If you have an elderly loved one, or are approaching your senior years and looking for an appropriate place to spend your golden years, then you need to look into retirement communities. Unlike the better known and slightly unpleasant sounding retirement home, a retirement community is a great option for people who want to carry their quality of life way into their twilight.
Not Just a Matter of Semantics
The difference between these two entities is not just semantic, but philosophical. A retirement home focuses on caring for older individuals who are assumed to be unable to care for themselves. A community is just what it implies, a place that provides security and safety, without restricting possible growth and experience.
A well planned community incorporates many different aspects of daily living, and takes into consideration specialized needs of certain populations. Baby boomers are now reaching their 60s and 70s, and this is a large chunk of the population. This demographic has been blessed by more awareness of health and fitness issues. Older people are no longer decrepit and sedentary. Today’s seniors are active and vital, and modern advances in medical care and gerontology are only making the outlook better.
A Wide Range for Diverse Characters
Like any substantial demographic, retirees are inhomogeneous and represent a wide array of individuals with different capabilities and needs. This is why there are different communities available, each one designed to meet the requirements of a different subset of the population.
Adult Active communities are focused around physical activities for residents. Sports activities such as golf, tennis, and swimming are encouraged, with ample specially designed facilities that emphasize safety. More adventurous pursuits can be pursued by proximity to mountain and hiking trails, or to a beach and marina. There are also programs which aim to help newbies learn the basics of new activities and to meet people interested in the same things.
Independent Living communities provide specially designed smaller housing units that are easy to maintain. This removes some of the pressures of having to keep a larger more complex household up and running. This type of arrangement is also suited to neighborly interaction, as you will find the people of your age in your vicinity for conversations and social interaction. This is a step up from facilities such as Adult Day Care or Senior Centers.
Tailored to Fit Specific Requirements
There are certain instances wherein, either by choice or by circumstance, an individual may not opt to live in complete independence in their later years. In these instances, there are also a number of options available. These assistance services may range from medical to mundane household services.
Assisted Living is perfect for individuals to want to keep their own households, but may be unable to perform all the necessary tasks. These communities have personnel available to assist you at anytime, while providing you the dignity and convenience of non-institutionalized care. For those who require a higher level of oversight, Home Care and Hospice Care communities can give appropriate medical inpatient or home-based nursing. Again the emphasis is on maintaining privacy and as much independence as can be provided.
Some retirement communities incorporate all three levels of care. There are termed Continuing Care communities, and these have staff and infrastructure in place. This allows them to increase the level of assistance depending on individual developing needs. You can start out as an independent living resident, but if your circumstances change, it is easy to shift to assisted living or more comprehensive care.