Benefits of Moving to a Retirement Community
So many people think “home” and picture a house, but for many seniors “home” is a retirement community. Not because they feel like that’s where they have to live, but because that’s exactly where they want it to be. But there are several benefits of moving into a retirement community.
Senior living communities can get a bad rap because people’s minds often go to the worst-case scenario – being forced into an abusive, soul-killing nursing home by family that doesn’t want to take care of you. Not only do the vast majority of nursing homes not match that depressing image, but retirement communities couldn’t be further from it. With our help, families have shared over 130,000 ratings and reviews on communities all over the country allowing others to make much more informed and comfortable decisions for their aging loved ones.
Seniors today have a number of good reasons to consider moving to a retirement community. Here are a few of the main benefits that attract people to independent living homes.
Loneliness is a very real danger for seniors. Getting to and from places and keeping up with social activities often gets more difficult as you age, which puts seniors at a real risk of losing their social ties and falling prey to the health problems that come with loneliness.
Seniors that move into independent living communities before they ever reach that point never have to worry about that happening. They have a built-in community right there next door (and across the hall, and on the other side of the building). Keeping up with friends and doing something social every single day is not only easy, it’s hard to avoid in an assisted living or retirement community.
Your fellow residents quickly become like family and you have people there for you when it comes to the everyday tasks of life, like keeping entertained with games and hobbies, as well as when you need help with more serious issues, like a health scare.
Even for those seniors with family members they’re close to and can count on, having to be fully dependent on a spouse or kids can cause strain and guilt. A move to a retirement community keeps that from ever happening. Family members can come visit as much as they like, while knowing there’s plenty of trusted friends and staff around to ensure their loved one is taken care of.
- No more home maintenance
For any senior that hates raking the yard or having to fix the broken sink, moving into a retirement community where someone else takes care of all of that is a boon. Every time there’s a problem that needs to be dealt with, it’s someone else’s problem.
Some people love their home enough that having to deal with every little broken appliance and maintenance issue is worth it. But take a second to really think about how much nicer life can be without those things. No broken water heaters that flood your house. No lawn that needs to be mowed once every couple of weeks in the spring. No roof that needs to be replaced after a storm knocks a tree branch onto it.
To be clear, those things may still happen in the apartment a senior rents in an independent living community, they’ll just be up to someone else to figure out the solution for. Some people think of a move to senior care as giving up independence, but they don’t think through the freedom it brings – the freedom from the tedious tasks that come with homeownership.
2. Regular activities
Once you’re retired and have all the time in the world to do whatever you want with, staying busy can start to feel like work. If you’re spending a lot of that time alone in your own home, boredom can start to creep in.
Retirement communities have a wide array of built in activities to keep that from happening. From yoga, to movie night, to museum visits, to crafts, residents have a steady stream of different activities to choose from. Having lots of different activities readily available makes it easy for seniors to try new things. Maybe someone who’s never imagined being interested in woodworking realizes a passion for it because their retirement community exposed them to it.
It takes more intentional effort to be bored in a retirement community than it does to stay entertained.
The image of a senior that’s fallen and can’t get up has unfortunately become something of a punch line, but that shouldn’t take away from the seriousness of the possibility. A fall can have serious consequences for a senior, as can the flu, and any number of other health issues that seem run of the mill when you’re younger.
When a senior lives alone, a fall could mean death if a cell phone isn’t within reach or no one’s around to check in and find them there. An illness can quickly get worse if there’s no one around to help the ill senior get to the hospital or urge them to do so when they’re downplaying the symptoms as nothing serious.
These are real concerns that you can pretty much toss out the window when a senior moves into a retirement community. There will always be people around to help when something happens, so you can trust any senior living there is as safe as possible.
There’s not one way to live in a retirement community. Most independent living communities offer a number of options seniors can choose from.
If you never want to cook a meal again, you can eat meals prepared by staff onsite. On the other hand, if you love to cook, you can look for an independent living apartment with a kitchen and stick with doing it yourself. Retirement communities often provide transportation options, but also have parking spots where seniors can keep their own cars. They offer housekeeping services, but allow you to save some money if you would rather clean for yourself.
No one’s forced to accept all the possible services a retirement community offers, you can pick and choose based on what works for you.
5. Avoid moving
This is a key benefit for many seniors that choose to move into a retirement community fairly young. Many of them have assisted living and nursing care facilities as part of the overall community. That means, if you reach a point when you need a higher level of care, you don’t have to upend your life completely. You can just hop over to a different section of the community you’re already a part of.
Seniors can keep their social connections, continue to work with staff they already know and trust, and know they’ll get the continued care they need without being a drain on the family.
One of the biggest benefits of living in a retirement community is knowing you don’t have to lean on your family and friends for every little thing. No matter how much your family loves you, needing help with everyday care and activities can, and eventually will, put a strain on your relationships.
Retirement communities make it easier to get what you need from people that are specifically there to help. Your kids can keep living their lives while knowing you’re safe and happy.