As a senior citizen, the thought of moving out of your family home can be daunting. You may treasure the home in which you have raised your family or spent the majority of your life. Such a dwelling is filled with comforting memories. However, you may discover that planning a move to a community for active older adults can be exciting and provide you with new and interesting opportunities. Here are nine perks that accompany making a move to a senior living community.
Unless you are the type who enjoys yard work, a senior living community can provide a welcome reprieve from outdoor home maintenance. Moving to a senior living community means you can be free from mowing the lawn, trimming the bushes, and sweeping the sidewalk. If you live in a cold climate, you will also be free of the headaches (and backaches) associated with clearing your driveway and sidewalks of ice and snow. Some communities also offer housekeeping options, meaning you can give up scrubbing your kitchen floor as well.
While you may not be ready to give up your car, living in a senior community may mean you won’t have to drive as often. There are many types of senior living communities. Your community may be an apartment building for retired folks, an independent or assisted living residence, or a 55+ community that offers a gated neighborhood. Your retirement building may offer transportation to shopping and entertainment as well as a community room for gathering with friends. Or your neighborhood may be located within walking distance of shops and restaurants.
Whether you choose a community located within an apartment building or an entire neighborhood, you can live in a home that provides easy access to your favorite activities. Perhaps you would prefer a community near a golf course. If you play tennis, seek out an option with tennis courts on the premises or nearby. Whether your hobbies are sewing, reading, or enjoying music, there are senior communities that can provide venues for enjoying your favorite activities.
Living near other folks who share your hobbies and interests can provide opportunities for forging new friendships. Whether you get together with your neighbors for a game of cards, a swim in the community pool, or to discuss a novel, you are bound to make new friends. This can provide fun and laughter and prevent the social isolation that sometimes accompanies getting older. According to AARP, we are both happier and healthier when we maintain relationships with family members and our peers.
Making a move from your family home while you are still in good health means you are in control of your future and your possessions. Waiting until your health deteriorates or a medical disaster strikes means that your family members may be the ones sorting through your belongings and deciding your future. It can be even more challenging to make a move from the comfortable surroundings of your family home when you have become sick or infirm. Instead, you may find you enjoy the freedom that comes from planning for a new and interesting future while you are strong and healthy.
It is often easier to maintain the status quo than to seek out new adventures. This is true no matter one’s age. Boredom can strike if you are not making new memories and enjoying new enterprises. Once your children have grown and your house has become quiet, the doldrums may set in. Rather than sitting among the memories of the past, a new home in a community of your peers may provide the opportunity to try new activities. Whether you take up bocce ball, needlepoint, or pottery, it can be invigorating to get out and try new things.
Moving to a senior living community can provide safety and security. Unless you are living in close proximity to friends and family, living in your family home may be isolating. Furthermore, senior living communities may provide security measures such as a secure neighborhood gate or building entrance. Friendships with other members of the community mean that there are others looking out for your health and welfare. Some retirement buildings provide safety features such as fewer stairs, wider hallways, and bathrooms with walk-in bathtubs.
As you grow older, you may begin to fear losing your independence. Making a move to a senior living community may allow for increased independence as you surround yourself with resources to help you stay self-reliant. Easy access to activities, shopping, friendship, and medical attention may allow you to be less reliant on family members. Some senior living communities are situated to provide increased assistance and care if necessary. For instance, some independent living facilities also offer transitions to assisted living or skilled nursing care.
A residence in a senior living community is far from inexpensive. However, many senior living communities are set up so that one price covers everything from light bulbs to taxes. According to Where You Live Matters, it may be worthwhile to invest time to research the full costs of living at home compared to living in an independent, assisted living, or life plan community. When you add up all of the costs associated with living in your current home, you may discover that a retirement community is more affordable than you first thought.