There are plenty of perks of living in 55 plus communities. A low-maintenance lifestyle, plenty of daily activities, lots of social events, a quiet and safe neighborhood—what’s not to love?
And a growing proportion of the aging population is starting to see the benefits of moving in, too.
In fact, a study from Grand View Research estimates that the 55+ community industry is set to grow by 34% by 2027. The takeaway here? More people are moving into these communities.
But with so many options available, it can be hard to settle on the one that’s right for you. And if you don’t know what to look for, you may end up disappointed with your decision.
This guide covers the seven most important amenities your 55 plus community should have. With it, you’ll be able to find your perfect community while weeding out the duds.
Table of Contents
- A Vibrant Social Community
- Low-Maintenance Living
- Nearby Events, Shops, & Culture
- Plenty of Exercise Opportunities
- Support Services (If Needed)
- Lots of Leisure Activities
- Security & Safety
- Frequently Asked Questions
1. A Vibrant Social Community
One of the main reasons seniors move into 55 plus communities is the social aspect. When you’re surrounded by people in the same stage of life with similar interests and values, it’s easier to create new friendships that may last for years.
Added to that, these communities typically host plenty of social activities. Volunteer groups, dinners, game nights, holiday celebrations, and group outings are daily occurrences during life in a senior living community.
And those opportunities help keep residents socially active and engaged.
2. Low-Maintenance Living
Another benefit to joining 55 plus communities is that they typically offer services that make your day-to-day living significantly easier.
For the most part, facilities will take care of at least some form of your exterior home maintenance. This may include:
- Shoveling snow
- Spreading mulch
- Mowing your lawn
- Weeding the yard
- Edging walkways
But some facilities will also offer indoor maintenance as well. That could include repairing your appliances, carrying out routine maintenance, and even regular cleaning.
For you, that means less time doing chores and more time enjoying yourself.
3. Nearby Events, Shops, & Culture
While many 55+ communities will offer some services, they aren’t meant to be an entire world unto themselves.
And no matter how great the community, it’s always best to find one located near a vibrant town or city.
That way, you can attend cultural events, browse through museums, and have fine dining when you want without having to live in all the hustle and bustle.
It truly offers the best of both worlds.
Some facilities will even provide regular trips or on-call transportation for residents.
4. Plenty of Exercise Opportunities
It can be tough transitioning into independent senior living. But many seniors find staying active (or even becoming more active) is a helpful way to ease that transition. Whether you’re making new friends on the golf course or running into neighbors on an afternoon walk, exercise keeps you healthy physically and socially.
You’ll want to find a facility that either offers plenty of exercise opportunities on-campus or is nearby an area where you can exercise regularly.
You’ll also want to take a look at the community’s event schedule. Maybe they offer aquatic exercise classes at the pool every Thursday. Or perhaps a walking club that meets every evening.
5. Support Services (If Needed)
A 55+ community is not a retirement home. Staff are mostly there to maintain the neighborhood and serve the residents, not make sure they’re eating and taking their medicine. It’s more independent senior living than 24/7 care.
That being said, health concerns do tend to rear their ugly head as we enter retirement age. And older populations become more at risk of health problems as they age.
Thankfully, some of the best 55 plus communities will have trained professionals there to help you in times of need.
For instance, a community may offer:
- 24-hour emergency service
- Physical and occupational services
- On-site home health and private duty services
With the help of these services, you can continue to live an independent lifestyle while still getting the care you need.
6. Lots of Leisure Activities
Don’t forget about the fun factor of retirement. You’ve worked hard for years.
And now that you’ve reached retirement (or close to it), it’s time to really start enjoying each and every day.
Be on the lookout for communities that offer plenty of leisure activities for residents.
- Happy hour
- Dining out
- Book clubs
- Movie night
- Bird watching
- Game clubs
- Card game night
- Coffee groups
- Bible study
- Educational classes
The best 55 plus communities will pack their event calendar full of a wide variety of fun things for residents to do.
