55 and Older Communities
If you’ve ever day-dreamed about living in a vacation-like setting year-round – or maybe just never having to mow your yard again – an age-specific community might be the perfect fit for you. Growing in popularity, 55+ communities are specifically designed to bring together active seniors in a resort-like community, providing numerous lifestyle amenities and activities for a single, all-inclusive fee.
Considered “dorms” for the older population, these communities allow residents to stay in their same city or area near family, but release them from the responsibilities of owning and maintaining a private home. The housing options vary across the country, ranging from luxury high-rise apartments, to rural manufactured home, to golf-course settings, or even activity-specific locations like boating or RV communities.
Most include attractive conveniences tailored to active seniors, such as gyms, pools, central activity centers with groups and planned activities, hobby shops, and even movie theaters. And since the maintenance of the housing is included in the rent fee and managed by the community, residents never have to worry about paying for separate taxes, utility bills, lawn care, or repairs. An additional goal of the 55+ communities is to make it very convenient to conduct daily life with as little stress as possible, with proximity to grocery stores, restaurants, banks, libraries and churches.
Many of these communities do maintain specific guidelines about who can live in the community, with government-mandated rules about required ages of residents; many seniors enjoy the fact that this draws together a very specific group of peers more likely to have many things in common. It is important to note that because these communities are aimed specifically at active seniors, most do not offer medical care or rehabilitation services found in continuous care facilities or nursing homes.
When researching the best age-specific community for you, it’s important to do your homework and ask many questions, just as you would when purchasing a home. If you’re able, visit and get to know some of the existing residents and consider whether you would like to have people like these over for dinner, for instance. Look carefully at the financials and history of the community itself, and read the fine print about repair costs and included maintenance services. Some communities include HOA-like bylaws for their apartments or condos, so be sure to review and ensure that it aligns with your own personal lifestyle, especially regarding pets and what type of customization you can make to your residence.
Age-specific communities allow seniors to enjoy their golden years while meeting new, like-minded friends and enjoying easy access to numerous activities, social engagements, and amenities. With a little research and an open mind, you’re sure to find the perfect senior community for the next chapter of your life.