Protecting an Elderly Loved One

A Look At The Various Retirement Communities You May Want To Consider

by Margie Adams

If your home and property are too much work now that your kids have moved out and you're older, then it may be time to look into a retirement community. Life in a retirement community can be an enjoyable experience and free you from a lot of maintenance work so you can spend more time on leisure activities. Here are some types of retirement communities you might want to consider.

Age-Restricted Living

Age-restricted retirement communities are for older adults. While kids may visit, they aren't allowed to live on the property full time. This helps cut down on the noise that comes along with having kids around all the time. You might live in a house, mobile home, or condo when you choose age-restricted living. In addition to enjoying a quieter lifestyle, you'll also get to enjoy the social activities that abound in a community geared toward older adults. When you compare retirement communities, be sure to compare the recreational activities and social gatherings they provide so you can stay active even if you rarely leave the community. These communities offer a lifestyle suited for those of retirement age, but they don't usually offer any medical services.

Independent Living

An independent living community might be more to your liking if you no longer drive and you prefer having someone to cook meals for you. Independent living usually involves living in a condo that has individual apartments. However, there is usually a group dining area where you can eat meals that are cooked for you daily. The community may also offer bus or van transportation to local stores or help arrange transportation to your doctor. This type of retirement community could be right for you if you want to stay independent but may want a little help with meals. You'll usually have a range of social activities in an independent living center, and you'll be free to come and go as you please if you still drive.

Assisted Living

If you or your spouse have a medical condition, you may prefer assisted living. It is similar to independent living except you have help with medical care. This might include help with medications or daily grooming. You might live in an apartment and take care of most of your own needs, but you'll have medical supervision and access to quick help when it's needed. Some communities are built around providing care throughout your senior years as your needs change. These are called continuing care retirement communities. You may start by living independently and then transition through assisted living to nursing home care as it becomes necessary all while staying in the same general community so you stay close to friends and your spouse.

Retirement communities vary when it comes to the services and amenities they provide, and the price varies, too. Consider your age, your state of health, and your interests when you tour communities so you find one you'll enjoy.