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Is It Time to Consider Moving to a Retirement Community?

A local senior offers advice direct from his own experiences

Joseph T. Di Bene | Oct 1, 2016, 6:54 p.m.

The number of retirement communities in the United States continues to rise, with every type of community you can imagine. Most likely, there is just the right one for you.

Many seniors know very little about retirement communities unless they or someone they know is living in one. What little I knew was wrong or distorted, as I soon found out when I decided to make the move.

Aside from the many amenities the communities provide, they can be a refuge, a sanctuary, a place where you can find companionship and make new friends. As it turned out, it was just what I needed after losing my life partner and a near-fatal medical siege. I now enjoy new friends, a healthier lifestyle and a way of life I look forward to each day.

Everyone has their own special needs and aspirations. Some seniors have recently lost a life partner or a close family member. Others are tired of living alone. And still others are just tired of doing housework, cooking and yard work, or are bored with their life. Living in a retirement community can revitalize your life. It can open up a new world of interests and hobbies.

I found that there is so much going on, it was difficult choose what to do next. There are trips, games, card games, social events, crafts and hobbies I was familiar with and others I had always wanted to try. New friends are easily found in a retirement community where you come into contact with people every day.

Is a retirement home right for you? There are many reasons why a retirement community might be right for you, and why you might be right for a retirement community. Here are just a few:

• Did you lose a life partner?

• Are you living alone?

• Do you require assistance on occasion?

• Are you lonely?

• Is it difficult to make new friends?

• Would you like to be more active?

• Would you like to have more freedom?

• Do you like organized activities?

• Are you eating regularly?

If you are trying to decide if a retirement community is right for you, the next step could be checking out one or more to get a feel for what it’s like. Some offer a free stay overnight for you to get acquainted and provide you with the opportunity to talk to other seniors living there. Others offer guided tours and one-on-one discussions with management about their facilities, costs, support and the amenities they offer. They will almost always invite you for lunch or dinner to give you an opportunity to sample the food and perhaps chat with other residents.

If you can, have a relative or friend accompany you, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. A good source of information is from someone actually living in the community you are considering – they can be candid and informative, especially about the food!

There are many different retirement communities ranging from a little more than an apartment to full support with caregiving and many amenities, services and recreational activities.

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