Sunday, January 15, 2006

retirement residence

(see Table 24) In recent years retirement centers, which may be a cluster of individual units or high-rise apartment-type dwellings, have become increasingly available and popular. Some advantages of retirement centers include around-the-clock security, stimulating activities, companionship, and privacy. Many retirement centers provide a dining room where meals are served, transportation to nearby stores, churches, and doctors, and planned activities that interest most active older citizens. Retirement centers free older people from yard upkeep and maintenance of their homes.
There are three main types of retirement centers: federally funded, private, and private nonprofit run by church groups, fraternal organizations, etc. The federally funded retirement centers usually have no down payment and the rent is determined by income. Privately owned centers usually require a down payment, monthly rent, and maintenance fees as do private non-profit centers.
Entry in a center is normally by contract, and such a move requires full understanding of financial obligations, terms, and conditions. Decisions to enter a retirement center need to go beyond a printed brochure, a telephone conversation, or someone's recommendation.
A visit to the facility with observation of activities, dining rooms, recreation and hobby areas, including, if possible, an overnight stay is desirable. Retirement centers are not as spacious as a private home so a move to one may require disposal of furniture and other personal property. Pets and gardens may not be permitted, and fees may be substantial. While some centers may include a medical clinic, personal assistance and nursing services are not provided and residents must be ambulatory or at least self-sufficient.
Though the popularity of retirement communities is increasing, some people prefer other living arrangements because they feel that being with older people constantly reminds them of their age, or that the lack of intergenerational contact will diminish intellectual and psychological stimulation. While studies show that such concerns are generally unfounded, commitment to living in a retirement center needs to take such concerns into account.
Deedy, 1. Your Aging Parents. Chicago: The Thomas More Press, 1984.
Gillies, J. A Guide to Caring for and Coping with Aging Parents. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1981.


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