What Are Retirement Communities?
Retirement communities that you can find near you are residential complexes designed to specifically house older adults. They also often offer residence to seniors who can still generally care for themselves. Retirement homes and communities also provide socialization opportunities with shared amenities and services.
The reality is that retirement communities are wide-spread all around the country. Many luxury communities for retirees go the extra mile to make sure that their residents receive the best comfort and world-class luxury. However, most baby boomers are just fine with affordable retirement communities and concentrate on finding a safe and secure retirement environment that allows them to thrive in their golden years.
Retirement communities are also known as senior living communities, elderly communities, adult living communities, independent living retirement communities, retirement villages, and active adult communities. They typically fall under two primary categories which are the age-restricted and those that are age-targeted.
The age-restricted retirement communities that you will find near you only give residence to seniors who are a certain age or older. The most common ones are 55+ and over retirement living, but you can also come across 62+ communities. Some of the 55+ communities near you might also have quite stringent regulations about visitations by younger family members. Generally, these senior living communities target retirees, but some still welcome partially retired older adults.
The age-targeted retirement residences do not have restrictions based on the age of their residents. Adults younger than the age of 55 can purchase homes that they can later occupy when they retire or even to lease out to retirees.
Worth pointing out is that retirement communities take on an entirely different model to retirement homes. The homes for the elderly generally house those with more need for attention and care. Also, in these assisted retirement facilities, residents often live within a single building or a small complex.
On the other hand, retiree villages look much like the communities we live in and are already accustomed to, and some even mirror a small town. They provide much more room for independence, socialization, and they also offer diverse recreational facilities.
What Features Will I Find in Retirement Communities Near Me?
The vast majority of residents you find occupying senior retirement villages are often retirees. They are also usually healthy adults from the age of 50 and up. The communities focus on providing housing complexes for the older adults with amenities and services that enable them to live comfortably while pursuing their interests.
The traditional retiree villages previously consisted of senior apartments, but nowadays they have evolved into selections of fully furnished houses to hospital-like facilitie. Instead of looking for senior apartments near them, retirees now have options to locate retirement villages with plenty of amenities to enjoy a fun and comfortable retirement. They also offer an equally vast array of services and amenities aimed at providing convenience to the older adult residents.
Security is of utmost importance in retirement communities and homes, and extra care is taken to ensure that seniors remain protected at all times. Some of the precautions in place at such senior living communities include non-slip floors, ramps and railings to assist those with mobility issues, and also 24-hour emergency call and response systems.
Their other focus is to allow the elderly retirees to mingle with their peers and share their experiences in life. These retirement villages for the elderly also have congregation facilities such as clubhouses and dining rooms for use by all residents.
Most retirement centers also provide house maintenance, medical care, transport services, leisure, and sporting activities. Some aspects such as meal management might come as an a la carte option.
What Care Can I Get at Senior Living Communities Near Me?
Different retirement communities provide varying levels of care for their residents. There are Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) that enable you to find assisted living near you. They are set up to provide assisted care to their occupants as they develop an increased need in the future.
CCRCs take a tiered approach regarding their services and amenities for retirees, including independent living accommodation, assisted living units, as well as availing skilled nursing services. Residents can seamlessly transition to other areas within the complex as their need for assistance with daily activities or medical help increases. Those with dementia or Alzheimer's can even locate memory care facilities near them that are located directly inside CCRCs.
However, for the most part, active senior retirement communities house seniors who still live relatively independently. The focus is to provide the older adult social opportunities rather than professional support. Either way, most offer services such as home maintenance and meals to make things more comfortable and less tasking for that the older adult living alone.
There are also retiree villages referred to as congregation facilities which take the form of condominiums. Each home has an independent buzzer to communicate with management in the event of a problem. Such communities also cater to their older residents' house maintenance, meals, and transportation requirements. They also extend assistance with daily tasks as needed.
