Retirement communities are retirement housing structured on a community principle, usually containing multiple residences, facilities and amenities within one such community. They reflect a relatively new concept in senior living and care, and contrast greatly with the retirement homes of the past, which were single structure units with few amenities that offered little opportunity for socialization.
The most prominent retirement communities these days are for seniors who are still enjoying a certain level of autonomy and who have limited health issues. You will sometimes hear them referred to as senior independent living communities. This type of retirement housing allows active seniors to enjoy a quieter quality of life while still having a wide range of amenities within reach.
Retirement Community Amenities
These retirement villages— as such retirement communities are sometimes called— vary widely in their offered amenities. Amenities can include indoor and outdoor swimming pools, full-service gyms, craft rooms, demonstration kitchens and even shops that offer specialized products for active seniors. Since the ethos of this type of retirement housing is based on encouraging activity and socialization in seniors’ lives, most amenities usually center on community and engagement.
Retirement Community Options
Given the variety of retirement housing options, it is useful to consider the following parameters when looking at senior retirement communities for yourself or for a loved one:
- Active Retirement Communities – A retirement village or community that falls under this label will consist entirely of residential units and will not offer long-term healthcare. It is under this classification that one would usually find retirement housing referred to as “age-restricted communities” or “active adult communities”.
- Active/Supportive Retirement Communities – Senior retirement communities that are promoted as Active/Supportive offer a mix of residences along with healthcare facilities. They are a transitional living situation often for seniors who still have or wish to retain a modicum of independence and activity.
- Supportive Retirement Communities – Supportive communities are comprised entirely of long-term healthcare units. Facilities that fall under this category are what are usually called nursing homes or assisted living facilities.