Maintenance-free living and a strong social network are just some of the benefits.
It’s now longer the case that people of retirement age become trapped in the larger than needed home unsuitable for older living. It’s also an opportunity to downsize and release some equity to help pay for retirement or help out other family members.
There are, however, many other benefits associated with independent retirement living, ten of which we discuss here.
1. Maintenance-Free Living
This factor is often high on the priority list for many people. Many seniors neither have the time, energy, or desire to potter around the house fixing, painting, and updating everything that needs care and attention. Indeed, many retirees think at this stage of life that they selfishly want to enjoy every minute doing something pleasurable and not be tied down by a to-do list.
Gardening, while giving many a purpose, is another major time commitment, and mowing and weeding is a required chore that people don’t have the time or energy for.
Finding a retirement home that offers enough space to spread is a key requirement in many people’s search. Coming to terms with living in a smaller space requires a mental shift about how much stuff you really need. However, many people feel liberated by releasing themselves of things they don’t really want or need.
Downsizing is a considerable task. Wading through years of endless collections of treasures tucked away in the attic, spare room and garage is a monumental task. But rather than foisting this on the family, this is a good time to dispose of things that hadn’t been looked at in years leaving just the essentials to take on to the next home.
3. Vibrant Senior Living Community
Retirement communities are a great way to make new friends or have a sense of community. Many developments include communal spaces for meeting, pool, gym and gardens as well as scheduled activities that increases a sense of community.
It can be difficult transitioning to a senior living community, but when there is an opportunity to forge new friendships, it can make for a smoother transition.
Seasonal parties, outings, game nights and other social gatherings are important to living an active lifestyle. Making new friends and learning new skills are key to improving your physical and cognitive health.
4. Brand New Construction
The beauty about retirement properties is that, in most cases, they’re brand new and therefore free of cracks, creaks and faults. What’s more, they’ve been specifically design with older living in mind so people can remain independent for as long as possible.
It’s important to feel young and happy during retirement; you’ve earned it.
5. Social Activities
Many studies have shown that frequent social contact can protect the brain, either by helping to build a cognitive reserve, or by reducing stress and promoting more healthful behaviours.
Many retirement communities offer events, group trips, parties, spontaneous gatherings, and simply chatting with neighbours while out for a stroll around the grounds.
6. Active Adults
Seniors still need to stay active and fit; it is important for their health. FamilyDoctor.org lists six reasons to exercise as we age.
- It improves strength.
- It improves balance.
- It gives you more energy.
- It prevents or delays diseases.
- It can improve mood and fight off depression.
- It may improve cognitive function.
Enjoying the company of other residents in your community while being active needs to be part of daily living.
Many retirees worry about personal safety. As we age, we are more vulnerable to falls or other medical emergencies. When you are part of a tight-knit community, there are friends and neighbours looking out for your well-being.
Also, the compact community housing layout, particularly in flats, imparts a feeling of security. With an active retirement community, there are people out and about during the day, and close by at night. Living in a bonded community adds a feeling of being safe in your own home.
And if you go on holiday, you can just lock up and leave, knowing that your home is secure under the watchful eyes of friends and staff.
8. Expanded Social Circle
When you are a young professional, your social network revolves around work collegaues. If you have children, you bond with their friend’s families. As we age, our social circles can shrink as we move and lose touch. Neighbourhoods shift and change, our lives get busy, and soon we find we have a handful of close friendships and a large pool of acquaintances.
The benefits of moving to a retirement community that has communal facilities and social gatherings, is that there is an opportunity to forge new relationships. Everyone is in the same stage of their life and quickly absorbs new friendships.
9. Living Singly, Independently
At some point during later life, half of couples will experience living as single. Removing the burden of private home maintenance will take a huge weight off your shoulders.
Additionally, many want their living situation to be filled with friends and neighbours they can count on, thereby reducing the burden of parental care on the family. Living independently, and in your own space for as long as possible, is an important part of many people’s retirement plan.
10. Peace of Mind
Retirement community living offers the peace of mind that you can live in your own home for as long as you can live independently.