracts it offers, and its refund policies.

As soon as you’re on the waiting list:

  • Take a deep breath. You’ve made a life-changing decision to plan for your future, and you’ll probably feel relieved … and excited.
  • Start thinking about what you can and can’t take with you when you move.
  • Consider the factors that may determine whether you’re ready to move, such as your age, overall health, current housing situation, financial situation, or family dynamic.
  • Get to know the community and meet new friends by taking advantage of any perks it offers future residents on the waiting list.

You can plan for your future by getting on the waiting list for retirement communities and assisted living facilities. This step can give you and your family peace of mind, knowing you’ll be taken care of when the time comes.

Keep your future in line. Secure your spot on Canterbury Woods at Williamsville’s Priority Waitlist today! Click here for more information.

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