December 1, 2023

Active senior living is a great option for seniors who are aging independently. These communities are often apartment complexes or condominiums, providing many amenities and housekeeping services for a monthly fee.

Before choosing an active retirement community, you should decide what amenities are important. You should also pay attention to whether or not onsite care services are offered.

Socialization

Having social support helps seniors to feel connected and engaged with their communities. Participating in community groups, volunteering or simply spending time with family can satisfy social needs. Active senior living may be in a condominium or apartment building in an age-restricted neighborhood. In this scenario, residents share their living space with other seniors and have access to onsite social activities. When choosing a location for active senior living, it is essential to consider proximity to family, friends, healthcare providers and other services. Consider whether the community allows pets. Additionally, it is important to determine if the community has low or no-maintenance exteriors, as this can be an appealing feature for many. Other amenities to consider include onsite fitness classes and meals.

Physical Activity

Regular muscle-strengthening, balance and aerobic exercises can help seniors maintain their independence. Stretching exercises can prevent soreness and improve flexibility, while balance-boosting activities like yoga, tai chi and swimming promote healthy movement and reduce the risk of falls. Many active adult communities like Westminster Palms feature exercise facilities and clubhouses designed to be senior-supportive. Pools may have lifts or zero-depth entry, and fitness classes often focus on low-impact movements and balance exercises. In addition to providing opportunities for exercise, senior living can encourage a healthier diet. By serving nutritious meals and providing access to grocery stores, senior living can make it easy for seniors to choose better-for-you foods. That can help prevent the weight gain that may lead to a sedentary lifestyle, contributing to joint pain and reduced mobility.

Health Care

Unlike independent living, active senior communities typically do not offer medical care services. However, they often partner with home health aides to provide residents with the help they need in an emergency.

Some of these communities offer housekeeping, laundry, gardening, yard maintenance, and other convenience services to assist with household chores. Some also include transportation options like train and bus services, rideshare apps, reduced-fare taxis and senior shuttles. For seniors in reasonably good health and who don’t need additional support with daily activities, active retirement living may be an excellent option for them to consider. Touring a vibrant retirement community is a good idea to understand better what to expect.

Transportation

If you’re considering an active senior living option, check out the community before committing. You want to know if it’s in proximity to family and friends, shopping, nearby healthcare facilities and large metropolitan areas.

You also want to ensure the community offers transportation services for residents visiting local restaurants, hospitals and doctors’ offices. If the community doesn’t provide these services, it should at least be located near transportation services that do. If you plan on living in a residential retirement community, look for ones that offer amenities specifically designed for seniors, such as pools, gyms, golf and tennis courts, walking trails and more. Many amenities are outfitted to be senior-friendly and feature accessibility features, like grab bars and lifts.

Meal Preparation

Eating well is one of the most important aspects of maintaining health, but it can become challenging as people age. Seniors can face several issues that make it difficult to cook nutritious meals, including loss of appetite or difficulty chewing due to chronic conditions or side effects from medications. A meal prep program provides a great solution to these problems. Caregivers can prepare several days’ worth of healthy meals ahead of time and store them in sealed containers so that seniors can eat a variety of different foods throughout the week. Caregivers can also work with residents to find foods that meet their dietary needs, including softer, consistent foods and simple eating methods like spoons. This helps de-escalate eating interventions and maintains eating performance.

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