Test Drive a Community Using their Guest Room

I’ve seen retirement communities all over the country, but I never really got a chance to stay in one until my last year on the job.  Our client was trying to save money, and they asked that my company’s consultants stay in their guest rooms rather than a local hotel.

Almost all retirement communities have at least one guest room.  These furnished apartments are usually located adjacent to actual residents and offer the same amenities that any other apartment might offer.  These apartments serve as guest room rentals for residents that have guests who stay overnight. 

Although it’s not common, some communities will advertise their guest room as an enticement to potential residents.  Even if they don’t, you can ask to “test drive” the community by staying in one of the guest rooms.  I highly recommend it; my one visit to a retirement community where I stayed in the guest room proved enlightening.

For one, I learned the sorts of sounds that the building made at night.  I made peace with the air conditioning and its cycles.  I also noticed that the streetlight next to my window was unbearably bright.  I ended up hanging a towel over the blinds.

By staying in the apartment, I also got to sample the breakfast menu and meet some of the residents.  I saw the housekeeping staff and introduced myself.  I also learned how to turn the shower knob to just the right temperature.  I also learned whom to call when I had problems with my apartment.

My visit was relatively pleasant, but my colleagues shared different stories.  The worst that I recall was a woman who awoke with what appeared to be bed bug bites after staying in one guest room.  On the other hand, another colleague spend an entire year living on assignment in a retirement community without incident.  

There’s no better way to get to know a community than spending time there. Especially for communities that already have a guest room in service, letting potential residents stay the night is an excellent way to advertise the benefits of retirement living!