Contrary to popular misconception, retirement living doesn’t involve being thrown into a horrible nursing home because your family refuses to take care of you. The reality is most seniors choose retirement communities because that’s precisely where they want to be, not because they have to be. It’s easy to let your mind wander to worst-case scenarios, but it’s important to know that the vast majority of retirement communities just aren’t the negative experiences we’ve seen sensationalized on television or film.
In fact, it’s easier now than ever to see what others think of their experiences in retirement communities so you can make more informed decisions about your options for retirement.
Here are just a few of the benefits of retirement living, regardless of whether it’s independent or assisted.
You’ll be part of a community
Becoming part of a community is often one of the primary reasons seniors opt for retirement communities in the first place. They enjoy the kinship and lifestyle it affords them, and can appreciate living among others with whom they can relate. Most retirement communities host regular activities and entertainment for residents to take part in, which means staying busy and enjoying the company of others. A retirement community also provides retirees with opportunities to develop new friendships.
Enjoy your hobbies and other passions
With retirement comes plenty of free time to enjoy the things you love to do, whether it be gardening, reading, or staying active. Retirement is the time to relish your passions and develop new hobbies as they’ll keep you sharp and engaged with the world.
Strengthen your spirituality
For those in faith-oriented communities, you’ll have the chance to reflect on your faith and learn from others on a similar path. Religion plays a large part in the lives of many people. Retirement presents a unique opportunity to not only strengthen your faith, but also to explore it comfortably and with others.
Staying active and engaged
Retirement communities, both in assisted living/personal care and independent living situations, offer a range of activities to keep residents active. After all, it can be easy to forget your physical wellbeing once retirement rolls around—you might not consider maintaining your fitness once you retire. If anything, retirement is the perfect time to remember your fitness and to maintain a more active lifestyle. Retirement isn’t prohibitive—it’s liberating!
From walking on your own or with others, to doing group yoga, crafts, move night, etc., retirement communities are great at getting people to try new and different things while still allowing them to do whatever they enjoy most. It definitely takes intentional effort to wind up bored or with nothing to do in retirement!
Enjoy your home without the hassle of having to maintain it
After a while, mowing huge yards, clearing fall leaves, or repairing the broken faucet can get tiring. Some people in retirement simply don’t want to deal with all of the maintenance most homes require. This is what makes independent living options so attractive: all that work is taken care of for you. Of course, some people think all the little odd jobs that pop up around the home are well worth it, but do you really want to keep doing those things yourself?
Having someone else help you maintain your property in an independent living situation not only lightens your load, it gives you the freedom to spend time on the things that matter most to you.
Assistance with daily living
Aside from the benefits outlined above, for those in personal care or assisted living, retirement can mean having the support and aid of a trained nursing staff. In these facilities, some seniors may require assistance with things like getting dressed, standing up, or anything else that may occur in the day; and retiring in such a place will ensure you’re not only cared for but treated with dignity, compassion, and respect.
Access to the continuum of care
Many retirement communities feature more than just homes or care facilities, but nursing homes and similar personal care facilities. While we choose to move into a retirement community by choice, our move to nursing homes is generally a matter of necessity. Joining a community that provides that continuum of care can make the transition from one to the other easier while still giving you access to the same community you’ve grown close to.
There are many benefits to retirement living, but it definitely takes some soul searching—and a little bit of research—to decide what’s right for you. If you have friends or family in retirement communities they could be an invaluable source of information and experience, and other family members can be very helpful in providing you with support and assistance while you decide on your next steps.