Benefits of Living in a 55+ Community
Feb 06, 2019
Many adults hope to continue living in their current home for a long time to come, but some are starting to realize the benefits that can be attained by making the move into a 55+ community. In fact, 55+ communities allow you to continue living independently in a home or apartment just as you currently do now, while also offering some added perks that should be considered.
What is a 55+ Community?
Before going any further, let’s look at some of the features that define a 55+ community, also referred to as an active adult community. Aside from the fact that they’re typically designed for a low-maintenance, retirement-friendly lifestyle and have age restrictions, these communities are like most other residential neighborhoods.
The community can be made up of single-family homes, as well as townhomes, condominiums and multi-family patio homes that are owned by the residents (as opposed to being a rental community), just like many other neighborhoods across the country. A 55+ community is typically located near amenities and attractions that active adults are sure to enjoy, such as restaurants, movie theaters, shopping, parks and many other attractions.
As the name says, the community has age restrictions; though the rules within different communities may vary. Some communities are very strict when it comes to age restrictions, others not as much. Some communities allow a couple to reside within the community if one of the two is aged 55 or older. Others require all individuals living in the community to meet the age requirement; and for some communities, the age restriction is much higher and only allows people who are 60, 62, 65 and so on to move in. Some allow younger family members to live in the community, such as grandchildren being raised by grandparents, while others do not.
In a 55+ community, the daily upkeep and interior maintenance of the home is the responsibility of the homeowner; however, the exteriors are typically low-maintenance to maintenance-free. Any exterior maintenance is generally provided and paid for through HOA (Home Owner’s Association) dues. This means that as a resident of a 55+ community, you have more time to enjoy your retirement without the burden of the upkeep of your home’s exterior.
Unlike many other senior living options, 55+ communities don’t provide any type of healthcare services or have on-site dining services. The HOA dues, however, often pay for more than just the upkeep of the exteriors of the homes in the community. HOA dues also help pay for such items as swimming pools, clubhouses, tennis courts, golf courses and many other communal amenities.
The one thing that all 55+ communities have in common is that the community places an emphasis on meeting the needs of active older adults. The homes are designed and built with senior-friendly features. The location is chosen to offer amenities that older adults will enjoy. Hospitals or medical offices are usually in close proximity. All these factors work together to provide the best retirement experience possible for the resident.
Benefits of Living in a 55+ Community
We’ve already alluded to several benefits that can be enjoyed in a 55+ community. Let’s look at these and many others as we list out the benefits of living in a 55+ community.
All 55+ communities plan various programs and events for their residents to enjoy and publish an activity calendar, so you’ll be able to choose what you’d like to participate in. Activities may include various social and hobby clubs, classes, events, trips to local museums and art centers, cooking classes and many other programs and social opportunities. The wide variety of activities planned makes it easy to try new things and to stay active year-round. Best of all, most of these opportunities take place within the community, making it easy to participate.
There are lots of social opportunities available in a 55+ community. As individuals age, they often become more isolated. Loneliness and isolation can lead to many physical and mental health problems and even increase your chances of dying prematurely. Loneliness and isolation can also lead to poor cognitive performance and increase your risk of developing dementia. Loneliness and isolation can cause depression and other depressive symptoms. Great social programs help residents become an instant part of the community and make it easy to form relationships with lots of people quickly. There are countless formal and informal activities to get involved in. Other than those already mentioned, you’re sure to enjoy lots of potluck dinners and dinner parties at the clubhouse.
All of these scheduled activities make it easier to make friends in a 55+ community because you’re surrounded by a community of your peers. This means you’re more likely to have had similar life experiences and, therefore, have much more in common.
Safety and Security
Safety is one of the reasons many individuals choose to move into a 55+ community. Safety is provided for in lots of different ways. Many of the 55+ communities are gated, limiting access to residents and their invited guests. Some have security guards who patrol the community and keep an eye on your home when you’re vacationing. Many features can be found throughout the community that have the safety of an older adult in mind. Features such as ramps with rails, security cameras in public areas and various other safety features make it easier and safer for older adults. Plus, people who live in 55+ communities tend to keep an eye out for each other and come knocking on the door when they haven’t seen you in a while to make sure you’re okay. All these things work together to make you feel much more safe and secure.
Additionally, most retirement communities have a crime rate that is lower than the national average, which means they can provide residents with a safe and secure place to live. In fact, because of all the safety and security measures retirement communities take, they may be some of the safest places to live in the United States, especially if they are also surrounded by a low crime rate area.
55+ communities are quieter. Although some adults do enjoy parties and music, they rarely throw late night parties with the bass turned all the way up. Most older adults are mature enough to realize they can have a good time while also respecting the rights of those around them. Additionally, other than when they’re visiting, there won’t be lots of crying babies and screaming kids to disrupt your peace and quiet.
Outdoor Home Maintenance
As already mentioned, when you live in a 55+ community, lawn care and exterior home maintenance needs are taken care of for you. This frees up lots of time for you to do the things you love. No more mowing the lawn or raking leaves. No more having to replace the water heater yourself. Many 55+ communities take care of the shared spaces and the landscaping. Many also have a maintenance staff to handle home maintenance issues, relieving you of the worry and stress of finding a reliable handyman to take care of your maintenance needs as they arise.
Homes are designed with aging adults in mind. It can be costly to make modifications to a home you purchased when you were younger to make aging in place possible. In a 55+ community, these modifications are already built-in. Things like wider doors and halls to accommodate wheelchairs, ramps, being single-story for easy access, having easy-access showers and having so many other features that address the physical needs, concerns and safety of older adults were designed and built into the home. Homes are also smaller which means they’re easier to keep clean.
Services and Amenities
As already mentioned, 55+ communities offer lots of great amenities. Amenities will vary between communities, but some you can expect to find include gated entries, resort-style swimming pools, fitness centers, community clubhouses, walking paths, community gardens and tennis courts. Some even have championship golf courses. 55+ communities are designed so that the active older adult has opportunities to exercise and socialize and has plenty to do to remain active while also occupying their time, all within the community. 55+ communities may have restaurants located within the communities themselves, as well as restaurants and shopping centers located conveniently close by, often within walking distance.
Try It Out for Yourself
Despite all the benefits of living in a 55+ community, some people still find themselves on the fence and can’t decide if it’s the right move for them. Some active older adult communities have found a solution to this problem – they offer programs that allow you to visit the community and “live” like a resident. You spend a few days living in the community in a fully furnished home and get an opportunity to experience the lifestyle of the community for yourself.
Active Adult Living in Oklahoma City
If you’re searching for luxury resort-style living that is comfortably priced, Grand Tapestry at Quail Springs will meet, and even exceed, your desires. In our 55+ community, you can pursue your passions, enjoy your hobbies and explore new adventures. At Grand Tapestry, you’ll live the good life. From our outdoor kitchen equipped with grills, a fire pit and water feature to the theater with reclining lounge chairs to our raised garden bed, we have a social environment you can’t help but love. Additionally, Grand Tapestry at Quail Springs is conveniently located near a variety of arts and cultural attractions, dining, shopping, recreational activities and entertainment options.