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Old 03-08-2015, 12:04 PM
 
36 posts, read 45,303 times
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Wondering what sort of experiences others have had when it comes to senior communities. Does it vary by region, area, etc.

As we contemplate a move, this is one of the things we are considering and there are some reasons why we are considering this possibility.

Thinking that a condo/townhouse situation would provide for easier travel, less home responsibility.

As we age, we realize there could come a time when we do not make friends as easily. Having social activities, gym, pool, etc could enhance these social opportunities.

Concerns. We are worried that these places could be where the oldest, grumpiest go to be alone and wither away.

If you live in a community of this sort, or know of anyone who does, what has it been like?What sort of suggestions do you offer when it comes to considering this possibility? What should we look for? What questions can you offer that we might ask to find something that may be a good fit?

Again, just another possibility that we are considering. All options are available to us and we want to make good choices.

Namaste,
S
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Old 03-08-2015, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,134 posts, read 23,019,359 times
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I live in low-income subsidized senior housing. So, the clientele here may differ from where you would end up.

I'm in my second place - I moved somewhere with better weather. Both places were well-maintained. The quality of the apartment and grounds, etc., were/are great.

What I learned at the first place, is that I did not want to get involved with tenants where I live at my next place. There is a lot of drama, cliques, and needy people who will try to latch onto you. I found I had to constantly say no to people, or avoid them, because I ended up taking care of people's dogs, driving them to doctor's appointments, shopping for them. I'd even get tears - "I have no one to take me, buy me, watch my dog...." Literally tears streaming down the face. But, then I realized, hey wait a minute - you've known me 2 months! What did you do before you met me? Well, they burned out the last nice new person.

Also, many seniors will talk about depressing things - often about medical procedures. And if everyone is much older than you, you'll hear a lot of that kind of talk. They will look at you with puppy eyes and hope or even very actively attempt to make you become their unpaid caregiver. And if you have a car, and they don't or can't drive anymore, they will be on you like flies on honey.

If you are someone who has no trouble saying no to puppy eyes, then you'll be fine. But, expect to have to enforce your boundaries often. I find this really uncomfortable and tiring. At my last place I quit answering the door, and it got so bad with one relentless woman, that I had to disconnect the door bell because she would ring it until I opened the door. With my dog barking her head off the entire time. I felt like I was in a Betty Davis horror movie.

I am happier making friends away from my building. I don't want anyone laying in wait where I park my car, or by the doors where I come and go, or knocking on my door. This is working out great for me here. My apartment is just that - my apartment. I have no interest in becoming enmeshed with the other tenants where I live. I am making friends with people who live somewhere else, and in that case, I find people have normal boundaries. They don't just show up or wait for you where you park your car, trying to act like they just "happen" to be in your path - with another request for a favor.

A new Director of Social Services came here Friday. I have always avoided all of the group activities here, because the leeches always go to those, trolling for their next caregiver. But, the poster said come meet the new director and learn about social services you might qualify for. Sounds good, right? Well, the first thing out of her mouth that her mission is to get everyone in the building to become a big happy family, and she intends to try and break up the cliques. I said, count me out! Yikes. There are 52 apartments in this building, and they assume all of these strangers with all different types of personalities are going to want to be involved with each other? That's just beyond unrealistic.

At any rate, I'm sure I've made it clear, that becoming enmeshed with a group of seniors who live where I do, is not for me. I'm much happier finding activities somewhere else, like the senior center, etc.

You may have an entirely different experience. But, just a thought - you might want to just move somewhere with a really active senior center. The one I had in Santa Clara, CA was fantastic. They had bus tours, and lots of events, classes - from art to country line dancing, a gym, swimming pool, etc. And if you want to get away from someone there, you just go home - where they do not also live.

There was also a thread recently about cliques at these communities and senior bullies. I'm not afraid of bullies, and not interested in the cliques. But, it may be something to consider.

FWIW. I'm obviously a "no" vote. I'm sure others love them.
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Old 03-08-2015, 02:41 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
7,629 posts, read 14,388,006 times
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I think you will find varying degrees of "will I like it" depending on what YOU want and what THEY have to offer.

