Positive Aging SourceBook

Fostering the right solutions & connections

for more than 32 years

Posted by Positive Aging SourceBook on 06/15/2022

Active adult communities keep residents moving: Stay Surrounded With Activity

Active adult communities keep residents moving: Stay Surrounded With Activity

For those unfamiliar with available living options, the image of the “senior community” may need a serious makeover. Many individuals still think of retirement communities as dreary “facilities” with an institutional feel. This could not be further from the truth today.

Active Adult communities, also known as leisure communities, are populated with adults who have come to live there by choice. In fact, individuals often choose to move into an active adult community as soon as they hit the requisite age – usually around 55. The amenity filled communities are often adjacent to golf courses or other recreational facilities.

Not Just Active, but Pro-Active

Active Adult community residents say they are making the move because they want to enjoy a hassle-free lifestyle, not because of deteriorating health. Simply put, it is their choice.

Most active adult communities are not equipped to provide increased care or health-related services. However, several active adult residences are part of a larger Continuing Care Retirement Community, where residents can count on extended care if they develop health problems. This continuum of care allows active adults to make the most of the present while planning for the future.

Gaining Independence

Active adult communities often have a full range of entertainment options, and most of the costs are included in the living fees. They are ideal for retirees, but are not limited to those who have stopped working. Many residents continue to put in hours at work, while others fully explore long-lost hobbies or new interests.

Homes in these communities are constructed of low-maintenance building materials and feature virtually maintenance-free yards. This way, residents can spend more time filling their schedules with favorite hobbies and group activities, rather than tending to home-related tasks. Tennis courts, swimming pools, hiking trails, biking and jogging paths, and fitness centers are among the many features generally available within the community.

Instead of navigating traffic when going to the gym or beauty shop, residents can often walk a few blocks to an on-site facility. There is also something to be said for having an elegant dining room in the community, although cooking in one’s private residence is still an option.

What to Look For

You can start by requesting an information packet from every active adult community you are considering. Make sure to read it carefully, and keep them all organized in a folder or file cabinet.

Once you have narrowed down your options by perusing the brochures, schedule a visit to each community. While you are there, take thorough notes and make a list of pros and cons for each one. Ask if you can dine with residents, talk with staff and read the residents’ handbook during your visit.

When you meet with the management or resident relations director, make sure to assess the management’s philosophy and its relationship with residents. And never underestimate the power of the good old-fashioned hunch. If you attended college or had to consider employment in a new area, remember the criteria you used in making that decision. This is no different. Prioritize your own needs and feelings and give yourself plenty of time to make a decision. This is your new home and a place you will come to enjoy for decades.

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