Contributing Writer: Kathy Foster—–
Marketing Director at Deerfield Retirement Community

I often hear the phrase, “we are not ready, we’re doing fine and don’t need it right now”, when answering the question about whether they are considering a move to a senior living community. What does fine mean? Still sharp minded, active, driving and cooking, and even working? Communities have so much to offer besides support services or health care but waiting to move until you think you need to be there could leave you with less options. The house becoming too big and the stress of house and property maintenance, which may include the expense of paying someone else to maintain it because you are not climbing the ladder or mowing the yard anymore, are good reasons to consider yourself ready to make some type of a move.

Less get up and go, meaning getting in the car and going somewhere could signal readiness. It may be that you live a little farther from the hub of activities that you enjoy and the drive feels long which can result in less time spent socializing. We all know the benefits of social activity, spending time with others is a boost to our emotional health which certainly affects our physical health. Difficulty driving, increased forgetfulness, not eating properly – that kind of “not fine” could mean you’ve waited too long. So consider options early.

Community living comes in a variety of types. It’s important to research the different communities available as well as what will work for you and what you envision at this stage of your life. For many older adults downsizing some of the home ownership responsibilities is a great step as they are nearing retirement, for others the idea of a continuum of care is important and one move is more appealing than multiple moves as the need for more support becomes apparent.

Active Adult Communities offer single family homes as well as condos and apartments and are typically for people 55 and older. This type of community offers yard and landscape maintenance, and many include a fitness center, pool, and a clubhouse for events. If you are ready to hand over homeownership responsibilities so you have more time to do the things you love, this is a great option to right size your living space and downsize your to-do list. Many people choose this as a way to ease into those retirement years, understanding that a future move may be necessary for support and health care services. Retirement communities that include healthcare services are continuing care retirement communities (CCRC/Lifeplan community) offering life care with assisted living and skilled nursing services when needed. These types of communities can be rental or entrance fee based.

Western North Carolina offers an abundance of communities to consider, including rental, equity, and lifecare models. People come from all over the country to right size their lives in the mountains of western North Carolina. The climate, the activities, the culture, are all reasons that draw people to the area.

How do you envision your life in a community? Once you understand what the benefits are, you can better determine how ready you are – or when you will be ready – for the move. Whether you are already settled in North Carolina or you’ve decided this is your retirement destination, start researching your options early and consider moving because you want to enjoy all that a community offers, before you need what a community offers.


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