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August 21, 2019   |    Blog, Finance and Planning, Planning for Retirement

16 Questions to Ask When Researching Retirement Communities


Thinking about moving to a retirement community and overwhelmed on where to begin?  Below are 16 questions to jump start your research journey to find the right community that meets your lifestyle and needs.  Please take some time and click the questions below to learn more about Wesbury and what our community has to offer.

1). Is it a non-profit or for-profit community and how does that impact me?

In choosing a nonprofit Continuing Care Retirement Community, you are choosing a community committed to providing for you both physically and financially for the rest of your life, even if you outlive your resources. For-profit organizations do ask their residents to leave when they can no longer pay. Wesbury does not. Benevolent Care is a key component of Wesbury’s nonprofit mission.

2). What Care levels does it offer? Is it a CCRC?

Communities such as Wesbury offer exactly that – a continuation of care through the resident’s lifetime. Select a community where you can live actively and find the services you need through all the stages of your retirement years. CCRC’s offer everything from maintenance free living to in-home services, personal care apartments, rehabilitation, memory support and skilled nursing care. Once you choose the community, you have made a choice that will fit your needs for the rest of your life.

3). Can the community care for me all of my days?

Wesbury works as a Continuing Care Community meaning that all residents have priority access to in-home care, rehabilitation, enhanced living and personal care, long-term nursing and memory support.  Our goal is to assist residents to be as active and independent for as long as possible at all care levels.

4). What activities and programs do they have?

Activities at Wesbury are as diverse as they are plentiful, and Wesbury strives to promote a range of activities from card clubs and lectures, to out-of-town trips through all levels of care. For convenience and planning purposes, each resident receives a monthly calendar that contains a listing of activities and events along with times and locations.

Some of the activities for Independent Living include:

Attending concerts at the Chautauqua Institution, participating in continuing education programs at Allegheny College and Edinboro University, swimming at the Meadville Area Recreational Complex, traveling to local theatres for shows, playing Bocci ball, or attending a retreat at Camp Fitch.

Enhanced Living and Personal Care activity examples include:

Going out to lunch at area restaurants such as Primo Barone’s in Franklin, traveling up to the Presque Isle Downs & Casino, playing card and board games, relaxing in the rose garden around the campfire enjoying  smores or camp pies, or attending a daily morning fitness class.

Long-term Care activities include:

Outings to the Erie Zoo, Crawford County Fair, or Hibachi Japanese Steak House in Erie, attending Senior Scholar Lectures, listening to local musicians at the Summer Outdoor Concert Series, going on golf cart rides around campus, playing Bingo, or enjoying a milkshake social.

If you are interested in learning more about activities at Wesbury please visit: Wesbury’s Activity Calendars page to see what is happening this month.

5). Do they accept my insurance should I need rehabilitation?

We accept most 3rd party payers, including V.A., Medicare, and Medicaid. Coverage will vary depending on your plan. Medical Assistance is available for those who qualify. Our Financial Department would be happy to assist you in planning how to cover the cost of your stay.

6). What are their entrance fees and costs?

Wesbury’s Thoburn Village is structured as a typical non-profit retirement community where a client pays a residency fee upon admission and a monthly service fee there forward. Ten percent of the residency fee is nonrefundable, while the remaining 90% is amortized over an eight year period. Within the eight year amortization period, the unamortized portion may be refunded to the resident or their estate when the villa is vacated, or credited to the resident’s account if they transition to another care level.

All monthly service fees include utilities (gas, water, electric, sewage, refuse and recycling), basic TV cable, telephone, taxes, insurance on the structure and property, snow removal, lawn care, landscaping and all interior and exterior maintenance.

There are no entrance fees for Enhanced Living and Personal Care and Long-term Care.  Enhanced Living and Personal Care include studios and two room suites, all with a private bath.  Long-term Care have semi-private and private room options.

