Adult Communities

Five years ago after living 50 years in the old family home, Norma Pack decided to checkout adult communities near Portland, Oregon. Now, at age 91, she is proud of her decision to stop worrying about leaky faucets and yard work and move into independent living.

“Adult communities are a great way to live,” observes Pack. “I party with the Red Hats, take cruises and exercise three times a week. Besides, when my four sons come to see me, we visit instead of working on chores.”

Pack is representative of a growing number of individuals age 50 and older, who choose to relinquish the responsibilities of the old homestead in favor of the freedom inherent in adult communities. Like many others, Pack has found that adult communities offer a full range of options and amenities that help her retain a zest for life.

Who Lives at Adult Communities?

These days, adult communities provide a maintenance-free, independent lifestyle. Residents do not need medical care and many continue to drive, manage jobs and enjoy a full social calendar. They come and go at will and take care of themselves.

Residents participate as much or as little as they want in a tremendous menu of activities including:

  • Tai Chi
  • Yoga
  • Travel
  • Golf

“We see lovely people, who have been living in the big old house, but the spouse is gone and the kids are busy,” explains Linda Cox, community director of Vintage at Vancouver independent living, one of the region’s premier adult communities. “The hardest part is downsizing and moving. But once that is done, they can relax and enjoy the lifestyle and company.”

What is Life Like at Adult Communities?

Adult communities come in all sizes, shapes and surprises. Residents choose from apartment and condominium-style living to cottage and single-family dwellings. Homes can be compact and efficient or large and lavish, featuring gourmet kitchens and gas fireplaces.

The surprises at adult communities consist of lifestyle choices. Those interested in golf or health and fitness may be attracted to a country club-type setting that often features a well-equipped and staffed fitness center, swimming pools and golf on-site or nearby.

Others may look for more dining and social options that include bistro or formal dining experiences as well as a full calendar of activities such as:

  • Seminars
  • Live entertainment
  • Happy hour
  • Brain fitness
  • Clubs

Benefits, Amenities and Services of Adult Communities

Beyond adult communities’ many housing and style options, most offer an amazing roster of amenities and services, including:

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Transportation
  • Meal programs

Some communities offer in-house services such as travel agencies, bank branches, salons and spas. These days, many communities encourage pets and even provide garden plots for those who miss getting their hands dirty.

All the options, amenities and services available at today’s adult communities support what many consider the major benefit of independent living, which is socialization. This lifestyle frees residents so they can enjoy life and don’t have to worry about tending a yard or maintaining a house.

“Often after years of isolation, many residents at adult communities experience a change in personality; they become happier,” observes Lori Fiorillo of Knights of Pythias Active Retirement Center (KOPRC) in Vancouver, Washington. “They make friends, get involved, join activities and participate in volunteer work.”

Written by senior care writer Leslee Jaquette.

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