How the Retirement Community Industry is Changing

Today’s retirement living communities are a far cry from yesterday’s nursing homes. Find out what you can expect of a retirement community today.

How the retirement community industry is changing

The times, they are changing. Those words have never been truer than when it comes to a retirement community. Not long ago, “retirement home” was synonymous with “nursing home”. Today, there are many levels and types of designated senior living arrangements that fall under the umbrella of senior housing. But one thing is certain: retirement living communities are a far cry from nursing homes. Today there is so much more to expect from retirement living facilities, truly a far cry from yester-year’s nursing homes.

The first big difference is that retirement living communities also known as independent living communities are designed for seniors who are still fairly active. There are several types of independent living communities, ranging from regular apartment complexes that are simply age-restricted, to planned retirement living communities that cater to active older adults. Active adult communities enable prolonged independence through a combination of design and supportive services. Most planned communities feature a physical design that enables seniors to age in place with ease; things like low cupboards, high toilets and single-level living spaces. Most of the seniors who live in independent living communities are mobile and active. According to the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA), less than 10 percent of all residents use mobility aids such as walkers and wheelchairs. ASHA also estimates that about 10 percent of residents require personal care services. Not surprisingly, the majority of independent living residents are female, 70 percent according to a recent survey, which also found the women to have lower household incomes and net worth than men. The average age of independent living residents is 80 years old, with most residents moving in between the ages of 75 to 84.

Today’s independent living facilities feature so many different and mostly new ideas when it comes to amenities and services that are available to be provided. Meal plans and housekeeping aren’t the only services that are becoming regulars at the new retirement living communities. Keep in mind that not all communities offer all of these services but most tend to circle around these typical on-site services and amenities; community events such as cultural and recreational events part of daily activities plans like group exercises are a generally existing idea in most places. In recent years most independent living facilities have begun providing financial banking services to its residents. You may find transportation available to the residents just like in 5 star hotels, you will also find most places offering 24 hour security services, linen and laundry service, fitness facilities (which, depending on where you are might include, golf and/or tennis courts, and swimming pools). Some facilities have a library with computer and internet access provided to their residents, as well as beauty/nail salons, barber shops, and gardens with walking paths to provide a nice clean environment outdoors for the enjoyment of the residents. Also religious services are available in most facilities.

Today there are many recent trends in retirement living. It’s becoming more and more popular for younger seniors and married seniors to make a move to independent living, particularly those communities that promote a true community feel, one might say that this move is to provide themselves with ample time to create and maintain relationships with their neighbors as they grow older in these communities. A recent study found that nearly 30 percent of independent living residents are married. Another recent trend is the availability of retirement living communities whose operating philosophies are in line with residents’ personal values. There has been a surge in LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) and religiously affiliated communities over the past 10 years. While these communities don’t discriminate against resident applicants who don’t live by the same values, they do offer accepting and nurturing environments where like-minded seniors can form meaningful relationships and feel comfortable around their peers. Retirement living communities are a great option for adults who want to enjoy an active, full retirement.

The Terrace is a complete retirement community, a place where you can call home. Visit our site and see what amenities and activities we have to offer our citizens. View our spacious living spaces and contact us at (573) 355-9146 to see if The Terrace is right for you!

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