If you're getting older, you may wonder if moving to a retirement community is the right choice. While many seniors do well staying at home, others may experience better overall wellbeing by moving to a retirement community. If you aren't sure if a retirement community is right for you, keep reading.
How Old Are You?
The Fair Housing Act protects you from being discriminated against because of your race, gender, national origin, religion, disability, etc. However, age is not included. Therefore, retirement communities are legally allowed to (and usually do) set age restrictions. In fact, many do not allow anyone under the age of 55 to live within the community.
This is largely to ensure that everyone in the community is in the same stage of life and seeking the same lifestyle. Retired people who may have health issues or enjoy going to bed early don't want to live next door to young college students.
There are some exceptions. For example, while you may be 55 or older, your spouse may be younger. Some communities will allow spouses who are under the age of 55 but no younger than 40. Underage children are rarely allowed, but you may be allowed to have an 18-year-old child live with you in a retirement community.
Do You Feel Unsafe in Your Current Neighborhood?
If you feel unsafe in your current neighborhood and are over the age of 55, it may be time to consider a retirement community. There are many reasons people feel unsafe, such as living in a neighborhood with high crime rates. This can be exacerbated if you live alone or can't drive, forcing you to take public transportation alone.
Other retirees may feel unsafe because of their age or health conditions. A retirement community isn't a nursing home, but many retirement communities have features like an on-site nurse that quickly come to your home if you feel sick. Even if your retirement community doesn't have those features, many retirement communities foster friendship and socialization. Therefore, you have more people watching out for you.
Are You Lonely?
One of the greatest risks to older Americans is loneliness. Loneliness can wreak havoc on your mental health, leading to conditions like depression and cognitive decline. This can cause your overall health to drastically deteriorate. For this reason, if you live alone and get few visitors from family or friends, a community retirement could help your mental health.
Many retirement communities even offer events that foster socialization. In addition, it's important for you to socialize with people who are your same age because they will be more inclined to understand you and your experiences.
Getting older comes with many side effects, and many retirees find comfort in joining retirement communities where they are surrounded by familiar friends. If you would like to learn more, contact a retirement community in your area to see if you qualify.