We are in a Del Webb community, LOVE it, but our place is not low-income subsidized senior housing as the previous response described. While we are by no means "rich" we are comfortable and enjoy many of the offerings the community enjoys together from travel (both local and international) to classes and celebrations. I think the majority of our community is what many would describe as "comfortable in their retirement years" financially able to do things together with others without a lot of concerns. We have lots of varied neighbors, (retired military, authors, business people, CEO's, Drs, etc) that are happy living in a gated community where everyone knows everyone and you can leave your homes and travel knowing your neighbors look out for you (as we do their place) when gone. Most of our "neighbors" are like minded, very friendly, and certainly helpful. WE have a full time activities staff who's job it is to make us happy with planned activities, and an indoor Olympic size pool as well as two outdoor pools and and indoor and outdoor hottub.

It is much like being on a cruise, except instead of going back to your cabin, you go back to your house. Our price range is 200K to 400K+ depending on lot, amenities and add on's, but we are in Texas with NO state income tax and good weather (as long as you are heat tolerant). YOUR happiness would depend solely on your desires and needs and how something like this would fit.
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Old 03-08-2015, 03:10 PM
 
36 posts, read 45,303 times
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Thank you both for your responses.

NoMoreSnowForMe, what you describe sounds like a bit of a nightmare to me. Yikes! Kudos to you for finding what does and does not work for you. And also for establishing good boundaries and maintaining same. Well done.

Paka, what you talk about is much more what I was hopeful of hearing. Yes, I understand circumstances can and will vary greatly from one community to another.

We are not considering something that is subsidized or low-income, we are fortunate to have very different opportunities.

Paka, are there negatives to your experience? Do you find that there is a good mix of ages? How is it regarding having family and children visit?

Thanks so much,
S


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Old 03-08-2015, 03:43 PM
 
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We aren't there yet but have looked at and considered the idea of a 55+ community. Some people will say no way, want a variety of ages. Others will say there's no one stopping you at the gate to go out to find activities. After spending some time in Florida I think it may depend on where you are looking. We looked at several non age limited communities that also fit the bill, as they are gated, have maintenance included as well as many activities and amenities within the community. That's what I am looking for more so than the age limit. If I'm looking in Florida I'll keep those options open. However if I'm looking other places, it may not be the same. Good luck!
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Old 03-08-2015, 04:06 PM
 
Location: Florida
4,375 posts, read 3,712,866 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ByebyeWisconsin View Post
Wondering what sort of experiences others have had when it comes to senior communities. Does it vary by region, area, etc.

As we contemplate a move, this is one of the things we are considering and there are some reasons why we are considering this possibility.

Thinking that a condo/townhouse situation would provide for easier travel, less home responsibility.

As we age, we realize there could come a time when we do not make friends as easily. Having social activities, gym, pool, etc could enhance these social opportunities.

Concerns. We are worried that these places could be where the oldest, grumpiest go to be alone and wither away.

If you live in a community of this sort, or know of anyone who does, what has it been like?What sort of suggestions do you offer when it comes to considering this possibility? What should we look for? What questions can you offer that we might ask to find something that may be a good fit?

Again, just another possibility that we are considering. All options are available to us and we want to make good choices.

Namaste,
S
I think the size (larger more activities) of the community matters. The income of the residents may also have some influence. Less financial problems. New construction might be easier to make friends as all are trying to meet new people.
Go to Talk of The Villages - The Villages, Florida. This is the largest over 55 community. Read the posts and you might get the answer to your questions. Remember this is a minority of the residents.
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Old 03-08-2015, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Henderson, NV
3,459 posts, read 2,257,979 times
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There have been several threads on 55+ communities if you use the search function. Some people love them, some would never consider them. I'm on the "love 'em" side of things. Moved here from Wisconsin 5 years ago and am so happy with my decision.

https://www.sca-hoa.org/outside_home.asp.
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Old 03-08-2015, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,855,118 times
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ByeBye you can find what you are looking for. Just take your time. Paka lives in a Del Webb community and they are very nice. They have cliques and happenings but they are also very beautiful and well maintained. You can google them up on the internet and see where they have locations. You can also use this website that will show you others and that isn't even all of the options. www.retirementliving.com

If you have the time use it to research and ask about. Several people on this thread live in Del Webb or have lived in one or live in other communities. Some might even be in the area you are looking at. There are a huge number of threads on here about that and even specific communities. Don't be afraid to ask. Some of us even accept PM's. We are all here though because we want to interact and learn from one another. We even might be lonely people looking for attention.
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Old 03-08-2015, 07:18 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
7,629 posts, read 14,388,006 times
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Paka, are there negatives to your experience? Do you find that there is a good mix of ages? How is it regarding having family and children visit?


