Living in a retirement community offers benefits that can help you maintain your independence for a long time. It’s also a great place to meet new friends and make a difference in your community.
If you’re considering joining a retirement community, here are 6 benefits that you should know about before making the move.
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If you or a loved one are considering aging in place, safety should be top of mind. Whether it’s due to security concerns, medical issues or social isolation, it can be difficult to maintain health and wellbeing when you feel unsafe.
A good retirement community will implement a variety of safety measures to protect their residents, such as gated communities, 24-hour camera surveillance, key card locks and indoor mail slots. The staff in these communities are trained to monitor their surroundings and respond quickly if a resident becomes unwell or unsafe.
In addition to these basic safety measures, many senior living communities also provide specialized services for seniors who may need additional help with daily activities. These can include wellness aides who support seniors with dressing, bathing, and eating.
Additionally, many communities have onsite security teams and 24-hour monitoring systems that are able to alert family members about any situation that may arise, including a fall or a medical emergency. These measures can help family members feel confident in the safety of their loved ones and allow them to enjoy the benefits of an independent lifestyle.
In addition, some retirement communities provide a continuum of care, which means that if a resident should need skilled nursing in the future, they can stay in their current apartment home and continue to receive the services they need. This can be a very beneficial feature for many seniors, as they are able to keep their friends and connections while receiving the assistance they need.
When seniors move into retirement communities, they are looking for the chance to live a more fulfilling life. They want a community that allows them to have the comforts of home while still providing a wide range of activities and socialization opportunities.
One of the biggest benefits of joining a retirement community is the ability to socialize with friends and meet new people. Studies have shown that older adults who do not socialize as much are at risk for a number of health issues such as depression, poor physical and mental health, and an increased risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Those who do spend time with other people are also more likely to be physically active, which can boost self-esteem and lower the risks of chronic health conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Additionally, regular exercise helps keep the brain healthy and cognitively stimulated.
The opportunity to socialize with others can also help reduce stress and anxiety. It can also help improve memory and prevent general cognitive decline.
Many retirement communities offer trips and outings that allow seniors to get together and explore the area with other people. This is a great way to bond with other residents and create lasting friendships.
In addition to trips and outings, most retirement communities also offer daily activities that can help seniors stay socially engaged. These activities can include socialization, games, lunches, dinners, and even volunteering.
Aside from the aforementioned health benefits of living in a retirement community, residents also gain access to state-of-the-art facilities and diverse recreational opportunities. From dynamic group exercise classes to awe-inspiring fitness centers and outdoor activities like hiking and sports, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
The newest and hippest retirement communities offer a full range of activities for residents to enjoy, from art studios and woodworking shops to yoga and pilates classes. The best ones also offer socialization options such as book clubs, coffee groups and lunches on the patio.
In a world where the average person spends more than half their day sedentary, it’s no wonder that a healthy dose of physical activity is considered to be a must. Aside from being a good idea for the mind and body, regular exposure to a variety of physical activities can help boost brain function, improve balance and flexibility and even increase life expectancy.
The most important aspect of recreational activities, however, is that they are fun and engaging for older adults and their caretakers. Taking in a show at a local theater or performing a few calisthenics at the gym can be both rewarding and entertaining, particularly if the facility you’re at has a staff dedicated to ensuring safety and promoting wellness. Similarly, participating in the most prestigious awards programs and events can be a thrill that keeps residents engaged and happy.
4. Continuum of Care
The continuum of care is a term used in healthcare to describe the entire process from preventive health and wellness services through medical emergencies and rehabilitation, to end-of-life care. This is a critical component to providing quality medical care, as it promotes a more coordinated approach to health and wellness.
A CCRC, or continuing care retirement community, is a residential housing option that offers multiple levels of senior care on a single campus. It usually includes independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing care within one location.
In this way, a senior can stay in the same community for the entirety of their retirement years and do not have to worry about moving from facility to facility as their needs change. This is called a “continuum of care,” and it is the key benefit of joining a retirement community over living at home.
Many CCRCs are buy-in communities, meaning that residents pay an entrance fee up front. This upfront cost is a type of insurance for seniors who want to be sure they will have access to high-quality senior housing and healthcare if the need arises in the future.
Depending on the type of CCRC, a resident may receive a refund of some or all of their entrance fee during the first four years of residency. Some CCRCs also offer fees that are based on the amount of service they provide. These fees can be a good financial investment and protect a senior from the exorbitant costs of aging in place at home.
Waitlists can be an important part of a retirement community search. It gives you the opportunity to home in on a few communities that have the amenities and services you’re looking for without having to commit to one.
Many seniors are worried about moving into a new environment before they’re ready, so a waitlist can be a good way to ease their concerns and get a feel for a senior living community before making a commitment. This allows you to decide if it’s the right place for you, but also gives you the option to change your mind and move at a later time.
When your name is placed on a waitlist, you will typically be given access to a few community benefits such as a fitness center or pool, as well as other perks that can help you make a decision about if the community is right for you. Some communities, like Essex Meadows, will extend special invitations to members of their waitlist to attend community events or mingle with current residents.
Whether you’re moving from your current home or you’ve just decided to retire, it can be a daunting task to sell your home and find a new place to live. A waitlist can help reduce the amount of stress involved in a move and give you time to start decluttering your belongings and planning for a new life.
6. Peace of Mind
Living a stress-free life means not only putting an end to worries, fears and anxieties but also a sense of inner peace. This can be cultivated through meditation, reading, exercising, sleeping well, reducing stress, and having a positive outlook on life.
When you choose a retirement community, it’s important to ask about the peace of mind benefits you’ll receive. This includes things like safety, socialization, recreation and continuity of care.
Many senior communities are gated and have 24-hour security personnel on campus to keep residents safe at all times. Whether you’re traveling to another city or enjoying a walk at night, this kind of security is a huge peace of mind benefit.
In addition to safety, socialization and a sense of community are the other major peace of mind benefits of joining a retirement community. Look for a community that offers daily, weekly, monthly and special activities that encourage residents to meet other residents with similar interests, hobbies and lifestyles.
Spirituality and religion are also key components of peace of mind, as some seniors may have questions about what is beyond the physical world. Connecting them with spiritual counselors, pastors and priests can help relieve these fears and give them a sense of comfort.
The peace of mind benefits you’ll receive when you join a retirement community will make you feel more confident and secure, no matter what challenges or difficulties you face. This is true both for you and your family.