Top Qualities of the Best Retirement Communities in Michigan

Feb 21, 2022
Valentine's day 2022 at Ganton's

Entering your golden years can be an exhilarating adventure, or it can be a stressful, uncertain transition. For most people, the difference comes down to whether or not they feel secure and supported in their new phase of life. Finding a retirement community that fits your individual needs and preferences can go a long way in ensuring a happy retirement.

If you’re searching for the best retirement communities in Michigan, you’re in luck — there are countless options that span the state. However, with so many communities and types of living to choose from, you may be struggling to narrow down your search. Luckily, John Ganton’s Countryside can help you make the right decision.

At Ganton’s, we know how important it is for seniors to choose the right community for them. The best arrangement for you will be the one that not only meets your current physical, emotional and social needs, but also anticipates your future needs. Keep reading to learn about the most important qualities in any senior living community.

Why You Can’t Choose Just Any Retirement Community

For many seniors, the retirement community they choose will be the one they live in for the rest of their lives. That’s why it’s essential to plan for present and future needs. The best way to avoid an unhappy living experience is to write out your most important needs and ask if the senior community you’re considering can provide them.

For example, if your mental health suffers when you’re isolated, you know that having a social life is critical. You may want to prioritize communities that offer recreational activities and social events. Similarly, if you have a degenerative disease that will require increased support, you’ll want to find a community that has the medical resources that allow you to age in place.

Every senior deserves to live in dignity, comfort and security, and to have their preferences taken seriously. Unfortunately, not all senior homes share these values. That’s why you can’t just choose any retirement community and hope for the best. You have to take a proactive approach to protecting your future.

What the Best Retirement Communities in Michigan Get Right

Now that you understand why choosing the right retirement community is so essential, let’s talk about the qualities you should look for in your senior living experience. The best retirement communities in Michigan tend to have a few key traits in common.

Lifestyle Options

The best communities don’t sell you a one-size-fits-all option — they offer a variety of arrangements to choose from, based on your individual needs. Any community you’re considering should provide versions of the following options:

  • Independent Living. Independent living is the most autonomous senior living arrangement, ideal for people who need limited assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs). It facilitates senior-friendly housing, maintenance, a range of amenities and a robust community network.
  • Assisted Living. This type of arrangement is designed for seniors who require help with some ADLs, and it generally provides private apartments or suite-style living rather than single-family homes. Assisted living offers more comprehensive care than independent living but less than nursing care.
  • Nursing Care. High-quality nursing care centers help seniors with all ADLs and attend to their medical needs with certified staff. The best nursing care centers design individualized meals plans and social activities and help residents retain as much autonomy as possible while prioritizing their health and safety.
  • Memory Care. People with advanced dementia have distinct needs that can’t be met by other types of senior living. With highly trained staff, memory care centers help enrich the lives of their residents on every level — physically, emotionally, intellectually and socially — through individualized plans of care.
  • Rehabilitation. Some seniors just need to get back on their feet, and that’s exactly what temporary rehabilitation centers provide. Offerings should include physical, occupational and speech therapy programs.

The ideal retirement community would offer all of these lifestyle choices with the option to transition from one to another based on changing health needs. The ability to update services gives residents the security of aging in place.

Social Opportunities

Ganton's residents socializingPeople don’t outgrow their need for social connection — they just get used to being isolated. Unfortunately, this takes a massive toll on their quality of life. The best retirement communities in Michigan provide social opportunities at every level of care, based on a person’s abilities.

Social activities look different for each style of living. For seniors in independent living communities, socializing may look like meeting friends at the clubhouse, playing sports at the rec center or attending holiday parties. For residents living in nursing care, they may look like meals with friends, games and movie nights; for assisted living residents, socializing may mean planned outings around town.

No matter what social opportunities you prefer to do and are able to do, the best retirement communities in Michigan should have a plan for how to make it happen. Research shows that having a social life is critical to warding off isolation, loneliness and the negative health impacts that come with them.

Access to Green Space

Ganton resident birdwatching in the gardenAs Michiganders, we understand the importance of green space more than most people. Our beautiful state gives us ample opportunities to interact with our natural surroundings. Studies show that access to activities in nature plays a huge role in the psychological and physical wellbeing of older adults, which is why the best retirement communities make accessing green space easy.

Ideally, a senior living community should be located on a large, beautiful campus that has accessible sidewalks, trails, fields, wild areas and more. They should also have areas that encourage outdoor events and gatherings, like places to barbeque, play games and plan picnics. Access to nature promotes an active, healthy lifestyle for residents of all ages.

Services and Amenities

Gatnon's resident with visiting service dogThe less that seniors need to venture off-campus to get their basic needs met, the more comfortable they can be in their retirement. The best retirement communities in Michigan include services and amenities like lounges, dining venues, fitness centers, clubhouses, libraries, computer labs, beauty and barber shops, on-site medical care and pharmacies.

Additionally, services (and the ability to request new services) is a critical offering. Services could include transportation arrangement, medication management, housekeeping, linen service, special meal preparation, accounting and more.

Looking for the Best Retirement Community in Michigan?

Few decisions in life are as important as where you choose to live. This is especially true when it comes to choosing where to retire because your choice will affect more than housing. It will determine the level of support you receive, the type of people you surround yourself with and your quality of life as you age.

If you’re looking for the best retirement communities in Michigan, look no further than John Ganton’s Countryside. No matter what style of senior living you prefer, you can find it on our gorgeous, 100-acre campus. Questions? We’d love to chat with you! For more information about Countryside, please call Margaret Nagel at (517) 206-5000 or download our brochure to learn about our care levels, cost, and amenities.

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