Planning for full or partial retirement is a process that is full of decisions. However, the decisions don’t end right after retirement, or even years later. For example, deciding where to live and how that place will support the lifestyle you want is an important piece of staying healthy and engaged for decades after retirement.
For many older adults, community living brings benefits that simply are unavailable—or unaffordable—when they’re living at home alone. For loved ones, community living provides reassurance knowing their aging parent is cared for and living their best life.
Retirement in a senior living community is vibrant and busy, full of resources created to enhance independence and to help you or your loved one create a lifestyle that is meant to last. Not sure what retiring looks like in a senior living community? Let us paint you a picture of the possibilities.
1. Maintenance-Free Living
One of the biggest draws to a senior living community is the promise of a maintenance-free lifestyle. Residents can stop worrying about typical household chores and instead focus their time and energy on doing the things they love.
Maintenance-free living benefits residents as well as their loved ones, especially when those loved ones have taken on more responsibility keeping up their loved one’s homes. When you or your loved one chooses retirement in a senior living community, you no longer have to worry about coordinating landscaping care or home maintenance. In fact, many communities even take care of weekly housekeeping visits as well as laundry and linen services so you don’t have to spend time cleaning the bathroom or vacuuming the floors. Instead, you or your loved one can enjoy walking the pathways and admiring the lush landscaping without scheduling the next lawn maintenance visit.
Is it the right time to downsize? Learn about your options and get personalized results in about 4 minutes.Take the Assessment
2. New Neighbors and Friends
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that feelings of loneliness and social isolation have been linked to serious health complications and challenges. Even the most social seniors can experience bouts of loneliness and isolation due to shrinking social circles in their professional and personal life.
At a senior living community, life is all about connecting with diverse and unique neighbors. Communities are designed to give residents the freedom to interact with whomever they choose, and they’re also created with plenty of spaces for neighbors to naturally stop and chat in order to get to know one another.
Residents can stroll along maintained pathways with friends, meet up with a neighbor for a cup of coffee in the bistro, or bring a deck of cards to start up a weekly poker game in the recreation room. Some communities feature swimming pools where residents can take a dip and fitness centers where groups gather for yoga class.
Meeting new people and connecting with new friends is so much easier in a senior living community, and the health benefits are sure to follow.
3. A Schedule as Busy and You Want It to Be
Retirement in a senior living community is all about choice, including deciding how busy you want to be any given day. If your preferred lifestyle is all about relaxation, you can find ways to do that in a senior living community. Schedule a session at the onsite salon or spa, sleep in and grab breakfast when you wake up at the bistro, or simply read a book outdoors on the patio. Relaxation is at your fingertips.
If you prefer a schedule full of hustle and bustle, you can find that at a senior living community as well. A calendar of events, opportunities, and excursions is available so you can discover something new to try or a favorite hobby to pursue, all available right down the hall. Take a painting class in the art workshop, jump on the community’s bus to head to a chocolate tasting at a nearby sweet shop, or sing along with the musician featured at the evening’s happy hour. It’s all up to you.
4. Nearby Wellness Resources
You or your loved one can enjoy retirement even more when meeting health and wellness goals. Senior living communities offer a variety of wellness resources that you can utilize as you begin to take charge of your health or as you continue to follow your physician’s recommendations.
Assisted living communities, for example, are designed to enhance independence while offering just the right amount of personal support. These communities feature around-the-clock caregivers who are always there to lend a helping hand or offer an encouraging word. Caregivers are there to assist with personal care tasks and medication reminders, as well as to provide immediate response in case of an emergency. But the wellness resources go beyond a caregiver presence.
Assisted living residents enjoy amenities like daily group exercise classes, walking clubs, and wellness fairs to highlight local wellness resources. Physicians and specialists often visit the community, and on-site nursing support means residents always have someone to turn to if they have questions or concerns.
Independent living communities also feature wellness resources at resident fingertips. Most exceptional communities have fully equipped fitness centers complete with personal trainers on staff. It’s also common to see saltwater swimming pools, wellness fairs on-site, and excursions to yoga studios, hiking trails, and healthy cooking classes.
Memory care communities are also designed to enhance wellness and combat the challenges that can come with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. These specialized communities feature specially trained caregivers and other team members, as well as personalized resident care plans, to ensure everyone on the care team stays on the same page as they support the wellness goals of each resident.
You can also find memory care residents feeling their best doing what they have always loved to do in the past. During a tour, for example, you might see a resident watering plants in the courtyard garden, helping wipe off the tables after a happy hour social, or even organizing books in the library. This approach is ability-based and completely person-centered, focusing on the heart, mind, body, and soul of the residents who live there.
5. Dynamic Dining Experiences
When you retire, you get to choose how you spend your time. For those who love to get in the kitchen and plan, chop, and sauté, that opportunity remains in the modern kitchens available in most assisted living homes. However, if you or your loved one would love to take time off from cooking or cleanup, senior living dining is the delicious answer.
Senior living communities usually offer flexible dining plans, multiple dining venues in each community, and menu selections that are seasonal, comforting, and healthy. Even better, you can share a meal with your neighbors, making your next dining experience another way you can connect with new friends.
6. Daily Reassurance and Support
When you choose a senior living community for retirement, you get the comfort of knowing someone is always there to check in on you or your loved one. For residents, this means having more confidence in going about daily activities. For loved ones, it means fewer worries wondering how mom or dad is doing in the middle of the night.
Senior living communities that have more than one lifestyle option in the building or on campus provide even more reassurance. Knowing that mom can move to memory care in the same community she loves as her dementia progresses is a relief to everyone.
Discover if Retirement in a Senior Living Community Is Your Best Option
Learn more about senior living lifestyle options so you can choose the best solution for your current situation by reviewing our guide, Understanding Senior Living Lifestyle Options. You’ll learn more details about assisted living and memory care, including what to expect and how you might benefit from the support.