For further information regarding each care level and download brochures with cost information please visit the following pages:

7). What amenities are included?
    • 110-acre private, beautifully landscaped campus
    • Nearby golf courses, lakes and outdoor attractions
    • Exercise room and Wellness center
    • On-Site Medical Center
    • Sunset Auxiliary Gift Shoppe
    • The Neighborhood Grill
    • Library
    • Clubhouse at Thoburn Village
    • Free wireless internet locations
    • Video conferencing using Skype technology
    • Community room and Education Center for entertainment, lectures and special events
    • Beauty salon and barber shop
    • Craft/Recreational rooms with billiards, ping pong and Wii
    • Three on-site Chapels
    • Catering Services and  guest dining
    • Guest accommodations and parking
    • Nature trail and outdoor gardening areas
    • Picnic pavilion and gazebo
    • Volunteer opportunities
    • Art studio
    • Sewing room
    • Activities kitchen
    • Woodshop
    • On-site access to public transportation
    • ATM
    • Public Notary Services

Please refer to the Independent Living, Enhanced Living and Personal Care, Long-term Care, Short-term rehabilitation and Memory Support pages to see additional inclusions for each level of care.

8). What types of transportation do they offer?

Residents who choose not to drive their personal vehicles have access to alternative means of transportation.

Public Transportation

Crawford Area Transportation Authority (CATA), a public transportation service, has a bus stop in front of Grace Rehabilitation and Health Center Monday through Saturday. The CATA

bus travels to many different points throughout the city and transportation maps may be obtained from the CATA office or the bus driver.

Wesbury Transportation

Wesbury provides full-time transportation service both on and off campus. Transportation for medical appointments within 20 miles is free to Thoburn and Enhanced Living and Personal Care residents provided they go unassisted. There will be a charge if an aide needs to assist.

The Life Enrichment Department schedules free trips such as field trips and shopping. Residents may utilize Wesbury transportation for personal use for a fee. Personal transportation can be arranged for any reason such as visits to local banking, shopping areas and to trips to the airport by calling the receptionist.

9). Where do I want to live? Rural area or city? and, What is near the community?

Quiet and secluded, Wesbury is only minutes from the heart of Meadville, PA a county seat, where shopping, dining, cultural, financial and medical facilities are available in a small town atmosphere. Residents can choose to become connected with the many nearby houses of worship, clubs and organizations. Erie International Airport, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Buffalo and Niagara Falls are all within a two hour drive.

For the outdoor enthusiast, beautiful woodlands, golf courses, state parks, and lakes beckon Wesbury residents for exceptional outdoor sport and relaxation opportunities.

10). Are they accredited?

Wesbury received word that the United Methodist Association of Health and Welfare Ministries (UMA), a national network of health and welfare-related organizations, granted Wesbury EAGLE Accreditation for the sixth consecutive time in 2018. UMA consists of 400 health and human service organizations that provide its members with education, accreditation, networking, communication, and business services while keeping with the rich, historical, Wesleyan traditions and practices of the United Methodist denomination.

The Educational Assessment Guidelines Leading toward Excellence (EAGLE) accreditation is a quality enhancement program offered every five years to faith-based organizations providing care to older adults, children, youth and families. The intensive self-assessment and peer review process encourages and recognizes excellence in Christian mission and ministry. EAGLE accredited facilities are stringently reviewed based on business practices, social principles as well as their Christian mission. EAGLE peer reviewers focus on an organization’s relationships within its local community, on the persons being served, as well as governance and management.

11). Do they allow pets?

Fish, birds, cats and dogs are permitted at Thoburn Village.  Birds, cats and fish are permitted at Cribbs Residential Center.  Pets are not permitted at Grace Rehabilitation and Health Center. Pets are permitted to visit as long as their records and vaccines have been kept up-to-date.

12). What all can I do to customize my home/apartment?

New residents can be as involved or uninvolved as they wish when it comes to preparing their villa or apartment for move in. They can select cabinetry, counter tops, hardware, paint, and flooring; or Wesbury can choose neutral finishes and just take care of it all. It is at Wesbury’s expense to prepare each home for the next occupant, but there are parameters. When the renovations requested exceed Wesbury’s plans for the home, then the costs are passed on to the customer.

13). Are they growing, expanding, financially sound?

