The Arbor Company Senior Living Blog

How Old Do You Have to Be for Senior Living?

Aug 7, 2017 11:00:00 AM / Mary Jacobs Mary Jacobs

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If you are talking about senior living options for yourself or an aging loved one, you may be wondering just how old do you have to be for senior living? After all, the term “old” means many different things to many different people, and the Boomers are showing younger generations that age is, indeed, only a number. You may be surprised to note that senior communities offer a lifestyle suitable for a wide variety of ages, from the mid-fifties and beyond.

Active Fifties

Independent living senior communities cater to adults who are searching for a lifestyle that is centered around new learning, new opportunities, new friendships, and less home maintenance or hassle. For most independent living communities, seniors as young as 55 can take advantage of living in a vibrant independent living community. There is no upper age limit, meaning that as long as you maintain an independent lifestyle, you can live in an independent living community for a long time.

Independent living communities are certainly not what most seniors think of when they recall their mother’s or father’s retirement home. In the hopes of meeting the high expectations of Boomers, most independent living communities feature amenities that range from free WiFi and on-campus college lectures to an indoor swimming pool and overnight trips. Residents can enjoy a variety of events and activities, as well as daily dining experiences that feature chef-created cuisine. Adults of all ages, including the mid-fifties set, will love what independent living has to offer.

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Aging in Place

As you or your loved one continues to grow older, complex or chronic medical conditions may begin to add up. Fortunately, most senior living communities are equipped to assist with tasks such as medication management, personal care tasks, or other services. Having services that can meet your needs as you grow older is called “aging in place.”

Aging in place in senior living communities is easier than at a more traditional home. The services and caregivers are already nearby or on site, and staff members already know your preferences. Some senior living communities also feature varying levels of care on their campuses, meaning that you can receive care, such as assisted living or even memory care, on the same campus.

Best of Both Worlds

The option of having additional care in your senior living community can mean more than just peace of mind as you grow older or acquire more complex needs. If you or your loved one is a part of a couple who has varying needs, living in a senior community that can provide safety and care to both members of the couple can mean that the couple can live together for longer. For example, if a husband is well suited for independent living but the wife requires more assistance, some senior communities can serve both the husband and wife while they live together in the same apartment.

If you are in your mid-fifties and are ready to give up some of the maintenance hassles of your large home, senior living could offer you just the lifestyle you are seeking. Likewise, if you are in your mid-seventies and looking for a vibrant community, you can find many options in the senior living market.

Senior living communities are offering services that are geared to a variety of ages and abilities; you may end up pleasantly surprised if you just consider taking a tour of a community near you. You may be surprised to know that senior living doesn’t cater to just those over the age of 80. In fact, most communities offer a lifestyle that any older adult would love, including those who don’t consider themselves “old” at all.

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Topics: Senior living, Lifestyle

Mary Jacobs

Mary Jacobs

Freelance writer Mary Jacobs lives in Plano, Texas, and covers health and fitness, spirituality, and issues relating to older adults. She writes regularly for The Dallas Morning News, The Senior Voice, Religion News Service, and other publications; her work has been honored by the Religion Communicators Council, the Associated Church Press, and the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Mary’s work is online at www.MaryJacobs.com.

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