Retirement communities, also sometimes called independent living communities, are housing developments specifically marketed to people over age 55.
They provide residential housing, much like an apartment or condo complex, but offer the added benefit of a 24-hour staff to respond to medical emergencies and provide housekeeping services.
Who Lives In Retirement Communities?
Residents have no severe physical or mental problems and do not require outside assistance or care. They want to maintain an independent residence and lifestyle, but are looking for the many amenities and activities that such a community provides.
Seniors residing in retirement communities are able to come and go as they please, choosing which services they would like, and what activities they would like to participate in.
What Will I Find There?
Retirement communities are usually managed by a private firm who provides hospitality services such as dining, housekeeping, wellness programs and cultural activities. Some communities even have their own restaurants, salons, chapels and libraries on-site for the convenience and enjoyment of their residents.
A variety of social and recreational programs are usually offered with opportunities to volunteer, garden, play games or simply interact with a vibrant community of seniors.
Where Are Retirement Communities Located?
To provide their residents with access to cultural, commercial and recreational activities and services, many communities are built in large cities or towns. Many are close to public transportation systems or provide their own limited transportation to and from the community.
Being in close proximity to major metropolitan areas also means that many retirement communities are just a short trip away from first-class medical care and facilities should any emergencies arise.
Do Retirement Communities Offer Medical Care And Services?
While retirement communities are primarily designed for active seniors with few or mild medical conditions, personal needs may change over time and some seniors are no longer able to live independently.
Many independent living communities anticipate this, and may provide their own additional assisted living services or contract with outside staffing companies to provide such services as:
- Daily dressing
- Medication management
Communities may have medical professionals on staff to assist with acute conditions but do not provide the intensive medical care often provided in a traditional nursing home.
Find Retirement Communities
Retirement communities are a great option for the active senior on the go. Browse our nationwide directory to find retirement communties across the country.
Written by senior housing writer Jacqui Howell.