Some people eagerly plan for and transition to 55+ communities while others vigorously resist even considering such a move.
Myths and misperceptions about “retirement communities” persist, despite the increasing popularity of such residence options for people 55 years and older. Let’s look at some of the positives and negatives to living in senior condo communities.
The big myths of 55+ living
These are five common myths about 55+ communities:
- My own home is the best place for me – Many seniors (and their children) believe that the parents retain their freedom and independence when remaining in a long-time home.
- I stay connected with my friends and activities when living in my current home – People often think that their activities and close connections will be sacrificed if they move to a senior community.
- It costs me less to stay in my home – This may or may not be true depending on the current expenses of taxes, mortgage, utilities, upkeep, and the financial footing of a particular senior community.
- My children will help when I need them to – This may or may not be a realistic expectation.
- Senior communities are full of old, sick, and dying people – This is often a major concern for seniors.
Benefits of 55+ living
Sometimes it is the children of retirees who object to their parents moving to a 55+ community. Senior condominium living can offer some pretty wonderful benefits for both seniors and their families.
- Safer living – The family home may no longer be safe for its senior resident(s). There is yard work to be done, maintenance and other chores to keep up with, and some homes cannot be easily adapted to accommodate changing physical needs and limitations.
Senior condominium living is designed to provide a physically safe living environment for its residents.
- Maintenance is taken care of by the community’s staff.
- Living in a 55+ community offers additional protection against those who prey on elderly people who are known to be living alone.
- Senior-based condominiums are often designed with emergency response systems that can be activated by their residents when needed.
- Staying connected, active, making new friends – Many seniors find their circle of friends diminishes with each season. A spouse dies, a neighbor moves, children live far away. It is easy to become isolated.
Loneliness is often one of the bigger dangers of living alone as a senior. 55+ communities can help nurture current and new friendships and activities.
Many senior communities offer physical and cultural activity enrichment programs to help their residents remain engaged in the healthy interaction of daily living.
- Healthier living – It isn’t always possible for children to take care of a parent’s health challenges, increasingly limited mobility, ensuring that the parent is eating properly and taking medicines on time.
Many residents in 55+ communities find their sense of independence and well-being increases. Adult children experience a tremendous sense of relief that a parent or parents are living in a safe and healthy environment where they can be looked after on a regular basis.
Condo living isn’t for every senior but it can be a wonderful alternative to living alone. The supportive network of activities, friendships, and care (as needed) can bring a new quality of life in one’s senior years. Many seniors wonder why they didn’t make the move sooner!