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What Is an “Active Adult” Community?

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A group of four adults are sitting on a curb after their morning jogging activity.

If a 55+ year-old-person is ready to slow down, smell the roses, and enjoy their retirement, what kind of options do they have in terms of joining an engaging, enriching community experience? They want control over their life, like the meals they eat and the activities they participate in, but they might not be ready to join a “senior living community” with traditional lifestyle options like independent living, assisted living, and memory care.

They can take care of themselves, but they’re also looking for a way to lighten the load of daily chores and tasks, like lawn care, home maintenance, or even driving around to places they need to go.

In this case, they might be looking for an “active adult community,” one of the latest trends sweeping our industry. This new lifestyle option offers older adults a new way to enjoy their golden years. Today we’ll look at what an active adult community is and how it can open potential opportunities for a new wave of residents.

If you’d like to see how the Distinctive Living team is tackling this new phenomenon, please feel free to contact us today. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and provide you with a detailed look into the quality of life we bring and the team behind the magic.

Who’s It For?

Active adult living communities are designed for those in their middle-to-late 50s who are independent but want to join a community of people with similar interests and experiences. These communities can also welcome older age groups so long as they don’t require the additional assistance you typically find in our independent living, assisted living, and memory care lifestyles.

Potential residents are looking for a “lock and leave” lifestyle so they don’t have to worry or stress about the safety and security of their home while they pursue their interests and enjoy their retirement.

In some cases, potential residents may even opt in for a “life plan” program that adjusts their lifestyle services as their needs change. They may begin their experience at an active adult community, but they’ll have access to supporting staff that can adjust their services as the resident progresses through the stages of life.

What’s Different?

Think of active adult living as a community approach to early retirement—almost like a step before an independent living community. While traditional lifestyle options are personalized to manage an array of activities of daily living (ADLs), active adult communities focus on enhancing residents’ lives through services and programs they can opt in or out of, depending on their preferences.

For example, if a resident wishes to spend most of their time abroad but doesn’t want to worry about their home while they travel, active adult communities have staff and maintenance workers that can take care of their living areas until they come back. No need to worry about the lawn overgrowing, the gutters overflowing, or forgetting to turn off all the lights before embarking on their grand adventure.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. 

Create Your Own Schedule

Active adult community residents choose how they enjoy every single day. 

Three adults in their golf attire are walking with their caddy golf bags and enjoying playing at the community golf course.

Unlike other lifestyle options that come with dedicated meal plans and scheduled events, active adult communities encourage residents to create their own daily schedules, including the meals they eat and the activities they take part in.

If they want to cook their own meals, go on extended vacations, or enjoy quality time with friends and neighbors, an active adult community may be a lifestyle they’re looking for.

Take Advantage of Enriching Programs & Activities

However, just because they have complete independence doesn’t mean there aren’t regular community activities to participate in. 

Depending on the particular community they join, they could have access to:

  • Swimming pools
  • Golf courses
  • Movie theaters
  • Game rooms
  • Fully-furnished lounge areas
  • Barber & hairdressers
  • Gyms
  • Full-service bars, pubs, & cocktail lounges

Live In Personalized & Optimized Living Spaces

As we journey through life, we often take stock of what we need and don’t need anymore. And depending on the type of life your potential resident wants to live, you can provide them with a personalized and optimized living space that suits their exact needs.

What Residents Look for

If your community is planning on opening an active adult lifestyle, it’s important to know what potential residents look for before they join. In many cases, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what makes a successful senior living community, but it’s also essential to understand that active adult residents might have different priorities than those in traditional lifestyles.

A Great Location

Location, location, location—it’s one of the most important features of any active adult community. Especially if your residents plan on spending their days out and about with family and friends, close proximity to community amenities is essential to living a convenient and comfortable lifestyle.

When they’re considering your location, potential residents may look at:

  • The nearest entertainment districts & social hubs.
  • How close friends & family are to your location.
  • How easy it is to get to the community.

Easy-to-Access Transportation

If your location looks good, the next item to keep in mind is transportation. While active adults may drive to their favorite hangouts, cafes, and restaurants, they may also want other options for getting around.

Depending on the community, you could also provide access to a parking garage where your residents can keep their vehicles.

Out-Of-This-World Amenities

Your amenities may be the deciding factor of whether a potential resident chooses your community or not. Not only do residents look for gyms, libraries, theaters, and social rooms, but they also want updated features in their own living areas. Take a look at the cooking appliances you have, like the oven or microwave, or even test the Wi-Fi quality in their rooms.

Imagine what their day might look like, and explore the community with their needs and wants in mind. And remember, never be afraid to improve the experience you’re providing.

Adapt Your Community for the Active Adult

As more people start to look for comfortable, convenient experiences as they near retirement, they’ll be considering active adult communities as a way to explore their lifelong passions without the worry of home maintenance, transportation, and other daily tasks and chores.Learn more about active adult living and speak to our team today.

Written by Lisa Rogers

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