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Consider the Benefits of Moving to a Senior Independent Living Community

The connotations of the term "senior citizen" are changing rapidly these days. Once upon a time, it was expected that older adults would retire from work life at age 65, slow down their lives significantly, and grow increasingly dependent on family until they could no longer care for themselves at all.

Today's seniors are nothing like that. Most people will continue working well past age 65, even if part-time, and they live active and abundant lifestyles. Many individuals in this age group are still learning new skills, taking up interesting hobbies, and exploring the world. At the same time, they are beginning to recognize new limitations in their health or ability to maintain and upkeep their home. All seniors, whether dealing with health challenges or still perfectly healthy, should consider the benefits of transitioning to a senior independent living community.

What to Expect at a Senior Independent Living Community

Many aging adults initially resist the idea of moving to a senior community. They are concerned about a lack of independence, boredom, or simply don't feel ready to leave their home. Unfortunately, there are also many misconceptions about senior communities based on outdated information. In reality, many senior living communities are diverse, modern, and equipped with every amenity one can imagine.

Each community is unique and offers different levels of housing. Some senior communities are fully independent and are not very different from any other HOA-based housing development. They may have a variety of private amenities such as a clubhouse, community center, fitness center, pool, or golf course. Generally, a fully independent community does not offer any medical services, assisted living facilities, or skilled nursing care. Individuals and couples often choose these communities for the convenience of on-site activities, a close-living social network, and maintenance-free housing.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities have a broader range of services. Individuals may choose to move in while fully independent so that as they begin to experience cognitive or physical limitations, they can advance to a greater level of assistance within their current community. While independent, residents enjoy the same type of amenities as a fully independent community. But there may also be medical facilities, healthcare providers, and a pharmacy on-site that makes managing their health much easier.

Reasons For Moving to a Senior Independent Living Community

Some individuals or couples remain hesitant about moving into a senior living community, so they decide on a "trial run" before making the full commitment. At the end of one to two months, most people go ahead and list their old house for sale without any regrets. They typically realize that their concerns about the senior community being too slow, boring, or confining could not be more wrong. In this new community, friends and entertainment are all close by at all times of the day.

A few things that seniors appreciate about their new independent communities include:

  • Multiple dining halls and social areas for enjoying meals, snacks, cocktails, and good company
  • A busy calendar of effortless activities and social opportunities like concerts, day trips, card games, movie nights, happy hours, professional speakers, and more
  • Never another lawn to mow, driveway to shovel, or home repair to make
  • Access to sports, leisure, and fitness facilities just a few steps from their front door

Of course, with a Continuing Care Retirement Community, residents can easily schedule health checkups and restock medications quickly. It goes without saying that seniors need to do far less driving within a senior living community (not including golf carts!), which reduces auto maintenance and gas costs.

Tour Several Senior Living Communities to Find the Right Fit

One mistake many seniors make is to put off senior living community exploration until there is more urgency in moving. Realistically, individuals and couples should start touring communities three to five years before they plan to move. Not only does this give them time to fully evaluate every option, but it also allows them to get any deposits or paperwork underway to guarantee they can move to the community they prefer.

In some cases, people like what they see so much that they decide to move sooner than expected. They quickly realize just how much more freedom they could have in retirement by living in a senior community, so they decide not to wait. With so many new senior living communities being built, the time has never been better to start looking for the perfect future home.