Era Living’s Top Questions from Prospective Residents
At Era Living, we’ve rounded up some of the top questions we get about our communities and senior living. We hope that these answers provide some guidance as you begin your initial research on retirement living, and we would be happy to connect on any further questions you have! Contact us for more information.
I don’t need help now. Will I have to move to a different apartment if I do in the future?
If you move into an Era Living community and require assisted living services in the future, we can bring these services to you, allowing you to age in place. We offer an extensive range of assisted living services, such as:
- Bathing, dressing, grooming, and continence support
- Mobility, transfer, and escort assistance
- Medication management and assistance
- Dietary and nutritional support
At two of our communities, Ida Culver House Broadview and The Gardens at Town Square, we offer secured memory care. Ida Culver House Broadview also offers higher levels of assisted living care to help with more complex needs such as:
- Higher levels of individualized attention from caregivers than what is available in our main campus
- Wellness services, such as sliding scale insulin management
- Extra help with transfers, including two-person physical assistance and transfers by mechanical lift
- One-on-one eating assistance
These higher care offerings at Ida Culver House Broadview and The Gardens at Town Square are in a separate, dedicated area within each community.
What is the up-front cost of moving in, and what is refundable?
At most Era Living retirement communities, a community fee is required upon move-in. This cost varies depending on the community and apartment size you choose, and it covers the expenses related to getting your new apartment ready and typically ranges from $3,000 to $7,500. This community fee is non-refundable.
Two of our communities, Aljoya Mercer Island and Aljoya Thornton Place, have what we refer to as an entrance fee. This entrance fee is higher than the community fees associated with our other communities. However, 80% of the entrance fee is refundable to either you or your estate after the apartment is leased to a new resident.
If interested in getting an exact estimate of an apartment, please feel free to contact us here.
What is included in the rent?
The Era Living cost comparison sheet (which you can download for free here) clearly outlines the services and amenities included in the monthly rent. These may vary slightly across Era Living communities, so the cost sheet can be useful if you’re comparing Era Living communities to each other, not to just your current home. You’ll find that in all Era Living communities, things like housekeeping and linen services, basic cable, fitness center access, and at least a portion of your meals are included in the monthly rent. However, each Era Living community costs and offerings run similar to each other, but will vary in amenities like number of meals included, parking, and storage. If you’re considering multiple Era Living communities, we encourage using the cost comparison sheet to use as a central place of information on rent and services.
What is the average age of residents?
Our youngest residents across Era Living communities are in their early to mid-60s, our oldest residents are in their 100s, and we have residents of all ages in between. But the ages alone won’t tell you whether or not you will feel at home.
We recommend getting the best sense of the community vibrancy—including levels of social and physical activity, interests, and abilities by gathering more information and experiencing it firsthand. Ask about those areas listed above; inquire into attending a dinner or social event to meet the residents; spend an overnight or longer in the community if that’s an option. Whatever the average age happens to be, you’ll likely find that the variety of personalities, life experiences, and current lifestyles will give you a much clearer idea of the best fit for you.
What types of activities do you offer?
Era Living communities are known for their lively social calendar both indoors and out. During normal times, there are a variety of outings and activities usually scheduled, from trips to Mariners games and the symphony to hobby groups and game nights. And while many on these types of outings are currently on hold due to the pandemic, our communities are able to still host activities within the community for up to 10 people at a time. These types of activities include exercise classes, discussion groups, and games.
When planning the activity calendar, the Life Enrichment team takes as many interests into account as they can. After each resident moves in, the Life Enrichment director meets with them to talk about their interests and activities and create their resident profile. While it’s not possible to accommodate every single interest, the team works to create happy mediums and make sure that everyone feels included.
How do new residents get to know their neighbors? Will they be introduced?
Era Living’s social workers lead a Newcomers Group to help new residents adjust and meet their neighbors after moving into the community. Communities also have an ‘ambassador’ program that matches new people moving into the community with a current resident who they believe will match well with the incoming resident’s interests and lifestyle. The ambassador will serve as a guide or mentor, and friendships often develop as they help the new person meet their neighbors and staff, learn the lay of the land, and get more comfortable.
There are ambassadors of sorts in the dining rooms as well. Each Era Living dining room has a host who will ask each diner, when being seated, if they would like to join (or be joined by) others or would prefer their own company. (When grouping residents together, the host makes sure to keep each table’s health needs on the same level.) Newcomers can start to ease into the community in this way—and no one needs to eat alone unless they want to.
Many of our communities also offer orientations that new residents can attend to meet different members of the Leadership Team and have an opportunity to ask questions.
Does the community have resources for downsizing and moving, and connections to people and companies who can help?
Era Living has been offering downsizing and moving assistance for more than 10 years. Downsizing resources to help you through the process are available through monthly workshops, literature, staff expertise, and our YouTube channel downsizing playlist. We also help to simplify your move by coordinating the setup of your new amenities and providing moving information, packing options, and day-of support for the resident and their families.
We also provide connections to moving companies and senior move managers, who specialize in helping to organize and carry out big moves later in life. Senior move managers can be incredibly helpful as a partner in what can be a very overwhelming process. From the start, they help to coordinate with the moving company, the family, and the senior living community to help it all go smoothly.
Those who join Era Living’s Aljoya communities can take advantage of the moving services of Catherine Arendt, the dedicated senior move manager for Aljoya Thornton Place and Aljoya Mercer Island. And at the remaining six communities, Era Living refers seniors to the move managers at Seattle-based HB Move Management.
Do you have a waitlist?
Yes, all Era Living retirement communities offer a waitlist. For those planning ahead (and it’s never too early), waitlists are a great way to hold a spot at your favorite community. Depending on the flexibility of cancellation policies and fees, it can be a great option to pay for multiple waitlist spots at your top choices. Your first choice may open up before you’re ready or able to move, but your second choice may open at just the right time. (Era Living has a full refund policy and no time requirement for waitlist cancellations.) If you are looking to move soon and are flexible with your apartment choice, then it may be possible to move in to some communities prior to getting on a waitlist.
At Era Living, we’re happy to help you discover senior living and whether it’s right for you. To learn more about any of these topics, get in touch via email or phone and we’ll connect with you.