Amenities, lifestyle bring non-retired to senior communities

January 18, 2019 GMT

You don’t have to be retired to consider living in a senior living community.

In fact, the number of people living in those age-specific communities who have not retired is growing.

“There are many amenities that our residents who are still working enjoy, such as maid service twice a month, groceries delivered, full-service barber and beauty salon that includes nails, exercise classes, a host of education classes, laundry service, restaurant, apartments with full kitchens, and much more,” said Patrick Pheifer, executive director of Clarewood House, a multi-level, continuum care senior living community.

Some couples are choosing continuum care retirement communities, such as Clarewood House or The Abbey at Westminster, when one spouse is continuing to work and the other has health challenges.

A continuing care retirement community offers independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing care, all within the same facility known as a community. The emphasis of the continual care model is to enable residents to avoid having to move, except to another level of care within the community, if their needs change.

Clarewood House offers another level called “preferred living,” which allows a resident to stay in independent living for as long as possible, but receive extra care.

“We have many people living here that are still working, such as attorneys still practicing, professors still teaching, and many others who are continuing to work full or part time, and they enjoy our many different benefits and amenities, too,” said Barbara McMahan-Cage, the director of marketing at The Abbey at Westminster.

Amenities at The Abbey include restaurant-style dining, outdoor kitchen, sports lounge, home theater, library, arts and crafts room, general store, 24-hour concierge/security, and a dog park.

“Residents still working often want to take their lunch to work, so our chef prepares it for them. It is these types of benefits and others that our working residents enjoy,” McMahan-Cage said. “Also, The Abbey has resident couples where the men are going to work, and their wives are enjoying all the daily activities and trips.

“We also have couples where one spouse is still working, and the other is in memory care or assisted living.”

Finding care option

When a spouse has Alzheimer’s or dementia, sometimes home-based care may not work for a couple, if one is still working full time.

So, they move into a senior community where continual care is offered.

“The working spouse can continue working knowing we are here around the clock, taking care of their spouse,” McMahan-Cage said.

In other cases, one spouse will be in independent living while their spouse is in a different level of care.

“Yet, we have couples where one spouse requires Memory Care and their spouse lives with them in this area instead of in Independent Living, because they did not want to live apart. We have some love stories here,” McMahan-Cage said.