Active Senior Living
Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.
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Intro To All Forms Of Senior Living
What Is Assisted Living?
How to Select A Nursing Home
Is Home Care Right For Me?
If you were born 100 years ago, your average life expectancy was about 51—not exactly what we consider the Golden Years.
Today's seniors can expect, on average, to live until they are 78, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Advancements in medicine, prevention and control of chronic diseases, and our overall knowledge of health have all contributed to this increase.
And not only are more people living longer, more people are more active in their senior years. Being an active senior gives you many options.
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
There is no place like home for many seniors. Your circle of friends, doctors, favorite restaurants, and routines are all there. With our ever-advancing technology, living at home longer is a reality for more seniors every year.
The alternative: Moving into a senior living community can be expensive and emotionally hard for some. Ultimately, you'll need to weigh the pros and cons of each. Talk to family members. Talk to friends who have experience living in a senior community.
Living at Home Longer
More seniors are able to stay in their homes now than ever, even if they require some occasional assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs). With outside assistance and technology, tasks that once required a special community can be performed in-home.
The CDC says in their latest report that:
- 38% of those 65 and older use an assistive technology device (ADT) like power chairs, prosthetic equipment, home modifications and even computers.
- 6% get some kind of personal assistance
- 22% use an ADT and get personal assistance.
Even with these aids, some seniors want the socialization and amenities that a senior living community provides.
Active Senior Living Communities
In Independent living communities, seniors are healthy, active and live on their own. Here are some of the characteristics of independent living communities:
- Single-family homes, townhouse, apartment, mobile home or RVs
- Buy and rent options
- Targeted to those over 55
- Amenities like lawn service, housekeeping, clubhouses, gyms, security, social activities, etc.
Age-Restricted Retirement Communities are "targeted" and "qualified" to those of a certain age, usually 55 and older. These communities also come in a variety of flavors—homes, condos, etc.—and provide their residents with age-focused amenities.
Age-targeted means the focus (amenities, home design, etc.) of the community is on seniors but anyone, regardless of age, can live there.
Age-restricted requires at 80% of residents to be 55 and older. At least one member of the household also has to be 55 or older.
Lifestyle Retirement Communities
Americans have more hobbies and lifestyles than any other country in the world. Some seniors prefer living with those who share their fondness for sport, love of the city, or sexual orientation.
Examples of specialized retirement communities:
- Golf-centered communities
- Faith-based communities
- RV parks
- Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender (GLBT)
- Luxury urban apartments
- Boating-focused communities
- Artist communities
- Manufactured homes communities
Activities for Active Seniors
Those 65 and older spend about 32% of their day engaged in leisure activities, says the Older Americans Report. Great, right? Dig a little deeper and you'll see that most of this time—nearly 4.5 hours a day—was spent watching TV.
There are alternatives to watching TV.
Volunteer. Choose from the hundreds of ways to give your time whether it's mentoring a child, planting trees, or helping the homeless. For ideas, check out AARP.org.
Lifetime Learning. Go back to school. You don't have to get a degree or a grade, just learn more about what interests you. Russian history, creative writing, photography, literature. Most colleges and universities have enrichment courses at reduced fees.
Get Going. Ride a bike, walk your neighborhood, hike a trail. You'll feel better physically, mentally and have more energy throughout the day. Check your local community center for senior classes on anything from Pilates to water aerobics to weight training.
Work. Find a job doing something that will fulfill a need or desire whether it's socializing with customers, working with your hands or simply earning a paycheck and feeling valuable. Check out your local Area Agency on Aging for work opportunities.
Search our Active Senior Living database for local communities near you.