Getting older is a strange experience no matter who you are. You may start to feel like people are trying to put you into a box and then move on without you, even though you feel totally fine and energised. That is why many people are resistant to moving into retirement villages—they think that such places are where you go once you have given up on having aspirations. In actuality, retirement living can be active and very social, and it is usually different from aged care.
Retirement villages are places built explicitly for people who have finished their professional careers but are still looking to live active lifestyles and participate in community events. You have your own home in close proximity to community halls, pools, tennis courts, gyms and shopping centres, in addition to many other interesting stores and activity centres. The best part about it is there are many different retirement living options that focus on specific pursuits. If you want a retirement living centre where you are among fellow boating enthusiasts, then choose one with a sailing club. If you want one that is religion-oriented, then find one run by your chosen faith.
Aged care is different from retirement living in that it is based on your specific medical needs rather than your individual pursuits. You might still have your own unit, but you also have constant supervision and check-ups that help you live comfortably and safely. There are still things to do and activities to try out, but it is less active than retirement living because of the decreased physical ability of the inhabitants. There is nothing wrong with going into aged care, and for many people, aged care makes their lives easier and safer, but it is not the same as retirement living.
There are several core differences between retirement living and aged care:
- Retirement living is independent and aged care is largely assisted.
- Retirement living is focused on active people who share similar interests, whereas aged care is focused on ensuring a good quality of life.
- Many people move into retirement homes around the age of 55, and aged care consists of a much older demographic.
- Retirement villages allow you to control your own time, while aged care puts you into more of a routine that accommodates your health status.
Neither option is bad, but many people confuse aged care with retirement living when they are quite different. If you want to start living with similarly aged people who share your passions, then retirement living could be perfect for you.