In July 2019, there were around 54.1 million Americans older than 65, which was an increase of almost 15 million since 2010. We have a rapidly growing senior population, so there’s a good chance that either you and/or your loved ones are part of this demographic, or will be soon.
It’s impossible to stop time, so all we can do is prepare for our golden years. For the majority of us, we’ll need to consider our senior living options, as fully independent living won’t be possible.
So what can you expect from communities for seniors? Read on to find out!
First off, you should know that not all senior living communities are the same. There are several types available to accommodate different elderly needs.
Active Adult Communities
These communities offer the most independence. As the name indicates, they’re ideal for seniors who lead an active lifestyle and don’t need serious medical care on a daily basis.
You’ll live in a complex where 80% of the units are rented out to those aged 55 or above. These complexes are placed next to amenities nearby, such as shopping centers, restaurants, and hospitals.
But they’re also carefully selected to be built in quiet locations. Some are located next to colleges; in this case, they might offer courses for free.
Within the communities, you’ll benefit from resort-like amenities. There are also social and fitness activities, such as arts and crafts, yoga, biking, and golfing, so you don’t get lonely.
Things like grounds maintenance and home repairs are covered by the community.
Independent Living Communities
This is also a great choice if you’re in great shape and don’t need daily medical care. Independent living communities are similar to active adult communities, but with some key differences.
First of all, these communities are 100% dedicated to seniors. Also, you’ll get extra services, such as food prep, housekeeping, and home maintenance.
These communities often offer exercise programs, as well as travel outside of the community for a better quality of life. Because these outings are arranged by the community, you won’t have to worry about driving yourself from place to place.
Assisted Living Communities
Assisted living communities are best for the elderly who need help with daily activities, but don’t need serious medical care. These communities come with all the same benefits as independent living communities, but with one key difference: resident assistants.
You’ll get your own assistant to help you around with things like bathing and getting dressed. They can also help you get from one room to another, and assist with sitting and standing if you have mobility issues. Other tasks they might do include dispensing medication and doing groceries.
Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)
CCRCs are also known as life plan communities. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of switching communities on your own as your needs change, then this can be a great fit.
You’ll stay in one community, but the services can evolve to fit your needs. For example, you might start out with independent living. But as you age and are afflicted with more health issues, you can switch to assisted living without moving outside of the community.
Great Social Life
No matter which type of senior living community you choose, you can expect a great social life. This is important for your overall health, as loneliness is a huge thing the elderly deal with. Without good mental health, physical health can suffer too.
The communities will offer a full schedule of things to do, ranging from swimming in the community pool and playing cards at the lounge, to outings to the garden center. You can also just casually hang out with others on a whim if that’s what you prefer.
Many residents will also volunteer at local organizations. It’s a great way to give back to the local community while keeping busy. And you just might meet other seniors who have similar interests as you.
Do you have a furry friend you don’t want to leave behind? Then the good news is, many elderly living communities allow you to bring them along!
Do note that they’ll have some rules in place, such as the number of pets you can have and proof of vaccinations and shots. Some breeds or larger pets might not be allowed in the community.
You also need to fully and reliably take care of your pets, as the assistants might not handle pet care. And if they damage property or harm anyone, you’re held responsible.
Of course, the amazing amenities and services will come at a cost. You might expect to pay a monthly fee as you would with rent, but there are several other costs associated with senior living communities.
For instance, many will charge an entrance fee. These can be anywhere between $1,000 to $600,000, depending on where you go and what services you need. Also, this fee isn’t always refundable if you leave the community.
You might also pay for a buy-in, such as at a CCRC. This can be anywhere between $40,000 to $2 million.
Enjoy Communities for Seniors
If you pick the right ones, then communities for seniors can be an enjoyable experience in your golden years. What’s great is that there are several types, and even CCRCs if you want your living circumstances to grow with you.
So take a look at your options and book some tours. That way, you can really get a feel for things and choose a community that’s the perfect fit for you.
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