When Should You Consider Moving to a Retirement Community?
Updated: Jul 1, 2021
Oftentimes people are reluctant to consider moving to a retirement community or independent living community. This is often because of the misconception that senior living communities are the same as nursing homes. However, senior communities offer a variety of services and amenities while still allowing residents to maintain their independence.
Choosing when and where you want to move can be a difficult process.
Some Factors to Consider
Home maintenance & chores:
As you get older, it becomes more difficult and tedious to do the chores you once found easy. Alternatively, you might just be tired of performing the chores you used to do without complaint. This includes everything from cleaning out gutters, washing windows, and clearing snow from driveways to cleaning bathrooms and washing dishes. Senior communities provide relief from the constant battle of home maintenance.
A study published in 2014 showed that people who eat healthier spend an average of two hours a day just preparing and cooking food. All that time investment might make you want to avoid cooking altogether, leading to skipped meals and poor nutrition. Retirement communities often provide 3 nutritious and delicious meals a day. Food always tastes better when you don't have to cook it.
Security & Safety
Consider the safety and security of your home. In the long run, what kinds of modifications would you need to make in order to remain there. Would you need to add grab bars, ramps, or even stairlifts? Do you have a way to call for help if you need it? Senior communities are built with aging in mind. They usually have staff on-site for emergencies, as well as emergency pull strings, grab bars elevators, and ramps.
Life is more fun when you share it with friends. Having a network of friends not only feels good, but it's also important for your well-being. A study from the National Institute on Aging links loneliness in older adults to health risks like high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, and cognitive decline. The opportunity to make new friends is one of the benefits of moving to a retirement community.
Hobbies & activities
Making plans for the day and engaging in hobbies helps provide a purpose in life. Many communities provide a variety of daily activities such as bingo, movies, crafts, and exercise programs. Not only do these help keep you occupied while you're doing them, but you might also gain friendships when you join.
If driving has become difficult for you, you might have to rely on family, friends, or public transportation to do the things you want to do, whether it's shopping, appointments, or visiting friends. Most retirement communities provide some form of regular transportation.