After visiting dozens of retirement residences through the years, my advice is this:

Take Charge.
Don't wait for your daughter or son to have to make the decision for you.  Visit retirement residences in your area, especially those close to your family long before you need one.

If possible, do a trial stay in a residence quest suite for a night or even a week. 
Talk to everyone you can and find out about the food and activities.  It's not any equipment that counts - it's how much it's used.

Are these your kind of people?  
There's bingo everywhere, but if it's books or a game of bridge you're interested in, are you likely to find someone who shares your interest here?  Look for a lively residence with lots of interaction among the residents.

Maintain your usual outdoor activities. 
Whether service club luncheons, mall-walking, whatever - and, if practical, continue to drive your car.

And, a purely personal observation.
If you are on your own, rent or buy the smallest unit in the very best facility you can afford.  If the residence is good, you won't be spending much time in your apartment anyway.  If you're a couple, think about a two-room unit - there can be too much proximity.  Especially if one partner snores!

Source: Frank Jones, Comfort Life 2008-2009


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