Frequently Asked Questions

Ask Elisabeth

Elisabeth in front of door


I’m in good health and comfortable in my home. Why should I consider a retirement community now?


Kendal at Oberlin is a continuing care retirement community, also known as a life plan community. We offer a vibrant lifestyle that fosters continued growth and independence and the building of strong social relationships with your fellow residents. These social connections are invaluable. Our coordinated health care services are there when you need them, supporting you as limitations may emerge, always trying to maintain the maximum level of independence possible.

Since all of our Residence and Care Agreements include some degree of long term care coverage in the fee structure, there are requirements for entry. A person (or persons) must be able to live safely in the apartment or cottage under consideration in order to be offered a contract. By waiting until you need your health status begins to change, you may not qualify for one of these contracts.

The admissions interview schedule will include a meeting with our nurse practitioner. A baseline medical screening is completed for all applicants, which includes a review of recent medical records and a cognitive screening.

So how do you know if the time is right to consider a move? Consider these questions: Do you find that upkeep of your home has become more of a burden than a pleasure? Do you want to travel more, or pursue a new hobby, but feel you don’t have the time because of household demands? Would you enjoy letting someone else handle some of the meal preparation? Are you concerned about having family members make difficult decisions about your health care needs? Are you inclined to plan for your own future needs? If you answered yes to some of these questions, maybe it’s time to consider making a change.

The average time from inquiry to move-in is about 3 years. Learn more on our Roadmap to Residency resource.


Hello Elisabeth. I really appreciate all the information about Kendal, and we are very interested in joining the community. I’d like to know if we can afford Kendal before we put a deposit down. Can you help me figure this out?


I’m so glad you are considering Kendal as your next destination. Your question about affordability is certainly one of the most important concerns for many people. Our financial requirement for residency asks that people have enough income and assets to cover the cost of living at Kendal through their actuarial life expectancy. Unfortunately, there is no easy formula that tells us how much that is. There are many variables that have to be considered: size of accommodation, single or double occupancy, long term care insurance (if applicable), and more.
For a very simple calculation of affordability, I’d suggest starting with Money Gauge – our new financial calculator. You’ll only need to answer a handful of questions and provide your email address to receive a preliminary picture of what Kendal space(s) are likely affordable.

After that, we suggest a visit to Kendal at Oberlin. If you like what you see and want to learn more, we offer the option of a confidential Preliminary Financial Analysis. We would ask you to tell us what size accommodation you are considering when you might move, and then provide some detailed information about your income and assets. From there, we can calculate a year-by-year projection of financial status if you were living at Kendal. The projection includes conservative estimates of asset growth, as well as inflation factors on expenses. Of course this is just one possible scenario and a conservative one as well. It is meant solely as a preliminary estimate of affordability and is not a guarantee of what your expenses at Kendal will be. Kendal does not offer financial planning services for residents or applicants.

If this is something you’d like to know more about, please give me a call at 1-440-775-9062. And thank you for making Kendal part of your future plans.  I hope this information is helpful to you, and certainly feel free to contact me if you have further questions.


I just received my brochure from Kendal, and I see that you have a variety of cottage and apartment styles. What’s the difference between them?


When Kendal first opened in 1993, we had 5 basic floor plans for independent living accommodations. Now with new construction, renovation and combining of a few cottages, there are many more options.

Basic floorplan styles range from a studio cottage or apartment to a 2 bedroom + den with 2 full bathrooms. There are 48 apartments and 175 cottages on our 110-acre campus. The apartment building is attached directly to the Heiser Community Center, and cottages are connected via a system of covered and lighted walkways.

Kendal started its first Master Plan expansion in 2006, with the addition of 3 phases of newer cottages and updates to a number of community spaces. These 36 residences are situated on the outside of the perimeter road that surrounds the original cottages, and feature larger rooms and taller windows for plenty of natural light.

We began our second Master Plan in 2012, with a focus on renovating the 139 classic cottages to include some of the features that residents felt would make them more appealing – larger windows for more light, expanded living space, and larger, open kitchens. Complete conversion of heating and cooling systems, including geothermal where possible, better serves our environmental initiatives. These renovations will continue over the next few years. Check out the floor plans here. Plus, community spaces were added and updated, with a focus on resident activity spaces, such as art, woodshop, horticulture and fitness.

The campus has changed a lot since the earliest Kendalites moved to Kendal in 1993. I invite you to come out and see for yourself, if you haven’t done so already. I’d be happy to show you around.


I have heard the term “resident-led” community used, when referring to Kendal at Oberlin. What does that mean?


This is a good question since Kendal communities set themselves apart encouraging residents to lead they way when it comes to programs and activities. Often other communities have activity directors, who plan all programs and trips.  Kendal’s independent residents are responsible for shaping their own community life, and their relationships with each other. This happens naturally when residents take responsibility for their individual and group enrichment. They do this through 90+ committees or interest groups. On any day you might find a morning lecture, a trip to a botanical garden, a group walk in the Metro Parks, a class in Kendal’s Art Studio and/or an evening recital…all planned and organized by Kendal residents.

All residents are members of the Kendal at Oberlin Residents Association (KORA). Members plan, organize and implement all aspects of social, cultural, intellectual and spiritual life in the community. The ultimate goal is to build a community, in which individuals are nurtured by responding to one another with sensitivity, goodwill, and patience. This makes Kendal at Oberlin a living, ever-changing and growing community. Learn more about how we put the Kendal core values in practice on our campus.


Now that I’m on the waiting list at Kendal, I’m wondering when I should start “right-sizing” my home and planning for my move to Kendal. Do you have any suggestions?


Many people we talk to are moving to their Kendal cottage or apartment from a larger home, quite possibly the same one they’ve lived in for decades. Needless to say, they may have decades of accumulation to sort.

Downsizing, or “right-sizing,” is not easy, but you might be amazed at how much better you feel once you start to organize and pare down some of those long-forgotten belongings. Since you’ve decided that Kendal is the place for your next chapter, the time to start planning what will come with you is now, even if a move is not imminent.

Look at the items you routinely use. Will you need them at Kendal? What items are stored that you haven’t used for a long time? Why not donate, give away or dispose of them now? Once there is a contract, you may be in the process of selling your home. Typically, homes sell faster when there is less “stuff” filling the rooms and closets. Rooms look open, airy and spacious when furnishings and knick-knacks are minimal. Of course you still have to live there until it’s time to move, so making a plan for downsizing is definitely wise.

Ask us for scaled floor plans that can help you determine what will fit in your new home. And start envisioning the beautiful space you will have in Kendal’s vibrant community. The effort will be worthwhile. 

For helpful tips about “right-sizing,” download our guide, the Do’s and Dont’s of Downsizing.

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