It's difficult to leave a home you've grown to love, but moving to a retirement community benefits retirees who are ready for a smaller residence with new, advanced features and less maintenance. Here are five key things to look for when you're considering relocating to a retirement community.
Most retirement communities offer a variety of layouts geared toward retirees. Single-story layouts offer the convenience of having your entire living space on one floor. If you are thinking about moving to a retirement community located in a high-rise, ask if the building provides escalators or elevators for easier access. Also, look for space in the bathroom to install assistance items such as wall bars, in the event you decide they may be useful at some point in the future. If you prefer a two-story house with an attic loft or basement, some retirement communities do offer this floor plan, and many have the option to include a first-floor owners' suite.
If you want to drive less, a retirement community in a downtown setting may appeal to you. Tour city neighborhoods and take note of shops and restaurants within walking distance. If you desire a more relaxed location, check out communities near parks with walking trails or tennis courts, which provide opportunities for outdoor exercise. Many retirement communities provide shuttles to transport residents who prefer not to drive.
Many communities geared toward retirees offer extra amenities you won't receive living in a single home. When researching retirement communities, inquire about on-site amenities such as a gym, swimming pool or fitness classes. If you're tired of cooking and cleaning, ask about meal preparation or housekeeping services.
To maintain your active social life, look for communities with active in-house organizations. If social clubs and group outings are important to you, ask whether the retirement community employs full-time activities directors or other administrative staff. Inquire as to the costs of social activities, and don't forget to look into free options nearby, such as those offered at local senior centers or libraries.
For enhanced safety, many retirement communities are gated with increased security systems and 24-hour guard staffing. For retirees living apart from family, this adds to everyone's peace of mind. Retirement communities may also offer on-site medical and therapeutic services for increased convenience, should you need assistance.
When thinking about moving to a retirement community, don't forget to ask about pet restrictions. You may also want to inquire about general home maintenance items included in your community fees, such as external building maintenance and upkeep of common areas. Relocating in retirement may seem like a big step, but a change in atmosphere along with newer, greater amenities are just a few of the many reasons retirement communities are a popular choice in Atlanta.