Residents Share What It’s Like To Live in a Retirement Community

Ever wondered what it is really like to live in a retirement community? The following article shares experiences from older adults at a variety of ages who are currently living in a continuing care retirement community (CCRC). As Geriatric Care Managers, we work with people and families every day to help determine how and where they would like to live out their retirement years. An important consideration is, “how will I be cared for when the time comes that I am more frail?” Read on to learn more about what you might find should you choose a CCRC. Thanks for visiting us at Advocare, serving North Palm Beach and many surrounding South Florida areas including Jupiter, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Beach Island, Wellington and Manalapan.

What’s it really like to live in a retirement community?

On a recent warm and humid day, 10 residents sat down for Sunday brunch and divulged their experiences at Heron Point, a relatively small continuing care retirement community that houses 270 residents.

Like many continuing care retirement communities, or CCRCs, residents can remain here for the rest of their lives because the community provides a full range of assisted living and nursing care in addition to independent living units.

Throughout the country, there are roughly 1,700 to 1,800 CCRCs. While some are rather posh, the residents stressed it would be a mistake for Americans to think they cannot afford a comfortable CCRC. The secret to affording a nice retirement community, they say, was having the foresight to plan and recognize what they wanted out of life when they were still young and healthy enough to do something about it.

The residents we spoke with included four couples, a widow and a widower. Some were new to the community, and some had been there more than 10 years. They ranged in age from Carol Kerbel and Nancy Tinucci, both 72, to Jane Fox, who gave her age as 91 but later explained she had just celebrated her 92nd birthday less than two weeks earlier, so she really still thought of herself as 91.

Regardless of their ages, peace of mind for their children and loved ones was one of the main motivators for packing up their belongings and coming here.

The Decision to Move

Planning skills were evident in this group, and it was clear they had spent a lot of time thinking about their decision before moving to Heron Point. Visits to many communities are the rule, not the exception. Several emphasized it was important to be able to see themselves as much older, frailer seniors in the future and know their needs would be met at that site.

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