What to Consider When Looking at Active Adult Retirement Communities

When it comes to healthy aging, quite honestly, there’s a lot to do. You’re supposed to make sure to keep your body active and your brain engaged all while maintaining your social connections as well. Sure, the benefits to your overall well-being are worth the effort, but retirement is supposed to be a time with less responsibility on your plate, right? Well, it turns out that in senior living you can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here’s how programs like our Vivid Life make keeping active, engaged, and connected easy and fun! 

Benefits of Healthy Aging 

Good things happen when you focus on healthy aging. In addition to feeling better overall, which in and of itself is a win, other benefits of keeping active, engaged, and connected include:  

  • Improved ability to do everyday things ​ 
  • Reduced impact of illness and chronic disease​ 
  • Enhanced mobility, flexibility, and balance
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy level
  • Reduced feelings of depression and stress
  • Increased feelings of happiness and self-confidence
  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline 
  • Increased mental adaptability and cognitive reserve 
  • Improved memory recall and problem-solving skills 
  • Improved concentration and attention to detail  

How Senior Living Can Help 

At home, particularly when living alone, it can be hard to stay as active, engaged, and connected as you’d like. From lack of opportunity to lack of motivation to lack of transportation to mobility challenges, and more, it’s tough, we get it! That’s why we created the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. It’s composed of three parts: Vibrant Body, Vibrant Brain, and Vibrant Connections. Here’s what each entails:  

Vibrant Body We offer amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pool, walking trails, gardening opportunities, and even a dog park to help you stay active. A sample of activities includes:  

  • Walking club – Daily walks at different outdoor locations using pedometers to measure steps. 
  • Yoga – At least once per week for gentle yoga, and once per week for mindful breathing. 
  • Fitness classes – At least two times per week using a variety of hand weights, resistance bands, and circuit-type exercises. 
  • Tai Chi – At least once per week with a live instructor. 
  • Non-traditional exercise – Dancing, gardening, etc. at least two times per week. 
  • Physical games and sports – Golf, putting, bowling, croquet, bocce, and ping pong available daily with organized events one to two times per week. 

Vibrant Brain We offer monthly calendars filled with classes, events, creative arts, and enrichment opportunities to help keep you engaged. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Visiting lecture series – Twice per month with topics such as cultural, historical, local interest, career-oriented, etc. 
  • Creative art series – At least one per week with a theme that runs 3-6 weeks, such as poetry writing, storytelling, painting, digital photography, etc. 
  • Learning series – At least three times per month with an emphasis on learning something new such as foreign language, sign language, technology, hobbies, etc. 
  • Games – At least one time per week and may include poker, bridge, Scrabble, etc. 
  • Mindfulness – A meditation class once per week and gratitude discussion group twice monthly. 
  • Church service – At least once a week through visits by local churches. 
  • Stress reduction – At least once per month class that offers deep breathing exercises, nature walks, music appreciation, spa-type treatments, etc. 

 Vibrant Connections We offer resident-led clubs, social events, outings and volunteer opportunities for any interest to help you stay connected. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Outings – At least twice per month and may include going to concerts, art shows, museum visits, theatre productions, etc. 
  • Intergenerational programming – At least once per month and focuses on building relationships between young adults/children and residents. 
  • New resident welcome party – At least once per month to formally introduce all new residents, and includes ice breakers, social games, etc. to encourage connection. 
  • Philanthropic program – At least once per month provide residents the opportunity to give back to the community, such as volunteering for a local food bank or pet shelter. 
  • Resident-led clubs – May include game clubs, professional clubs, common interests, etc. that meet at least monthly.  

What’s more, it’s all right outside your door (or transportation is provided offsite) and all in a supportive environment with home maintenance, housekeeping, and restaurant-style dining freeing your time to make it even easier to stay active, engaged, and connected. 

Learn more about Vitality Living’s Vivid Life programs. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour. 

blog-family-decision-guide

 

Now that you’ve decided an active adult retirement living is right for you, how do you choose a community? Luckily there are plenty of options, but with each community having its own unique features and personality, you must consider carefully to find your fit. These tips can help as you compare active adult retirement communities.

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You Go First

Before you start comparing active adult retirement communities, think about what you want and need first. Once you’ve identified what’s most important, you can more quickly narrow your list of options. To prioritize, you might use categories such as:

  • Can’t Live Without – This could be a pet-friendly community, plenty of outdoor space, or having weekly housekeeping, for example.
  • Your Preferences – Maybe you’d like to stay in the same part of town if possible or be closer to shopping, dining and entertainment options. You might also prefer having a balcony or patio and a full-size kitchen versus a kitchenette.
  • Nice-to-Have Features – Not a necessity but all other things equal, a community that offers concierge services, a heated pool, private transportation, and weekly happy hours might sway you.

Comparing Active Adult Retirement Communities

After creating your own lists from above, ideally, you’ve narrowed your options to 2-3 active adult retirement communities to more closely compare. At this point, you want to compare them based on the same criteria so you can more easily identify where each community stands out (or lacks). To get you started, here are examples of questions to ask when touring:

  • What are my options for accommodations? Are there cost differences?
  • What are the monthly fees for the community? 
  • What’s included in the fee and what isn’t?
  • What are the deposits and entry fees? Are they refundable if I change my mind? Does the deposit get applied to the first month’s fee?
  • Is a parking spot(s) assigned?
  • Is transportation available?
  • How would you describe the personality/culture of the community?
  • What’s the age range of the residents? 
  • How many residents are currently living in the community?
  • What are some of the regularly scheduled activities in the community?
  • Do you regularly take outings? Can you give examples of typical outings and special trips?
  • Is there an option to have meals in a community dining room?
  • What amenities are in the community (like a pool, fitness room, dining options, walking trails, tennis courts, salon)?
  • Are pets allowed?

Also, ask to meet some of the staff you’ll be interacting with, like the activity director, maintenance director, and chef. Perhaps even more importantly, ask to talk with some of the residents about life in the community to get the best sense of what you can expect.

Certainly add in any other questions that are relevant to your needs and wants, too. Don’t worry about asking too many during the tour (or any time); this is your retirement we’re talking about! Our team members are always happy to help because we want you to be confident in your decision to move here. But if you do come across an active adult retirement community where the staff isn’t helpful, double-talks, or won’t answer specific questions consider that a red flag for sure! 

Check out our Active Adult Decision Guide to learn more. Or, contact us today to schedule your virtual tour!

 

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