To respond to your questions: I have experienced ZERO negatives having lived here almost 7 yrs now. We LOVE the place (NOT FL, we are in San Antonio TX) Del Webb Hill Country Retreat. There are others on this thread that have been interested in checking us out and have, so you might want to gather info from them as well (pros/cons) but we LOVE it here. Yes GREAT range of ages....from the 55 up to the 90's with MANY older being almost (if not more) active than some of us.

Family/Children visits are "limited" to 90 days per year (meaning no can stay more than 90 days at a time in a given year...which is really a LOT!!!)

We all have grandchildren and family that visits, but NO one under the age of 19 allowed to LIVE here, no school buses in our area, and LOTS of freedom from late night noise, graffiti, other kid related issues. We love it here, and think that again, if you like the ABILITY to live in an age restricted community with LOTS of social type activities to take advantage of but want to be able to pick and choose, this kind of "retirement" is wonderful! We travel internationally without concerns of our home because most of our neighbors have the key, all look out for each other, and we are all able to get in contact with each other at a moments notice should something be needed.
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Old 03-08-2015, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Dover, DE
1,803 posts, read 3,839,195 times
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I have posted many times before about this. We currently also live in a Del Webb.....Sun City Carolina Lakes in Indian Land, SC. We are just about 5 miles south of the NC/SC border just south of Charlotte. We have all the tax advantages of SC but have all the things in Charlotte to do. We are a "Sun City" because there is a golf course winding throughout the community, although it is a public course and we don't own it.

As far as 55+ goes, people seem to love or hate them. Now I'm not talking senior living apartment types of communities. We are a regular community with mostly single family homes, just that we are age restricted. We also have some "Villas" which are 2 or 3 units side by side and some "Carriage Homes" which are up/down type units, 4 to 8 in a building. Both these would be like townhouses where the HOA is responsible for the outside of the buildings and each owner is responsible for their own unit. The HOA is responsible for all the lawn work no matter where you live. Plus they will take care of your trees, etc. if they are the ones that the builder planted. They won't take care of any landscaping that the owner planted as they don't want to have to replace them if something happens. There are tons of amenities to use such as indoor and outdoor pools (a third one is being built along with another smaller amenity building), tennis courts, bocce ball courts, pickle balls courts, softball field, kayak center, huge activity center with exercise equipment, meeting rooms, ballroom, library, cafe. There are quite a few walking trails and golf cart trails. We have a small shopping center that is golf cart accessible and the whole area is growing rapidly. There are well over 100 different clubs to cover a huge range of interests. But be assured that you can involve yourself as little or as much as you wish. You will not be looked down upon if you choose to just rest, or to seek activities outside the community. In fact many people not only take advantage of what Charlotte has to offer, but they volunteer in many positions outside the community from the local schools, the library, Habitat for Humanity, and many more. Believe me we are not sitting around bemoaning growing old and our health problems as everyone is too busy doing fun things. But one of the good things about all being the same age is that there is a huge pool of people to recommend, or not, doctors/dentists/therapy etc. etc. should you ask.

I will mention that we are currently in the process of selling, but not because we don't like it but want to move closer to our daughter who lives in CT. In fact we like the concept so well that we are building in another 55+ in Delaware and didn't consider any other type of community. We like that everyone cares about their homes and keeps them neat, there aren't tons of kids running around all the time, teens roaring cars through the community or having loud parties, etc. etc. People around us are home and are available to have lunch or do something fun. And yes we help each other out sometimes, but that's what good neighbors do. It isn't a constant thing, but yes we do things for each other sometimes. Just like now, when we have a showing our neighbor tells us to come over to her house instead of going out. That way we can watch when the people come and go. I help another neighbor with her computer stuff and have taken her to the airport (I use her car), etc. Most of the time people volunteer when they sense a need. I have never had anyone continuously bug me about doing stuff for them. Most of us are too independent. In fact I have had neighbors get upset when I didn't ask help from them while I have been laid up with my hip surgery. Often you can find several people standing on the sidewalk talking, which you don't see as much in regular communities because they just don't have time with all the kid's activities, work and more.

As I have said before, you really need to try it out if you aren't sure. You can try and rent something for several months or even longer to see if you would like it. That's really the only way to see if it would work for you. You can contact a local RE agent that handles rentals in the area to see what is available.
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