Elder care comes in many forms. Sometimes it’s about tending to a loved one’s basic needs, such as cooking or cleaning. Healthy seniors might not need much material support. Instead, for this group, elder care is about supporting a loved one to remain as independent as possible for as long as possible. The right active senior living community in Georgia can help you or your loved one lead an active and engaged retirement in a supportive setting, at a price you can afford.
Here’s why you should consider active senior living in Georgia — and how to make the move.
What Is Active Aging?
What does aging mean to you? Drop by your local elementary school on “dress like a senior” day, and you’ll see that stereotypes about seniors are still pervasive. Although it’s true that some seniors want to retire to a rocking chair, a television, and some knitting, aging isn’t what it used to be. Today’s seniors live longer and more active lives than ever before.
Baby Boomers have led the charge on social movements for the past six decades. And now they’re pushing back on stereotypes about aging and demanding better retirements, better treatment, and an end to ageist stereotypes.
Active senior living communities are the direct result of this push. Far from the nursing homes and retirement communities of generations past, these communities function as active, engaged neighborhoods full of activities and imbued with a rich love of life.
Here’s what you can expect from active senior living communities:
- Community involvement. These communities do more than just offer a fun place to retire; they encourage you to invest in your local community. Many sponsor community events or offer regular volunteer opportunities.
- Support groups and clubs. Senior living communities are close-knit communities full of like-minded people. Support groups and clubs are the inevitable result. You’ll find book clubs, men’s and women’s support groups, knitting circles, organizations for travel devotees, and more. Can’t find the right group for you? The right community will help you start one.
- Plenty of activities. These communities are designed for seniors who want to spend their days having fun and learning new skills. You’ll have access to regular classes, as well as special workshops.
- Special events. Everyone needs something to look forward to. Active senior living communities plan a wide range of social events, including dances, live music, and milestone celebrations.
- Community outings. If you’re going to retire in Georgia, you deserve to enjoy all Georgia has to offer. Yet travel, planning, and other logistical concerns can grow more difficult as you get older, especially if you no longer drive. Active senior living communities make it easier to enjoy all that Georgia has to offer with plenty of community outings.
Many seniors are reluctant to move to senior living communities. They worry about living among a “bunch of old people” or being put “in a home.” Those fears are unfounded. Most seniors are actually happier and healthier in retirement communities. It’s easier to stay connected to others, to attend fun events, and to master new skills when you can do it all under one roof — and one price tag. So keep an open mind, and check out your local active senior living community.
Reasons to Consider Retiring in Georgia
Georgia is rapidly becoming the senior capital of the United States. Atlanta was recently named the nation’s most rapidly aging city. So why do seniors love the peach state so much? It has a lot to offer.
1. A Great Climate
Georgia is a temperate state with mild winters, warm springs, and hot summers. Dedicated gardeners will relish the long growing season. The southernmost region is warm most of the year, with lush beaches and plenty of sun. The northern mountains are cooler and drier, with beautiful seasonal changes. Many areas of the state go years without snow. Even in cooler regions, it only snows once or twice a year.
2. Geographic Diversity
No matter what sort of natural setting you love, you’ll find it in Georgia. Enjoy beaches and marshes to the southeast and warm inland regions to the southwest. In the middle of the state, you’ll be surrounded by lush forests in warm weather. Travel north for rocky mountains and cooler winters.
3. An Active Cultural Life
Georgia has a rich cultural history. Savannah is the state’s historic hub, featuring Civil War-era architecture, lots of history museums, and a tribute to Georgia’s rich past. Atlanta is the heart of the state’s civil rights history and the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr. Pay tribute to Dr. King’s legacy at the Center for Civil and Human Rights. In the rural north, farm life and outdoor living dominate, with plenty of farmers’ markets and outdoor activities. Check out Helen’s Alpine Village for amazing shopping and river tubing.
4. Plenty of Great Places to Live
Atlanta gets the most attention of any city in the state. After all, it’s home to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Opera, High Museum of Art, and dozens of other cultural activities. But there are lots of great places to live in Georgia. Savannah is next to the beach, with lots of museums and shopping and the Savannah College of Art and Design. For beach living with a small-town feel, check out Tybee Island. Nature lovers will relish Cumberland Island, which still has wild horses running free. Macon, in the middle of the state, is a smaller version of Atlanta, with less traffic but lots of city conveniences. If rural living is your thing, check out Rome or Cleveland, where little shops, excellent restaurants, and farm stands abound.
5. A Friendly Tax Environment
When you’re retired and living on a fixed income, you must stretch every dollar as far as it will go. A little tax savings can go a long way. Georgia is one of the most tax-friendly states for seniors in the country. There is no state inheritance or estate tax. You can deduct $65,000 per person of retirement income, and Social Security income is not taxed at all. Sales taxes and property taxes are reasonable, and some cities offer special senior tax breaks, particularly on property taxes.
What to Look for in Active Senior Living Communities
The right senior living community is one that can meet your needs and exceed your expectations. Begin your search by reading online reviews and message boards. Once you have a clear understanding of various community offerings, it’s time to tour each community.
Some questions to ask yourself as you consider each community include:
- What does my ideal retirement look like? Which amenities are most important to me?
- Where do I want to live? Which region will give me the best access to cultural events and make it easiest to stay in touch with my family?
- What sort of weather do I like?
- Will I need additional support? Can this community offer a continuum of care if I ever need assisted living or memory care?
- How do I feel in each community? Can I imagine making this place home?
- What is my budget? How much money will I have if I sell my home?
- What does my ideal home look like?
- What sort of food is most important to me? Do I have special dietary needs that a community will need to accommodate?
- Do I know anyone who already lives in a retirement community?
There is no right community for everyone. The community your cousin loves might be too quiet, too loud, or just too different from what you want. So don’t take anyone else’s word for it, and don’t move into a community just because someone else loves it.
Making the Move
Armed with your list of potential communities, it’s time to begin touring options. Consider taking a loved one with you because they may see things you don’t notice or think of questions you don’t consider. The people who love you know you best, and can offer helpful feedback on what they think will be most important to you as you make this important transition.
Spend some time thinking about how you felt in each community. Can you imagine making this your home? Did you like the residents? What about the staff? Did you feel welcome? Could you get excited about community events?
Arbor has served active seniors for 30 years, and we’ll be around for the next 30 years, too. No matter what you’re into, no matter what you need, we can help you make this the retirement you deserve. Give us a call to learn more or schedule a tour of one of our Georgia communities. Or just drop by for one of our many community events. We’d love to meet you so we can show you all that we have to offer!