Many Baby Boomers and even Gen-Xers joke that they’ll leave their forever home “feet first.” But even if your current home is on a single level and otherwise well-equipped to help you handle the changes of aging, owning it may prove more of a hindrance than a help in another couple of decades. From cleaning gutters to shoveling sidewalks, you may find yourself too busy with maintenance around the house to truly enjoy the leisurely lifestyle retirement promised.
On the other hand, moving to a senior living community can often provide you with a well-deserved fresh start in retirement, free from responsibilities and within easy walking distance of just about everything you need. Read on to learn more about how living in a senior community provides residents with more freedom in every aspect of their lives.
Even if your house was brand-new when you moved in, you can reasonably expect to make some costly repairs and replacements over the next decade or two of ownership. The average roof requires replacement every 12 to 20 years, while a new central air conditioner unit or furnace may last as few as 10 years before it gives out. And not being able to predict exactly when these sudden expenses will hit can leave you scrambling for payment options, especially after you’ve retired and don’t have the same monthly cash flow you once did.
Moving to a retirement community can provide you with permanent freedom from home maintenance and repair tasks, as well as save you money in other areas of your life. Because any household maintenance costs are bundled into the overall cost of your unit, you’ll never need to pick up a snow shovel or drain snake again—unless you want to.
Making this transition from your own home to a retirement community can also ease any future burden on your family members. Downsizing from your home to a smaller apartment or townhouse can give you the valuable opportunity to cull through all your possessions and keep only what’s most important to you.
Handing out heirlooms to various family members and pitching or donating things you no longer need can be a great step toward a complete household decluttering. Leaving these issues (and possessions) for your surviving family members to sort out can be a burden and may result in otherwise-priceless items being pitched by sorters who don’t know their value.
Even for adults who are in top mental and physical shape, living along can pose certain physical risks. If you fall or faint and aren’t able to reach a telephone to call for help, it can be hours—or sometimes even days—before you’re discovered. And those who are silently suffering from hearing loss, tooth decay, a declining sense of smell, or other health problems may be having trouble maintaining good nutrition and self-care habits.
Strength training and cardiovascular-heavy workouts also gain greater importance later in life. Lifting weights regularly can be one of the most effective ways for both women and men to battle osteoporosis, while getting your blood pumping through an aerobic workout may reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke. With access to an on-site gym, complete with heated pool and exercise classes, you’ll never again have an excuse for skipping a workout.
And additional access to health-related perks like an on-site primary care practice and 24/7 emergency care can be a boon for seniors who are looking to simplify their lives. Whether you never see a doctor outside your annual checkup or you require regular exams to monitor an ongoing condition, there are a number of physical benefits that come from living in a retirement community that ranks health care as a priority for its residents.
Social disconnection is a real risk for many seniors. Leaving the workforce, suffering the death of a spouse, or watching your children grow up and fly the nest can leave you feeling adrift and without a strong sense of purpose. You may have spent the last few decades so focused on caring for others that you forgot to nurture your own friendships, only to find that retirement is far more isolating than you expected.
Some studies have shown that older adults are biologically at a higher risk of depression than younger adults. In addition, many chronic conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol—which become far more common with age—can also trigger depressive episodes. The physiological relationship between depression and other common health problems can send you into a downward spiral that makes it tough to seek help.
Although living in a group setting alone isn’t an antidote for chemical depression, the built-in sense of community provided by senior living can help you make new interpersonal connections on a near-daily basis. Challenging your brain and going beyond your comfort level socially will invigorate you and, over time, reduce your risk of depression, dementia, and chronic anxiety.
For those looking for a way to keep busy, senior living communities also offer a wide range of activities to fit all interests. Whether you’re a fan of shuffleboard or feel that Sunday brunch is more your speed, you’re sure to find some like-minded friends in your new neighborhood. Others find that retirement is the perfect time to explore new hobbies, and will take advantage of on-site classes and training sessions to get a taste of something new.
If you’re wondering whether the move to a senior living community is right for you, you’re not alone. Every year, tens of thousands of Americans sell their homes and relocate to one of these communities. But this is a big decision, and taking the first step can be tough. Fortunately, by doing some further reading and research, you’ll quickly learn that living your best life in retirement can often mean living in a retirement community.
Life at Cambridge Village of Apex, North Carolina, goes beyond retirement living. By focusing on improving every aspect of our residents’ lives, we create Optimal Living. We aim to make every resident feel welcomed, provide them with opportunities to build friendships, and help them find a niche where they belong. Experience the new retirement at Cambridge Village of Apex, North Carolina. Contact us to schedule a tour of our senior living community or give us a call today (919) 363-2080.