Roadmap to Residency


At Kendal at Oberlin


Moving to a new home is not an easy task. But it can mean an exciting new beginning.

When the move is to a smaller house, located miles away, the experience can be even more stressful. If you are thinking of moving to Kendal at Oberlin, we want to help you navigate the road to Oberlin, Ohio, with as much ease as possible. Consider this your roadmap to residency with us, and please allow ample time for an enjoyable journey. (Interesting note – the average time from inquiry to move-in is about 3 years.)

Kendal on Your Mind 

Whether “word of mouth” or another avenue has brought you to this juncture, we’re glad you are here!

About 40% of our current residents have some affiliation with Oberlin College (alumni, former staff or faculty) and heard about Kendal via their alumni magazine or during a college reunion at Oberlin.

Many others heard about us from our current residents, who are engaged in a variety of activities. They are not shy about telling others how happy they are to be living in a life plan community!


First Stop: The Website 

On the Kendal at Oberlin website, you can find:

Also, did you know that Kendal residents maintain their own website?

You can find out what’s for lunch and dinner as well as learn more about all of the activities at Kendal and in Oberlin. The residents’ monthly newsletter, Kendalight, provides more details about events, programs and new residents. Kendal has more than 100 resident-led committees and sub-groups, from jazz listening and writing to woodshop and horticulture.

Next Stop: Schedule a Tour 

There’s nothing like experiencing a new community up close and personal, which is what a tour (in-person or virtual) will give you.

We now offer virtual tours for your convenience! With a tablet in hand, your personal guide, Elisabeth, will walk the campus while answering all your questions. Tour homes, apartments, the beautiful grounds, wellness center, pool and more. Tell her what you want to see and she’ll take you there! Get a date on your calendar now.

Here are three highlights from our campus that you shouldn’t miss:

  1. Health and fitness are key at Kendal, which is why we have a four-lane lap pool and therapy pool, an exercise equipment room with state-of-the-art machines (open 24/7), a room with natural light for yoga, tap dance, balance and other classes, outdoor tennis courts and a walking trail. The wellness staff offers almost 70 hours of programming weekly, so residents have many opportunities to join a class or activity.
  2. The 110-acre campus is home to eight ponds, more than 1,100 trees and a series of covered walkways, which makes it an attractive place to walk, bike, bird and relax. A couple years ago, the grounds were accredited by ArbNet as The John Bartram Arboretum, which means even more TLC for the natural surroundings.
  3. A tour of a model cottage or apartment will help you envision home life at Kendal. Kendal offers three basic floor plans for independent living space: renovated classic cottages, which were built when the community opened in 1993 and have been renovated to include a bright, four-season sunroom area, larger open kitchen and energy-efficient heating and cooling; newer cottages built between 2006 and 2012, which are larger with a utility room and walk-in closets; and recently renovated apartments, which are conveniently located in the Heiser Community Center.

Schedule a tour by filling out this form or calling 1-800-548-9469.

Next Adventure: Connect with a Resident 

After taking a campus tour, plan a Try It, You’ll Like It visit, or schedule a virtual chat with a resident. These conversations are the best way to get all your questions answered from someone who lives in our community. 

  • Listen to their story and discover how they knew it was the right time to move
  • Learn why they chose Kendal at Oberlin
  • Ask questions and get the inside scoop on the best parts of living at Kendal at Oberlin

You Love It! Now What? 

You’ve put Kendal on your list of possible new homes (maybe at the top), and you want to learn more.

Start by becoming a Priority Member.

“This is the first step in the admissions process and is recommended for anyone giving serious consideration to entering our community,” explains Terry Kovach, Director of Sales and Marketing.

Becoming a Priority Member is easy and obligation-free. A person fills out a 2-page informational application, accompanied by a $1,000 deposit and a $200 processing fee (or $300 for a couple). The deposit can be refunded at any time or will be applied to the entry fee upon admission.

You will be asked two questions to help our staff plan for prospective residents:

  1. What is the approximate year you might want to move to Kendal?
  2. What type of residence(s) interest you?

Priority Members have many additional benefits, too.

  • 50% off monthly membership in the Fitness Center, which includes a pool and exercise areas;
  • Access to Kendal dining rooms, which serve nutritious and affordable meals;
  • Access to guest room rental, when available;
  • Annual Priority List luncheon at Kendal;
  • Annual financial updates, such as fee updates and disclosure statements.

And coming soon… Kendal at Oberlin will offer a new Priority Portal – the online home for a host of benefits just for our Priority Members.

  • Access to virtual classes from Kendal at Oberlin’s Lifelong Learning Committee;
  • A digital room planner to help you envision your new home at Kendal;
  • Access to secure, HIPAA-compliant forms for easy application and submission;
  • And much more helpful information about joining the community.

The next step is to apply for the Ready List.

This process includes the completion of 3 forms: personal health history (including authorization to obtain medical records); financial statement and personal information.

Once the forms are completed, an on-site admissions interview is scheduled. This is a great opportunity for applicants to ask questions of both staff and residents. This visit includes a thorough review of the contract and more.

Once the interview is complete, the Admissions Committee then reviews the application to see if all the requirements are met. Once approved, people are added to the Ready List and are contacted when desired housing becomes available. On average this wait time can be 18 months to 3+ years, depending on the sizes and types of accommodations you will consider


Downsizing Is Really Rightsizing

Now that you have a floor plan in hand and can visualize your new home, it’s time to take stock of your possessions and start downsizing.

Moving to Kendal means you will be eating at least one meal a day in the dining room, so you won’t need as many cooking utensils. You’ll want to bring a bike, but not bulky exercise equipment, because Kendal has a fitness center. We also have a library, garden and woodworking tools, art supplies, sewing machine and a rollaway bed for overnight guests.

Artwork that you just can’t part with can be donated to the Art Committee to be considered for display somewhere on campus.

“I’m amazed how many people move first, downsize later,” says Ted Forthofer, a Certified Relocation & Transition Specialist TM and member of the National Association of Senior Move Managers.

Keep in mind Ted’s maxim: Follow the OHIO rule – Only Handle It Once.

Don’t make the mistake of holding onto stuff to give to your children later. And don’t worry about getting rid of a lamp or clock that you may need someday. Kendal at Oberlin has a Resale Shop, which is an affordable, convenient way to buy furnishings and other items for your new home and donate items you no longer need.

Once Kendal notifies you that your desired housing is available and you agree to take it, it’s time to contact a realtor and plan your move!

Is Kendal at Oberlin your Dream Community? Start Making Your Dream a Reality Today!