One of the amazing things about modern society is the countless options available for retirement living. If you’re reading this article, chances are you are looking for the best retirement living setup for your elderly loved ones. You may have come across active living options or active senior living communities. But what do these terms mean?

To fully understand what active living communities are all about and what makes them special, we will first compare it to a few other options available for senior housing.

Let’s get started!

Senior couple walking together on a secure path in an active living community

What are the Levels of Care and Where Do Active Living Communities Fall Under?

When it comes to senior housing in Canada, there are mainly three kinds. Each of these levels corresponds to the needs of the elderly people that are housed. Active Living Communities fall under this first category:

1. Independent Retirement Living

This setup is great for healthy, active seniors who don’t require assistance with daily activities and personal care. Independent living for seniors can take the name of age-restricted apartment/condominium complexes or age-restricted luxury communities. Typically, shops and activity centers are within a convenient distance. Services like housekeeping, laundry, transportation, and meals are commonly available. Extra resort-like amenities can also be available.

2. Assisted Living

Assisted living is a great option for seniors who need some assistance with daily tasks but do not require specialist care like those provided in residential care homes. These can take different forms like apartment buildings, vast complexes, or smaller more intimate communities.

In this setup, senior residents may receive services like medication management, housekeeping, laundry, meal preparation, and access to healthcare professionals. Social and recreational activities are regularly hosted for the residents to take part in.

3. Residential Care Homes

Residential care homes are the next step after assisted living. These tend to be traditional private homes that are optimized to provide a more hands-on care service to a smaller group of residents. The limited number of residents ensures that each gets the proper attention they need. In these homes, live-in caregivers are with the elderly residents to prepare meals, manage medication, and assist with most (if not all ) daily activities. The residents also enjoy social programs and recreational activities.

What Exactly is An Active Living Community & What Are Its Features?

So far we’ve covered that active living communities fall under the category of independent retirement living. But what else is there to know? Well, for starters, this active living communities can go by many other names, such as:

  • Active retirement communities
  • Adult lifestyle communities
  • 55+ communities
  • Retirement communities

Different communities also offer a different set of amenities that you would want to compare when looking for options. The following features are the bare minimum to look for:

  • Shops should be conveniently located within the community.
  • There are options for housekeeping, laundry, transportation services.
  • The area is safe and well-lit.
  • There are recreational centers available.

And on top of the above points, you could also look for the following extra features:

  • Walking paths
  • Community gardens & dog parks
  • Golf courses
  • Tennis courts & basketball courts
  • Swimming pools
  • Fitness centres with personal trainers/instructors
  • Classes, lectures, and hobby clubs

Seniors strolling on the golf course of an active living community

What Are the Benefits of Being in An Active Living Community?

1. Active Living with People Who Understand

In an active living community, elderly couples or individuals get the opportunity to socialize with other people in their age range. But age isn’t the only common ground here. Being in an active living community is a choice. So there’s a high likelihood of meeting like-minded seniors who are driven to lead an active and colourful lifestyle. This common mindset makes the living experience better for everyone involved.

2. Downsizing

This is also an attractive option for those who would like to downsize because their children have moved out of the family house. Houses in this type of community tend to be a bit smaller and are thus easier to maintain.

3. Change of Scene

Being an elderly couple or individual alone in a massive family home does not only mean arduous maintenance, but it can also be costly and lonesome. Additionally, if no friends or family are close by, there isn’t much motivation to stay in such a place.

There may also be some life changes like retirement or widowhood that can drive an elderly person to seek a change of scenery – which is absolutely healthy to do in such cases.

Need Help Finding the Best Active Living Community?

There are many factors and options to consider when it comes to choosing the best active living community for your loved ones or for yourself. If you are still unsure and if you have questions, we would be glad to help!

As one of the leading providers of full-service senior living transitions, we at Your Next Steps. can help you find the best of the best option there is. We can also assist with all the steps that follow. So take the first step and contact us today!