Variety is the Spice of Elderly Life

Senior CoupleSeniors who are looking into assisted living apartments are finding that they have more options than ever. Whether seniors are interested in classic cars, theatre and the arts, or are just looking for an LGBT-friendly home, there is a place for them, as specialized senior living communities of all types are opening all over the country.

But what is the reason for this rising trend? Gerontological Services, which studies housing for the elderly, told the New York Times that an increasing number of older people want to socialize and be more involved in activities. Seniors are no longer content with bus trips to the mall and museums; they want to be part of the action.

The choices are seemingly endless. Want to live in your RV without sacrificing medical care and square meals? Head to Livingston, Texas, where you will find the Escapees Care Center. Don’t want to give up those classic cars you’re restoring? At the Lake Weir Preserve in Ocklawaha, Florida, there is special storage available just for cars, boats, and motorcycles.

It’s not all recreation-based, of course. Some senior living communities are situated near college campuses, and allow the residents to take classes without sacrificing nursing care. At Lasell Village, on the campus of Newton, Massachusetts’ Lasell College, residents are required to take 450 hours of education a year. It’s not as difficult as it sounds: fitness and cultural activities count toward the hours, and it works out to about nine hours a week.

If seniors are less interested in recreation and education, and wish to keep their professional lives active, there are options for that. Actors and other show business professionals may find the NoHo Artists Colony in Northern Hollywood, California to their liking. Residents can network with other industry professionals, in addition to taking classes in the arts and enjoying the various amenities such as the fitness center, billiard room, and swimming pool.

One of the major downsides to specialized senior living communities can be the cost. Entrance fees at certain communities can vary from the hundreds of thousands to the millions, and many communities require a deposit up front, in addition to monthly expenses. Even in areas where certain units have a lower entrance fee in the $10,000 to $20,000 range, the monthly expenses are raised and can cost up to $7,900.

Most experts agree that, before agreeing to any particular living plan, seniors should do research to ensure that a community’s finances are in order. They also recommend having an accountant or lawyer review the paperwork provided by the senior living community before committing to anything.

As more people in the Baby Boomer generation age and retire, specialized senior living options are sure to grow in popularity and variety to fit the demand.