Senior Living Community Waitlists: The Benefits of Joining Early
There’s a reason it’s a good idea to start looking into senior living communities earlier than later. They’re usually full, and apartments may not open up for several months or even years. Joining a couple waitlists can help ensure that you land in one of your top-choice communities when you’re ready to move. It can also give you a chance to interact with the community you’re hoping to join. And even just the act of deciding to join a waitlist is a step that helps to prompt planning your moving and downsizing timeframe, reducing future moving stress. Consider some of these benefits that come with joining a senior living community waitlist.
Why should I join at least one waitlist?
Since senior communities can stay full for months or even years, joining a waitlist can be both preemptive and a preparation. Waitlist members will get first choice before the apartments are made available to the general public; for those not on the waitlist, the wait times will be much longer. Putting your name down early for your ideal community or apartment style will increase the chances of an opening at the best time for you; the chances decrease if senior living is only explored when a move is immediate.
Joining at least one waitlist will also help set a timeframe for your moving plans. You may have found your ideal community, but if you know you’re not planning to move for another two years, you can still lock in your spot now and start downsizing at a relaxed pace.
What other benefits can a waitlist have?
Joining a waitlist can mean much more than just waiting for an apartment to open up. It can also be a chance to experience the community and know for sure if it’s the best fit. At some communities (including Era Living’s retirement communities), being on the waitlist comes with extra perks that can include dining at the community and attending special events. Waitlist members may also enjoy access to resident resources, community newsletters, and priority choice of apartments.
What is my financial commitment for a waitlist?
The waitlist deposit amount and requirements will vary with each community, and it’s important to be clear on the refund policies before making any deposits (at Era Living, all waitlist deposits are refundable if the spot is cancelled). The deposit will then go towards the rent or purchase of the apartment selected once you move in. If you’re interested in several communities within the same senior living company, there may be a smaller fee for each additional waitlist.
What if I’m interested in more than one community?
If you’re not moving for months or even years, then we recommend to joining waitlists for your second and third choices. This will provide more options down the road, especially if you need to move sooner than anticipated. But since you’ll only be moving into one community, ask about any penalty fees for canceling your spot.
Can I join the waitlist before I’m ready to move?
You can absolutely decide to join a waitlist early. At Era Living, you can join even if you’re not intending to move for 10 years! Joining early does mean you may be called with an open spot before you’re ready. Some communities offer the ability to keep your spot, even if it’s not the right time. Ask if being ‘skipped over’ will incur penalties or cause you to lose your spot.
However, joining a waitlist early also means that in the months or years up to your move, your health needs may change. Putting your name on multiple waitlists can help prepare for this scenario, as you can join both independent living and assisted living–focused options. It’s also important to keep in touch with the community about your current and progressive health needs to help determine the best timing for your move.
Finally, in the stretch of time between joining the waitlist and signing for the apartment, your living preferences may also change. While you’re still on the waitlist and can make changes, it can be a good idea to revisit your listed preferences and make sure they’re still current with your lifestyle.
If you have questions about joining an Era Living community, we’d love to talk with you. Get in touch to learn more about our waitlists and our retirement communities.