Founded in 1918, Wesbury’s story begins outside of Conneautville, Pennsylvania where Hyatt M. Cribbs, donated a portion of his farm to the ministers and laymen of the Erie Conference of the United Methodist Church.  In 1945, they officially decided that a larger, more modern facility was needed. Ultimately, the Conference chose farmland north of the city of Meadville when sixteen acres of land known as “Green Acres” on Park Avenue Extension in West Mead Township was given as a gift from the people of Meadville. In 1952, under the supervision of administrator Rev. George Braun, the first residents moved from Conneautville to the new Methodist Home for the Aged in Meadville.

At the start of the 1960s, the 88-bed Methodist Home was operating at full capacity, and officials saw the need to expand and raised the funds needed to construct a new 140-bed nursing facility on seven acres of land adjoining Methodist Home’s property.

As the ’70s were winding down, Executive Director Rev. William Brown and the Board of Directors began looking into a new venture in senior living. Constructed in 1977, the first villas located along Wesley Way behind the Nursing Hospital would be the start of the independent living program. Today there are 64 villas.

Looking for ways to improve health care services available to area seniors led to the creation of Wesbury’s Home Enriched Living Program (H.E.L.P.) in 1997. The concept was to bring home and community-based services to homebound seniors throughout the region. These services continue today under the banner of Help at Home with Wesbury, offering a compliment of in-your-home programs and services that range from home-delivered meals and companion services to more recent additions like handyman home maintenance and beautician services.

In 2016, Wesbury Care Cottages were added as an alternative to living in a Skilled Nursing Facility or Personal Care Home providing “one-on-one,” person-centered care in a residential setting. With locations in Meadville, Titusville, and Cochranton, each can accommodate three residents with twenty-four/seven, around-the-clock, companion services to assist the cottage residents with their daily needs.

One of the first endeavors of the new millennium was the construction of the Larcom Memory Support Center connected to Grace Health Center. Opened in 2001, the Memory Support Center offers a unique environment with specialized programming designed for those with Alzheimer’s, Dementia or other memory impairments.

Moving into its second century under the direction of President Brian S. Nageotte, Wesbury will continue to assess the needs of the Meadville community and the greater Northwest Pennsylvania region. The senior healthcare landscape is continually evolving as innovative approaches to delivering healthcare in the most appropriate settings are developed. Wesbury is fully committed to remaining at the forefront of this changing scenery to offer the best healthcare possible in a place and manner that is most beneficial to the consumer. New developments like the acquisition of Family to Family Home Healthcare and the purchase of the Meadville Days Inn to create an affordable independent senior living option, position Wesbury to be able to provide the best quality services to customers from across the economic spectrum.

For an organization like Wesbury, reaching a 100-year landmark is an awesome feat. While we celebrate our history, our mission-driven Christian roots, and the visionary leadership that guided us to where we are, you can be assured we will not rest upon our laurels, and our story is in no way over. As with everything that has happened in our past, we look forward to seeing how we can shape our future to serve the community for years to come.

If you are interested in learning more about Wesbury’s 100 year history please read: Wesbury 100: A Century of Service

14). Can you see yourself living there? What is the resident/staff feedback?

Check out some of our Resident Testimonials page to learn more.

Also think about coming for a respite/trial stay.  Experience the lifestyle at Wesbury before committing to a permanent move.

15). What are your billing and payment options?

Wesbury charges a monthly fee that can be paid by check or credit card and can be setup to be automatically with-drawn from your account.

16). Is there a waitlist?

Yes, we do have a waitlist for Independent Living but it is nothing to be discouraged by due to the changing needs of those on the list and the different preferences for location and size.   Call us and apply! We encourage you to get on the waiting list even if you are not ready yet.

There is no fee to send the application in.  When you get on the waitlist you will receive calls about openings that you might be interested in and have priority over those who are not.  Your name will be placed on the wait list in the order in which it was received.  If you are not ready yet, or do not like the particular open unit we will continue down our wait list to the next applicant.  There is no penalty for saying no, and you will not lose your place if you should decide to wait for another opening.


For more information or if you would like to schedule a tour please contact Melissa at 814-332-9009, or submit an information request online.