As with so many things in life, timing is everything. Like knowing when the time is right to choose a retirement community: What’s the best age for a senior to make the move? Most independent senior living communities require residents to be at least 65 years old – and some people move in as soon as they hit their 65th birthday! Others choose to wait until they’re in their 70s or 80s – then wonder what took them so long. So if you’re thinking of looking into independent living options near you, how will you know what age is right for you to make your move? Let’s look at some of the signs you might be ready for independent living. First, though, here are some common terms you may come across when you start your search:
- Continuing Care Retirement Community, or CCRC for short, offers its residents independent living with numerous services and amenities plus higher levels of care right on-site so you don’t have to make another move as your health needs change. CCRCs are also referred to as Life Plan Communities.
- Independent living is what most people move to a CCRC for. It’s perfect for older adults who want to trade burdens for benefits. Residents have complete freedom and independence – because by choosing a CCRC, they’ve chosen to let go of today’s homeownership hassles and tomorrow’s future health care worries.
- Continuum of care is simply the phrase that explains the higher levels of care available at a senior living community so residents can seamlessly age in place.
- Monthly fee is one fee you pay each month to cover the cost of a wide array of services and amenities provided to you as a resident. It’s based on the size of your residence and the number of occupants.
Those are the “whats” of senior living. Now here are the “whys” – seven reasons why you might be at the perfect age right now to move to independent living at a retirement community: #1: You’re so tired of home maintenance.
We’re not talking about major repairs here – home maintenance is run-of-the-mill upkeep and general wear and tear your house goes through every year. Those are things like:
- Power-washing your deck, patio, driveway or siding
- Mowing your lawn, maintaining your landscaping and treating your grass
- Cleaning out your gutters and vents
- Fixing leaky faucets
- Repairing appliances
- Maintenance and filter replacement in your heating and air-conditioning unit
- Testing smoke alarms
- Unclogging drains
If you’re a current homeowner, you know this is just a partial list (you’ll find an exhaustive list
here). This doesn’t even touch the big-ticket items like replacing a roof or HVAC system, fixing a sinking foundation, replacing your home’s windows or mold remediation. All of these things are your responsibility as a homeowner, and they can drain a healthy savings account. They can also drain you physically and mentally. But when you move into an independent senior living residence at a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), none of these things are your concern. All maintenance is covered, inside and outside of your home. #2: You’d like someone to cook for you for a change.
What if someone else did all the grocery shopping, menu planning, meal preparation, table setting, serving and cleaning up? Sounds like a restaurant, doesn’t it? That’s the dining experience
for every meal at a CCRC. You’ll have restaurant-style dining with seasonal menus and ever-changing dishes, healthy food choices, a chef and culinary staff, on-site catering for special events and often other perks. If you still want to cook for yourself, your private independent living residence boasts a modern kitchen, often with stainless steel appliances and designer-selected finish options. Though you might find the dining experience at your CCRC to be so remarkable, you’ll only use your kitchen to refrigerate and heat up your delicious leftovers. #3: Home chores really are a chore.
You retired for a reason – and it’s doubtful those reasons included mowing the lawn, cleaning your house, washing your linens and scrubbing the toilets. You have more interesting things to do with your time. With your independent living residence, you enjoy an independent life
. Your time is genuinely your own because these services and many more are included in your monthly fee. You don’t even have to remember to pay your electric, water or cable bills – they’re also covered as part of your monthly fee. #4: You’re longing for more social connection.
You might be socially engaged now, but do you have opportunities to participate in discussion groups, educational courses, volunteering, lectures, fitness classes, clubs and excursions? Do you have a full and ever-changing calendar of activities and events
every month? And is all this available to you right outside your front door? At a CCRC, you’ll literally open the door of your independent living residence and find a community of friends, neighbors and possibilities. You don’t have to hop in your car and head to a fitness club, library, area community college or country club. A CCRC is a little like all that and more – just outside your door. #5: You like the sound of “peace of mind.”
If you’re healthy and active today, imagine living where you could be even healthier and more active. And, if your health does change in the future, you have access to the care you need, including assisted living and memory care, right where you live. Picture yourself going on a weeklong trip to see family and knowing that, when you return, everything will be just as safe as when you left it. And sleep even more soundly at night knowing you have 24/7 security for your residence and the community’s grounds. #6: Even though the pandemic has caused uncertainty, at a CCRC you know you can be certain – and safe.
The world has changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic; that’s certainly true for senior living communities as well. CCRCs in particular have proactively evolved to ensure the ongoing health and well-being of residents, incorporating stricter protocols almost overnight. And it’s a safe bet that communities will continue to maintain these standards even after the pandemic has passed. Residents have also discovered how much they have on-site – from wellness, social and educational opportunities and dining to salon and spa services, dry cleaning and room service – that going outside the community isn’t even a necessity. They have almost everything they need right where they are. #7: You don’t want to ask yourself why you waited so long.
Many Viamonte at Walnut Creek residents wonder why it took them so long to choose to move into a CCRC. You may already know you’d rather enjoy the best Viamonte has to offer you right now. So what are you waiting for? Call us at 925-621-6600, take a virtual tour
of our community or contact us
to arrange your personal visit.