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Active adult communities are real estate developments that offer independent, relatively maintenance-free living to residents aged 55 and over. In “age restricted” active adult communities, 80% of homeowners must be 55 and over, while “age-targeted” communities simply market to the 55+ crowd.
Many of the residents continue to work part or full time, which is why the term “active adult retirement communities” is less accurate. The residents are not opposed to children (or grandchildren!) either. Rather, the 55+ component simply assumes that people at the same stage of life probably share a few leisure-time interests and pursuits.
At its most basic level, “active” means independent, so active adult communities offer no assistance with daily living activities, such as meals, medication, housekeeping and personal care. They do usually present a variety of on-site activities and easy access to natural or cultural attractions, shopping, nearby medical facilities, and large metropolitan areas.
But active adult communities are not simply real estate. Residents are also choosing a community and a lifestyle. Today’s active adult communities go beyond the old stereotypes of shuffleboard and knitting (although those activities are often still on the schedule for those who love them). Some communities promote a resort or vacation feeling through activities and amenities, while others emphasize social or cultural life.
Most communities recognize that “active” encompasses bodies and minds. Without ever leaving their neighborhood, residents can:
Arts and crafts and social pastimes include scrapbooking, painting, ceramics, mahjongg, bridge, movie nights, afternoon tea, and holiday cookouts and gatherings. Some active adult communities also offer continuing education classes, such as bird-watching, history and genealogy, while others partner with nearby universities to offer academic classes and cultural events.
If all of this organized activity seems more like a hyperactive community, rest assured that active adult communities emphasize friendliness and relaxation as well, balancing time at home and hanging out with neighbors and friends.