The mixture of an active and supportive environment makes such senior communities better suited for couples where one is more active while the other might need more care. Most of these communities are between a mix of retiree communities and assisted living facilities. Their range of services extends to having medical and care staff on board on a full-time basis.
Finding Retirement Homes Near Me
It does help to start the search for a retirement community a few years before retiring to get a head start at exploring the different retirement options available.
Location is often the first deciding factor, and it also affects several aspects of the selection process. The states of Florida, Texas, California, and Arizona have by far the vast majority of retirement villages. It is because they experience warmer weather which is a preference for most seniors. However, it is possible to find one of these housing complexes for older adults in just about every state and also near major cities.
It makes sense to search for retirement home near your home state not only to stay close to family but also to possibly avoid tax implications. Sometimes moving to a different state means paying variable taxes, and other considerations should include income, property, and state sales taxes.
Going through a local phonebook does not hurt because it can point you to your nearest retirement communities. You can make calls and also visit in person to get a feel of what retirement living entails.
It does help to use freely available online tools to compare the various retirement communities and villas in different states and what they have to offer. It gives an idea of the available features, services, and cost.
Finding Niche & Luxury Retirement Communities Near Me
Just like there are numerous retiree villages, there are equally a host of niche and luxury retirement communities. They target seniors with specific interests, religious beliefs, cultural backgrounds, sexual orientation, and lifestyles. They are also often known as affinity communities, and they bring together more like-minded retirees.
For instance, you can find golfing communities, retiree villages for veterans, and even vegetarian retirement centers. There are also colleges that have facilities to house their retired alumni during their golden years such as the St. Petersburg Eckerd College and the Gainsville's University of Florida.
LGBT retirement complexes are also on the rise, with an estimated 3 million lesbian, transgender, bisexual, and gay adults over 65 living in the U.S. Most face lack of support during their retirement years, with about two thirds not having children and one half living alone. They also still face discrimination in their older years making it crucial to offer them supportive services in a welcoming and non-prejudiced environment. That is what the LGBT focused retirement communities provide to this group of seniors.
NORC Retirement Communities
The Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC) allows golden-agers to retire within their existing homes. They also encourage seniors to band together and offer each other mutual assistance within such complexes. Such retirement settlements are also beneficial because they enable the government to identify populations that need cost-effective services.
They also work for people of all income levels and government-provided services can step in to avail cost-effective transportation. The model still serves more affluent households, and in such cases, they can charge $1,000 or more going towards supporting annual dues for support staffers.
The Retiree Community Lifestyle
Similar to how they are perceived as luxurious resorts for retirees offering a desirable lifestyle for seniors, that is precisely what retirement communities aim at providing. They provide a close-knit atmosphere behind a gated community, allowing seniors to bond as well as enjoy activities with their peers.
Some of these senior retirement communities are set over sprawling acres of land with just about every facility and service a senior would need for their day to day living. Others might be a small retirement home, set up for seniors starting their retirement in a new state. There are also the upscale retirement communities dedicated to offering a luxurious and almost grandeur lifestyle to their residents.
Regardless, they all provide peaceful and quiet atmospheres with fun daily activities for their senior citizen occupants. The accommodation options may include studio, one, or two-bedroom apartments, single story homes, mobile travel trailers, RVs, condominiums, and villas. Most communities do charge an association fee towards offsetting the cost of amenities and upkeep of the grounds.
Some of the activities that almost all adult communities host include bingo, card games, arts and crafts and fishing. The retiree villages also organize regular social events including movie nights, campfire nights, dances, and church activities. Most of the senior communities also have clubhouses or social halls where they host these functions. Some also organize regular out-of-site tours for their residents.
A majority of these retiree living complexes also have recreational facilities such as swimming pools, exercise rooms, hot tubs, and saunas.
Why Should I Move to a Retirement Community Near Me?
There is no need to say that retiree villages are for everyone or that all seniors enjoy their time at senior living communities. However, the benefits of moving to these adult retirement residences far outweigh the drawbacks.
