More and more seniors are choosing to move into retirement communities or apartment style housing and there are a number of reason why this seems to be a popular choice.
Many seniors find it difficult to maintain an active social life. This can be caused by a variety of things: the loss of a spouse, children moving away, friends dying, decreased mobility due to physical ailments or the deterioration of ones driving ability, an increased need for security, or simply just feeling less motivated to make the effort.
The array of social activities that seniors can access in a retirement community help bridge these impasses. Most retirement residences have regular activities such as birthday celebrations, afternoon teas, holiday parties, and themed galas. Everything is planned down to the tee, and with them being hosted at the residence, there’s no need to arrange for transportation. Fellow residents make ready companions, and often family and friends are welcome to join in on the fun. Many residences boast such amenities as indoor heated pools, spas, fully equipped gyms, bistros, movie theatres, business centers, games and craft rooms and libraries. Retirees can be as active and involved as they choose to be.
Less labour can also be a feature that retirees find attractive. It takes a lot of time and money to manage a home, especially if it is of some size. Many find themselves in the situation of still living in a home by themselves that used to house a spouse and several children. When the grandchildren came along, the house provided welcome room for everyone to romp around. But as time goes along, the family dynamics can change and suddenly seniors can find themselves with more house than they want. A big yard just adds to the maintenance challenge, and since houses require continual upkeep (roof repairs, hot water tanks, soffit and siding, painting, deck staining, to name just a few) the job of keeping up with the labour and the cost becomes a job in itself. Some seniors reach a point where they just don’t want the headaches anymore. If they want to to travel, they don’t want to have to hire someone to house sit, take in the mail, shovel the snow, etc. More and more, simpler living arrangements become a desire, and sometimes even a necessity.
Getting around easily can be another need that can be met more easily through a retirement home, especially if driving becomes stressful or health ailments begin to impair ones mobility. Most residences have vans or buses that regularly take residents on social outings, to malls for shopping and errands, and to appointments. These are usually offered at no extra cost to the residents. They operate on a fixed schedule that allows residents to plan their weeks in advance and get the most out of their living experience.
Safety can be another big concern for seniors. There are two main types of safety to consider. The first is medical safety – making sure that someone can respond quickly in the case of a fall or other medical emergency. Accidents in the home can often result in hospitalization, and even death, if there is no one around, or no measure in place to monitor and respond quickly. The other is personal safety. Seniors can be easy prey to people wishing to cause harm to them or their property. Retirement residences usually have monitored access with front desk staff and sometimes even a buzz-through alarmed entry that sounds when people are both entering and leaving. Medical staff and security personnel are usually on site or on call 24/7.
These are just some of the main reasons why retirement residences are gaining in popularity. And with the number of seniors expected to double in the next 20 years, you can see why we’re going to see more retirement residences built in the years ahead.
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