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Lifestyle vs. Care Needs: Choosing the Perfect Retirement Community

CEO Tinh Phung
Finding the ideal retirement community that perfectly fits your lifestyle and care needs is a crucial decision as you embark on the next chapter of your life. This article will guide you through the differences...

Finding the ideal retirement community that perfectly fits your lifestyle and care needs is a crucial decision as you embark on the next chapter of your life. This article will guide you through the differences between lifestyle and care-focused retirement communities, helping you make an effortless transition to a 55+ community.

Lifestyle Retirement Communities

Women during a yoga workout at a park in their 55+ community. Picture: Women during a yoga workout at a park in their 55+ community.

Firstly, let's explore lifestyle retirement communities. These vibrant communities revolve around specific hobbies or interests, providing a unique environment for active retirees. While they are often known as "active retirement communities," don't be intimidated if your idea of active involves a sip and paint night rather than rock climbing. Lifestyle communities offer various ways to relax, recreate, and simply enjoy life. Here are a few types to give you an idea of what life is like in a 55+ community.

Different Types of Lifestyle Retirement Communities

Have you ever dreamt of living in those picturesque retirement communities featured in real estate magazines? Many of these properties are lifestyle communities designed specifically for 55+ residents. These communities are also suitable for active retirees. However, it's important to note that lifestyle-focused retirement communities may have some limitations, such as a lack of convenient access to healthcare facilities and supportive or assisted care services.

Living in an active 55+ community might include:

  • Resort-style communities: Imagine living the vacation lifestyle every day. Resort retirement communities offer amenities, peace, and fun similar to your favorite holiday destinations. These communities are inspired by the best hospitality trends worldwide.

  • Recreation communities: These communities are incredibly popular among active adults. Think of retirement communities centered around golfing, tennis and pickleball courts, and equestrian activities. If you're looking for state-of-the-art sports facilities and outdoor activities, these retirement communities are worth exploring.

  • Social communities: Craving a vibrant events calendar? Social age-restricted communities are perfect for those seeking a network of like-minded neighbors. These communities often have a robust activities calendar, including dancing, book clubs, and various other ways to stay connected.

  • Nature communities: If you love hiking, biking, and spending time in outdoor spaces, scenic natural communities offer the perfect escape. Beaches and trails await residents who enjoy staying active.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities

55+ friends playing card games at a wooden table. Picture: 55+ friends playing card games at a wooden table.

Wellness is of utmost importance in care-based retirement communities. These communities provide onsite or nearby medical facilities, home health services, and concierge services such as housekeeping, meal preparation, and assistance with daily tasks and healthcare needs. Additionally, you'll find amazing spas and restorative wellness amenities like yoga and meditation in these communities.

Different Types of Care Communities

The type of care community that suits you best depends on your individual needs and the level of care you require. The most common types of care communities include:

  • Assisted living: Designed to support aging adults and disabled individuals, assisted living communities offer comprehensive healthcare, housekeeping, and meal preparation services.

  • Short-term assisted living: While less common, many 55+ communities provide short-term assisted living for residents who require additional medical support during recovery from an injury or illness.

  • Memory care: These facilities specifically cater to residents managing dementia and Alzheimer's, even in the early stages.

  • Supportive care communities: If you're not yet ready for full assistance with daily tasks, a supportive care community is an excellent option. These communities provide medical support and wellness services, while still allowing you to maintain a degree of independence. You may find variations of supportive care amenities within independent living communities.

Do Active Lifestyle Communities Exist for Those Needing Additional Support?

Are active lifestyle communities and care communities mutually exclusive? Our team of retirement real estate experts has found many prime communities that bridge the gap between active retirement and assisted living.

Transitional Communities

Inclusion and accessibility are top priorities in modern retirement communities. Newly constructed homes are designed with accessibility in mind, and amenities and recreational facilities promote wellness and inclusivity. For residents seeking additional support, transitional communities offer a retirement option that evolves alongside their needs. These communities allow residents to transition seamlessly to an assisted living arrangement while maintaining the familiarity and peace of the community they love.

The Best of Both Worlds

Enjoy the best of both worlds by combining active retirement options with 55+ communities that prioritize your care needs. Explore the right communities to achieve this goal. Ultimately, finding your perfect match comes down to knowing what to look for in a retirement community. Will you prioritize the best putting green or the proximity to restaurants and shopping? How about therapeutic spa services to relax and rejuvenate? Whether a lifestyle community or a care community suits you best depends on both your current and future needs.

55places Can Help You Find the Perfect Community

If you believe a 55+ community is the right choice for you, our team of expert realtors can assist you in finding the perfect neighborhood. Contact us today to explore your options.

Are you ready to start touring properties? Would you like to focus on a few key details before venturing out? Refining your retirement real estate search can streamline the process and help you understand what you truly desire. Learn more about the different types of retirement communities available with Your Guide to Exploring Different Types of Active Adult Communities.