- Help with Downsizing
For starters, moving to a senior living community means downsizing and for some that require selling a home. Retiree villages understand that it is an overwhelming process that might hold back seniors from making the change in their life.
Some senior housing communities offer resources towards guiding the moving process, and some might even help arrange cash sales on homes. Then there are those that can buy the house off of you allowing you to start your new life in a retiree community.
The decision to make the move to one of these adult villages also means downsizing in your own terms and pace. Older adults who wait until they are no longer mobile to move to a senior home often find that they might not find residency in such communities. Retirement communities allow seniors from the age of 55+ to take up residency and stay for as long as they possibly can.
- Reduction in Living Expenses
In most cases, older adults might find it beneficial to move to retirement housing complexes near them because of reduced living expenses. They provide some form of predictability with fixed monthly costs and living expenses. Several aspects such as home maintenance and housekeeping are part of the package, further reducing a senior's living expenses.
Some of the other things that help reduce cost include the availability of transportation, meal preparation, pet care, and errand services. Older adults also only have to make a single monthly payment that covers most if not all their expenses while living in a retirement home. Aging at these facilities also proves more cost-effective compared to staying at home.
- Multiple Living Choices
The traditional local nursing homes skewed the image of the adult housing complexes, and most seniors are still coming to terms with the real picture. Beyond the luxurious senior living centers that are vastly advertised, older adults also do not realize the broad range of options available.
There are subsidized and low-income retirement community options, active living communities for adults, and cross-breeds of independent living and CCRCs. That means that golden agers at any stage of physical health can find suitable retirement accommodation at these senior housing complexes.
- Reduces Isolation
As sad as it is, old age comes with some form of isolation and loneliness. Seniors who do not have families to fall back on have it the hardest, and it can have adverse effects on their senior years.
However, retirement communities offer a social environment, allowing seniors to mingle within their communal facilities such as dining rooms and clubhouses. There are also fun activities to participate in every day, helping to keep the older adults mentally stimulated and actively busy.
- Maintain Your Regular Life
Most seniors often look for retirement communities near them and choose to move to retiree communities close to home. That allows them to frequent their favorite restaurants and other entertainment spots as well as maintain fitness and educative classes and keep attending services at their local church.
Seniors living in retirement communities also enjoy the liberty of maintaining their independence, and they can come and go as they please.
- Seniors Can Keep Their Jobs
Despite the impression that retiree villages are meant explicitly for retired seniors, in essence, the occupants can maintain their day jobs. The main restrictions imposed on living in these communities often have to do with age and income, but there is no regulation against working.
Residents are also free to volunteer and travel without worrying about the responsibility of home maintenance.
- Access to a Variety of Support Services
Older adults living in retirement communities often have access to a variety of support services, including health care and emergency services. While this is not a given in all senior living complexes, most make sure to fit emergency call systems in their units to make sure that a senior can get help when needed.
Most retirement housing communities also set up measures emphasizing the safety of their senior residents. On top of having the housing units behind the comfort of a gated senior community, it also means having ramps, escalators and fewer staircases.
CCRCs also benefit seniors as they age because they can transition to assisted living units within the same community instead of moving away.
That question still lingers on every senior's mind, even after extensive research, "should I move to a retirement community near me?" There is honestly no clear-cut answer to this question because several factors make the final decision for most older adults. There is naturally the issue of finances, the senior's health needs, and what family members think about such a move.
In all honesty, few seniors regret making a move despite going through a period of adjustment. If anything, most older adults come to regret not taking up the opportunity when they had the chance.
With that said, retirement communities are available in every state, and it is a matter of finding the right one close to your home. Online resources can help to contrast and compare different options, but the best option is to schedule visits and physically visit as many as you can ahead of time. Remember that there is always the option of buying a retirement home or leasing one, which has a lot to do with the decision process when selecting a retirement complex.
The process is also one that is best done collaboratively with family because they always have your best interest at heart. Patience and enough time guarantee that you will soon be packing up and starting out at the best possible senior living retirement community near you.