Let’s face it: Senior housing isn’t what it used to be. And that’s a good thing. When our parents — and their parents — were approaching their golden years, they most likely continued to live in their family home. If they were unable to care for themselves, they moved into a nursing home or possibly assisted living.
Senior apartments or independent living communities were not a common option a generation or two ago. And certainly not the type of senior communities we see today. But times have changed.
There are a lot of senior housing options out there, from apartments to condos to communities that offer a full continuum of care on site. One popular choice is independent living apartments, especially those that are age-restricted to seniors 55+ or 62+. With people living longer these days, “seniors” generally still have a lot of years left in front of them — which is perfect because senior living communities offer more activities and amenities than ever before.
Baby Boomers seek more options
It may sound cliché, but ask any active senior and they’ll honestly tell you that you’re only as young (or as old) as you feel. And senior communities are filled with a lot of “young” seniors these days. Baby Boomers may love their grandparents, but that doesn’t mean they want to be them! They want more.
And with Boomers reaching their golden years in droves, it’s no surprise that times would change — along with the senior communities they live in. Retirement stands for freedom and independence. And senior living is the epitome of that: no lawns to mow, no walks to shovel, no property taxes to pay. People these days are looking forward to senior living.
But just like any other apartments you’ll find for rent, each community has its own personality. Talk to people in your area or check out senior living options on After55.com and you’ll see that there’s a wide range of offerings. While some simply provide a quiet lifestyle for their residents, others seem more like a 5-star resort than a “retirement” community.
Senior living amenities
So what are some of these modern-day amenities? Well, take a look.
Activities: Staying active is important to seniors today, so senior communities are doing all they can to make that happen. From cards and games to classes and presentations, community calendars are full of things to do.
Food and drink: From coffee hour each morning to regularly scheduled happy hours, there are plenty of opportunities to get together for a little socializing with neighbors and friends.
Dining: This can go way above and beyond the food mentioned above. Gaining an AARP card doesn’t mean losing your taste buds, and senior communities recognize that. Many are hiring gourmet chefs and featuring meals that provide residents with a fine dining experience.
Outings: Seniors who don’t drive will appreciate transportation to a medical appointment or the grocery store. But many communities offer other outings as well, to popular destinations like the theater, museums, restaurants, ball games or casinos.
Fitness: Today’s seniors want to stay fit and healthy, so many apartment communities help their residents stay in shape with fitness rooms and classes. You’ll find everything from treadmills to walking paths and aerobics classes to swimming pools. In warmer climates, you can even join a tennis league.
Education: Independent living apartments also encourage seniors to continue learning by offering classes and presentations. Whether it’s how to use the latest technology, maintain brain health or the legalities of making a will, there’s still a lot for seniors to learn.
Housekeeping and maintenance: Many senior living apartments offer housekeeping and laundry services. And of course, they all offer independence from lawn work and other maintenance. What could be better than that?
So if you — or your parents — are seniors looking to downsize, think seriously about moving to a senior living community. Who says you have to act your age? And anyway, everyone knows 60 is the new 40!