Advantages of Aging in a Senior 55+ Community
Many boomers are moving into active senior 55+ communities. We see this trend here in Boise as well. 55+ homes are in demand and have been selling quickly. Below is the info on Boise area 55+ communities and current listings:
Seniors want to be around people who share common interests, goals, and challenges. That comfort in a community doesn’t wane with age – it actually deepens. Whether it’s proudly talking about grandchildren or lamenting the fact that our eyes aren’t as good as they used to be, it's nice to be surrounded by people who feel the same joys and concerns.
These are the reasons why so many boomers are deciding to move into an active adult 55+ community. Baby boomers are now reaching the age when moving to an active adult 55+ community is the right choice for them. Many boomers now want to downsize, experience a maintenance and worry-free lifestyle, and take advantage of more social opportunities. 55+ communities offer this kind of opportunity.
At the same time, there’s still a desire, however, among many seniors to “age-in-place.” According to the Senior Resource Guide, aging-in-place means: “…that you will be remaining in your own home for the later years of your life; not moving into a smaller home, assisted living, or a retirement community etcetera.”
The challenge is, many seniors live in suburban or rural areas, and that often necessitates driving significant distances to see friends or attend other social engagements. The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (JCHS) titled Housing America’s Older Adults report addressed these concerns: “The growing concentration of older households in outlying communities presents major challenges for residents and service providers alike. Single-family homes make up most of the housing stock in low-density areas, and residents typically need to be able to drive to do errands, see doctors, and socialize.”
The Kiplinger also analized the subject: “While most seniors say they want to age in place, a much smaller percentage of them actually manage to accomplish it, studies show. Transportation is often a problem; when you can no longer drive, you can’t get to medical appointments or to other outings.”
Driving may not be a challenge right now, but think about what it may be like to drive 10, 20, or 30 years down the road.
There are also health challenges brought on by a possible lack of socialization when living at home versus a community of seniors. Sarah J. Stevenson is an author who writes about seniors. In a recent blog post for A Place for Mom, she explains: “Social contacts tend to decrease as we age for reasons such as retirement, the death of friends and family, or lack of mobility.” The research from the same source suggests if you’re spending time with others in a community, thus reducing or eliminating the impact of loneliness and isolation, there’s less of a risk of developing high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, a weakened immune system, depression, anxiety, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease.
Though the familiarity of our current home may bring a feeling of warmth, comfort, and convenience, it’s important to understand that staying there may mean missing out on crucial socialization opportunities. Living with adult children, joining a retirement community, or moving to an assisted living facility can help us continue to be with people we enjoy every day.
“Aging-in-place” definitely has its advantages, but it could mean getting “stuck-in-place” too. There are many health benefits derived from socializing with a community of people that shares common interests. It’s important to take the need for human interaction into consideration when making a decision about where to spend the later years in life.