Moving to a retirement living community has become an increasingly popular lifestyle choice with retirees. If international trends are anything to go by this trend will continue and escalate with the growing number of baby boomers retirees.
3 Groups - Retirement Assisted Living
Ranging from clusters of town houses for people aged 55+, to serviced apartments or full-service communities these retirement living arrangements can be broadly classified into 3 groups:
Active communities -
these comprise all residential units with no long-term healthcare facilities and are also known as "independent living communities".
Active /supportive communities -
include a combination of residential and healthcare facilities. These "continuing care retirement communities" (CCRC's) are growing in popularity due to the growing concerns about medical care in later life.
Supportive communities -
have all long-term healthcare units, like assisted living facilities or nursing homes.
One of the major reasons for their popularity is that in a retirement living community people's needs for security and comfort are met while also affording them freedom and an independent lifestyle.
People can have a relaxed lifestyle without the worry of looking after a home that requires energy, time and expenditure to maintain.
A growing active trend in these developments has been to include certain recreational facilities with the most popular being golf courses. In addition they may including clubhouses and other facilities like a bowling greens, swimming pools and jogging and walking trails.
To cater for the growing populations the range of services are expanding to include, full maintenance of units or homes, medical services, community centres, stores, hairdressers, entertainment and even restaurants.
These services may further extend to maintenance and security of homes when residents are on holiday and could also include collecting the mail, gardening, watering the indoor and outdoor plants and keeping an eye on your home.
A first-class "lock up and go" arrangement.
Facilities and support
By including facilities like 24 hour call buttons, security patrols, a nurse call system, extra help such as housekeeping and individualised nursing services these communities offer residents both physical security and peace of mind.
Recreation and entertainment
Some retirement living communities also promote a recreational calendar. These may include a host of social activities such as walking, keep fit classes, gardening, swimming, bowls, golf, shopping trips, tours, picnics... and the list goes on and on.
However there are also some village residents happier doing their own thing. So the choices you make are based on the lifestyle you choose.
This is the beauty of this kind of retirement community -- it is your choice. Retirement villages allow people to enjoy the privacy of their own home but also to be part of a wider, caring community.
Is this for you?
However these communities are not for everyone. People may want their independence in their own environment. They may find certain of the rules and regulations restrictive. While other people perceive a retirement living community in a negative light as an "old age home."
In making your decision you will get a deluge of "advice" and comments from well meaning friends and family. Considering this option will likely be an emotional and difficult decision. So try and work through it as rationally and logically as you can.
And don't forget you're going to be living there … not your detractors or advisers!