Marlene Johnson was just approaching her 72nd birthday. The kids were grown and her husband of 40 years had passed away several years before. She still lived in the family home – a 5 bedroom house with a large yard in Albuquerque, New Mexico. At Christmastime, she told her family that she needed to downsize. She no longer gardened as much as she used to, and the yard was becoming a big project she began to dread each spring. A retired journalist, Marlene still enjoyed writing and she envisioned a quiet place where she could continue pursing her dreams, and yet still be part of a community to give her inspiration and encouragement. And that’s when her family asked if she had ever had a tour of a senior community. Surprised, Marlene began exploring her options.
Many seniors find themselves in the same situation as Marlene. You may feel the need to downsize after the kids moved away to make life more manageable. Here are some aspects to consider when exploring the option of moving into a neighborhood and apartment designed just for seniors.
Size. We already talked about the need for a more manageable life. If you are in your retirement years and find yourself in need of just the perfect home size, you aren’t alone. Luxury senior apartments are developed with your needs in mind. Every situation is different and you may need that extra home office to pursue your hobbies or goals in life. Perhaps you enjoy having friends and family over and need an extra guest room. Within a retirement community, various apartment sizes can accommodate your specific situation and needs. And you won’t even need to part with your furniture and home décor. If you decide to tour a retirement community, ask for tools and options available to envision how your furniture could look and fit into the various homes available. Moving into the perfect sized home can save you a lot of time and energy in cleaning, care and upkeep of the place.
Right now, you may be able to walk upstairs to your bedroom without difficulty. Still, as life continues and you become less mobile, you may find yourself wishing that you didn’t have those stairs to climb, or that front door step to make it over. There may also be times in life when a wheelchair is required at times as you heal from various conditions. Or you or your spouse may need the use of other walking assistance devices down the line. Doorways, showers and hallways are specially designed with these situations in mind. Instead of stairs, you’ll find a floor plan that makes your life easier and more comfortable.
Perfect kitchens for your entertaining needs. Retirement and senior living communities often provide their residents with restaurants and coffee shops to create opportunities for socialization as well as help ease the task of daily cooking, grocery shopping and meal prep. But if you enjoy preparing a meal once in a while or baking those holiday cookies, you’ll find just the perfect sized kitchen. Reliable appliances, a spot for the coffee maker so you can enjoy your morning cup of Joe out on the patio, and even a spot for the kitchen table. You’ll be able to invite the grandkids over for lunch, or even host whole dinner parties!
Patios and balconies. Your retirement community will likely care for outdoor maintenance, creating a beautiful neighborhood for you to enjoy without the work. You won’t need to stress about spring and summer time pruning and keeping the yard in perfect condition. If gardening is still fun, choose a senior home with a patio or balcony where you can still grow your favorite flowers or enjoy a little herb garden. It’s the time to enjoy this season of life and have more time for the important things in life – like spending time with family and friends.
Location. Since your new home will be in a specially planned retirement community, you won’t have to worry about going far for just about anything. These communities can provide places to socialize and exercise. You may have a selection of restaurants and small stores or shops. Transportation may be provided if you need to do more major shopping in town if you prefer not to drive. Your neighbors will become your best friends and since you’ll likely find yourself in a neighborhood of likeminded people, your friends won’t be too far away either.
As you plan your retirement home, take a look at the options available to you and schedule a tour to find out if a senior community may bring you the comfort you deserve. Life Plan communities also offer the additional aspect of providing the care you need for a life time whether you are still active or in need of supportive care services. While assisted living or memory care may be needed eventually, you will be able to live as independently and fully as possible every step of the way. Plus, you’ll have your own senior luxury apartment to call home!