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The Benefits of Moving to a Retirement Community (Early)

senior ladies having coffee

Retirement communities can enhance the lives of older adults in several ways. In addition to gaining a built-in community and social environment to combat loneliness (which can be a severe problem for older adults), residents can enjoy nutritious meals, cultural enrichment activities, and a beautiful place to live that offers minimal upkeep. As you grow older, you may wonder when the right time is to transition to a simpler living arrangement. It’s not just convenience that draws people to senior living communities. There are a wealth of benefits that go hand-in-hand with communal living as an older adult. Read through our guide to learn more about the benefits of living in a retirement community — and even moving in earlier than you might have expected — to determine whether this step is right for you.

Why Should I Consider Moving to a Retirement Community Early?

If you ask someone why they moved into a retirement community, you might expect the answer to focus on what the person in question didn’t want. Maybe you would assume that they’re trying to escape loneliness or that they don’t want to keep up with an entire house and yard. Perhaps you also assume that they must need medical care if they’re moving to a retirement community or that they can’t live independently. 

Though myths abound, these statements are far from the truth for many residents. Consider the following benefits of living in a retirement community, and feel free to contact us if you have further questions.

Promoting Wellness in Older Adults

Most people experience better physical and mental health when they feel like they’re part of a community. Within your new retirement community, you’ll have a wealth of options to choose from when it comes to promoting your physical, mental, and emotional wellness:

  • Healthy eating: It’s easier to stay mentally and physically well when you’re eating a nutritious diet. Retirement communities serve well-rounded, healthy meals for their residents every day to ensure that they get the nutrients they need for this stage of life.
  • Exercise and wellness programs: Retirement communities boast several wellness programs such as general fitness, strength training, and yoga. Some communities even offer aromatherapy sessions and have onsite massage rooms.
  • Mental health benefits: Having a lower-maintenance lifestyle as well as regular events can go a long way to making you feel secure, comfortable, and happy in your community.
  • Education and enrichment: Tend to your mind as well as your body by taking a class, attending a cooking demonstration, or joining a book club to foster lifelong interests or discover a new hobby. 

Many people choose to move to a senior living community early for the simple reason that many aspects of life become easier, but “downsizing” doesn’t mean that life becomes less interesting. Your new home will likely have numerous activities, groups, and events for you to join or take part in.

Combating Social Isolation in Seniors

A well-known Harvard study has followed the lives of people as they age for the past 80 years. Researchers have found that when people are part of a community, have rewarding social connections, and experience joy on a regular basis, their lives are better, and so is their physical health. 

Being alone doesn’t affect every older adult the same way — some people truly prefer living by themselves — but for those it does affect, it can make life much more difficult. Senior living benefits those who need a community environment to thrive and be the best versions of themselves.

Safety and Security of Senior Living Communities

The normal aging process might provide several challenges, including forgetfulness, limited range of movements, and new medical issues. Even perfectly healthy older adults may not enjoy the idea of living alone. 

If you fall into this category, you may enjoy the community aspect of living in a retirement community. Living with others in a time of significant change can help provide feelings of security, which can reduce stress and increase a sense of contentment.

Senior Living Communities Can Simplify Life

Do you view retirement as a time of relaxation, travel, or socialization? If so, you probably don’t want to spend your golden years tending to your home or yard. Many seniors enjoy the low-stress lifestyle of upscale retirement communities that allow them to live independently and come and go as they please. 

You can cook if you want to, or you can simply eat nutritious meals that are already prepared for you in the onsite restaurants. You can elect to drive yourself, or you can use the complimentary, convenient transportation services to keep up with your social activities. There’s much more free time when you don’t have to worry about the mundane details of keeping up a residence.

Pursuing Your Interests

One of the most rewarding aspects of living in a retirement community is that it frees up your precious time to pursue what you want to pursue. If you want to pick up a new hobby or reinvestigate an old one you abandoned years ago, you have the time and space to do so. Most retirement communities offer numerous activities like the following:

  • Movie nights
  • Computer and tech classes 
  • Yoga and other fitness classes
  • Game nights
  • And many more!

Frequently Asked Questions About the Benefits of Retirement Communities

It’s a good idea to visit the community you have in mind to determine whether it’s a good fit for you. In fact, it’s ideal to tour several communities to ensure that you find a place you would like to live. 

Beyond finding what you feel is a good fit, it’s natural to have many questions about senior living as you reach retirement age and enter the next phase of your life. Take a look at our FAQs, and be sure to get in touch with us if you have further questions about your specific situation.

1. If I’m Able to Live Independently, Shouldn’t I Wait to Move?

If moving to a retirement community is your choice, of course. However, many residents find that the transition is emotionally easier and logistically smoother when they move sooner rather than later. 

While you may assume that you should move when you are incapable of living independently, this only furthers the idea that retirement communities are places to be avoided until they’re necessary, which couldn’t be further from the truth! Community living can take the stress out of daily life, provide numerous social opportunities, and allow you the time and space to pursue your interests.

2. What If I Think I Might Need More Care Later On?

One of the benefits of moving to a retirement community early is that you can simply retain your independence while casting off the stress of maintaining a home, cooking for yourself, or living alone. 

Many communities offer three levels of care: independent living, assisted living, and memory care. If you need additional care as you age, or if you live with a medical condition that you know will one day make it difficult for you to live independently, a retirement community with multiple levels of care may be the perfect place for you. Make sure the staff is aware of any challenges you face so that they can work with you to determine the right level of care at the right time.

3. Can My Spouse Move With Me?

Yes, of course. In fact, many couples choose to make the move together well before the need to do so arises. Moving with a partner can help if you’re feeling nervous about the transition. More importantly, you both get to enjoy a new lifestyle, as well as the next phase of your life, together.

The simplest situation when you’re transitioning to a retirement community is when you and your spouse need the same level of care. If one of you is able to live independently while the other needs a higher level of care, make sure to discuss what the best option might be with your community’s staff. You won’t be the first, or the last, potential resident to have these questions.

4. Will I Have to Give Up Driving if I Move to a Retirement Community?

Certainly not! Many residents enjoy this type of arrangement because it allows for a completely independent living experience with the amenities, yard work, and meals taken care of. It’s more similar to a resort or hotel. You can come and go as you please and have a parking spot for your own vehicle. 

Learn More About the Benefits a Retirement Community Can Offer

Joining a retirement community is one of the best ways to foster healthy aging and preserve your mental and physical health. If you’re nearing retirement age and you’re conflicted about your next steps, consider investigating whether finding the right retirement community could be the missing piece of your life. Get in touch with us for more information on retirement, living well as an older adult, and finding a supportive community to enjoy your golden years.