7. Security & Safety
If you’re sitting down to talk to your children about a senior living community, one of the biggest concerns they may bring up is whether you are going to be safe. And piggybacking off the last point, a 55+ community may offer certain services to keep you happy and healthy.
But some communities also provide a more secure environment too.
For instance, some communities are gated, and only confirmed residents and guests are allowed to enter. Other apartment-based facilities may lock the doors after a certain time of night to keep out unwanted visitors.
In the end, the best 55 plus communities will have protocols and measures to keep residents safe and secure.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about 55 plus communities and their amenities.
What Does a 55 Plus Community Mean?
A 55 plus community is a community designed specifically for older adults. It’s often age-restricted, meaning only those over 55 can reside there. Some communities may allow residents under 55 to reside with older family members, however.
These communities typically offer a variety of amenities for residents. Exercise facilities, libraries, pools, media rooms, community halls, meal services, and low-maintenance living are some of the most common.
A 55 plus community may also feature on-site health services.
What Do You Look for in a 55+ Community?
Your perfect 55+ community will depend on your specific needs. However, there are a few things specifically you should look for when exploring your options.
- Location – Is it near friends and family? Is the surrounding community full of activities you love?
- Affordability – Is the community within your budget? There’s no use in moving in if you can’t afford to live there for years to come.
- Community – Are there plenty of learning opportunities, volunteer groups, community celebrations, and other social events to keep you engaged with neighbors?
- Housing Options – What types of properties do they offer? Do you prefer a house, condo, or apartment?
- Services – Does the community offer services like medical support, meal plans, and transportation?
- Security – Is the community safe? Is it gated?
What Are the Advantages of Living in a 55 Plus Community?
For many, there are three main advantages of moving into a 55+ community.
- Cut Back on Maintenance – 55+ communities will typically provide services that cut down on your daily maintenance. Lawn services, home repairs, property upkeep, regular cleaning, and even meal services may all be included in your monthly dues. And for older adults, this lets them focus less on daily hassles and more on getting the most from life.
- Live in a Social Community – Staying social is especially important as you age. Isolation in later years has serious and damaging impacts on health, both mental and physical. A 55+ community lets residents feel more connected to neighbors through planned social events and being surrounded by individuals in a similar life phase.
- Gain Access to Amenities – Community fitness facilities, activity areas, walking paths, gardens, media rooms, community halls, and access to golf courses are just a few amenities you may find in 55 plus communities.
Are 55+ Communities Worth It?
That depends on the individual.
For many, the amenities included in 55+ communities outweigh the cons. Low-maintenance living, tight-knit communities, and access to a range of facilities all make living in these communities a pleasant, fulfilling experience.
However, some such communities may have their downfalls. Homeowners may be more restricted in how they decorate your home or lawn due to HOA rules. You’ll also have to pay monthly fees for home and community maintenance (a tradeoff for a lower-maintenance living).
In the end, you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons and decide for yourself what’s right for you.
Where Is the Best 55 Plus Community Near Me?
There are a lot of 55 plus communities to choose from out there. But it’s important to remember that not all will offer the right amenities for you. And when you stay on the lookout for the amenities covered in this guide, you can rest easy knowing you’re finding the best communities out there.
If you’re searching for 55 plus communities in the greater St. Louis area, you don’t want to miss The Harbor at Cape Albeon.
At The Harbor, you’ll enjoy independent senior living at its finest. We offer freedom, community, and support—all in one lovely campus.
With a beautiful community, graceful dining options, gorgeous living spaces, and plenty of social and physical activities to keep you busy, every day is a new opportunity.
We also offer:
- Delicious daily meals
- Bi-monthly housekeeping
- A 24-hour emergency response system
- Indoor pool and whirlpool
- Chapel for worship services
- And much more
Want to get a closer look at what life is like at Cape Albeon’s The Harbor? Just click below to schedule your tour today!
For the very best in 55 plus communities in and around St. Louis, look to The Harbor by Cape Albeon.