We live in a generation where people are living longer. We pay more attention to what we eat and exercise more. As a result we are living longer. As the baby boomers retire we will soon have more seniors living in our communities than ever before. Many are choosing to live in Retirement Communities. This simply means that they are choosing to live near other retired people close to their same age and with interests that are similar. Living with peers offers friendship, companionship and a sense of community where you are looking out for each other.
Retirement communities are full of folks in the same age demographic yet the age variance maybe up to 35 years. The events and activities can indeed vary to the degree that it caters to all individuals. Bingo, movies, exercise class, swimming, bus trips and featured programs increase the level of social activity and provides entertaining ways to socialize. Retirement communities have an age requirement of 55 and older. Most retirement communities enjoy a level of peace and quiet that cannot be found out in the general community. Living in a retirement community allows seniors to be friends with people who have like interests. People have become traveling companions, friends who share a cup of coffee and some fellowship and a support group in times of sorrow.
After devoting years to work and family, many seniors have a desire to experience traveling, deepening relationships or simply enjoy doing the things that interest them. There is a sense of freedom when you leave on a trip and know the staff and friends of the retirement community are watching your place. For many people, becoming a resident of a retirement community is a wonderful thing because many of the worries and burdens of life are gone. You do not have to worry about who will water the lawn or what if the water heater springs a leak. The chores of keeping up a house and the need to keep up with the yard are gone. Shopping can be done independently or with the group that choose to take the facility bus for the weekly shopping trip.
There are often choices for housing in these communities. The ability to know what your rent will be and what your extra payments are help with budgeting for the future. Retirement communities are marketing to the senior population and have a better understanding of a senior’s fixed income.
I recently asked the folks living in a retirement community to tell me what is good about living here. One person responded “I moved here with much fear because I had never lived on my own in my life. Not sure what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised by the welcome I got. As I was sorting through my moving boxes, a new neighbor stopped by with a plate of cookies and welcomed me to the neighborhood. Then a day or so later I received some oranges from another neighbor, a few days later another person brought by more goodies. Wow, I thought, what do I have to give? I did not have much money to buy gifts but I thought I could share my music and I am a good listener. I have been listening and playing the piano for awhile now and I can’t begin to tell you how blessed I feel. Living here, I am living alone with my friends around me so I don’t really feel alone.”
Mary Lou Martens, a more recent resident, said” One of the best decisions in my life was coming to live at a Retirement Community. On the day I arrived and moved into my apartment I was welcomed by many of my neighbors. One of my neighbors even brought over some cupcakes to enjoy with my coffee. My doorbell rang quite often during that first week. Though I didn’t know them, they’ve since become good friends. It’s so nice to know that I’ll always have someone to talk to, someone who notices when I’m away, and always someone who will help when it is needed. The whole staff has been so friendly, available and courteous. And, there are so many opportunities here for those of us who enjoy volunteering. It’s the best place to live as a retiree.”
We are all looking forward to the days when we have the freedom to lead a more leisurely lifestyle. It is important to remember that friendships, the ability to leave your home for periods of time to visit your kids, the availability of dong interesting activities and ways to volunteer are just some of the things that can make a retirement community a wonderful place to be.
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