July 23


What Seniors Really Want in a Retirement Community: A Comprehensive Guide

By Harrison O'Reill

July 23, 2023

Seniors are a rapidly growing population in the United States, with more and more individuals reaching retirement age every year. As these individuals consider their options for retirement living, many are turning to retirement communities as a way to enjoy their golden years of comfort and security.

However, with so many options available, it can be difficult to know what seniors truly want in a retirement community. Here’s your friendly guide to enlighten your knowledge.

Retirement Living

When it comes to retirement living, seniors have different needs and preferences. A retirement community can offer seniors a comfortable, safe, and socially engaging environment where they can enjoy their golden years.

Retirement communities come in different types, including independent living, assisted living facilities, and continuing care retirement communities.

Independent Living

Independent living is ideal for seniors who want to maintain an active and independent lifestyle without the hassle of maintaining a home.

Independent living communities offer low-maintenance homes, monthly fees, and social activities. They are perfect for seniors who want to downsize and enjoy a simpler life.

Assisted Living Facility

Assisted living facilities are designed for seniors who need help with daily living activities, such as bathing, dressing, and medication management. These facilities offer private apartments, communal dining, and social activities. They also provide medical care and assistance with daily living activities.

Continuing Care Retirement Community

Continuing care retirement communities offer a range of care levels, from independent living to skilled nursing care. These communities provide seniors with a continuum of care, so they can age in place and receive the care they need as their health changes. They offer social activities, medical care, and assistance with daily living activities.

Community and Social Connections

Community and social connections are important for seniors in retirement communities. Offering opportunities for social interactions, access to places of worship, and a variety of recreational events can help seniors feel connected and engaged in their community.

Social Connections

Seniors want to feel connected to their community and the people around them. Social connections are important for emotional well-being and can help combat loneliness.

Retirement communities should offer opportunities for seniors to interact with others, whether it be through organized social events or simply providing a space for residents to gather and socialize.

Places of Worship

For many seniors, faith, and spirituality are important aspects of their lives. Retirement communities should offer access to places of worship, such as on-site chapels or transportation to nearby churches, synagogues, or mosques.

This allows seniors to continue practicing their religion and connecting with others who share their beliefs.

Recreational Events

Retirement communities should offer a variety of recreational events to keep seniors engaged and active. This can include fitness classes, arts and crafts, game nights, and more. These events provide opportunities for social connections and can help combat feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Health and Wellness

Seniors in retirement communities prioritize their health and wellness. They want access to amenities that promote physical and mental health, as well as a healthy lifestyle.


Communities that offer a range of services and amenities, such as fitness centers, healthy food options, and outdoor activities, are highly desirable.

Physical Health

Physical health is a top priority for seniors in retirement communities. They want access to amenities that promote physical activity, such as fitness centers, pools, and recreation areas.

Regular exercise is essential for maintaining good health, and seniors want to stay active and independent for as long as possible. Retirement communities that offer fitness classes, yoga, and other physical activities are highly desirable.

Mental Health

Mental health is just as important as physical health for seniors. Retirement communities that offer services such as counseling, therapy, and support groups are highly sought after.

Dementia is a common concern among seniors, and communities that offer memory care services can provide peace of mind for both residents and their families.

Healthy Lifestyle

Retirement communities that promote a healthy lifestyle are highly desirable. Seniors want access to healthy food options, such as farm-to-table dining, as well as amenities that promote comfort and relaxation, such as spas and salons.

Communities that offer golf courses, hiking trails, and other outdoor activities are also highly desirable, as they promote physical activity and a healthy lifestyle.

Financial Planning

Seniors would want to take into account their social security and retirement benefits, 401(k) and retirement savings, and monthly fees and medical care.

By understanding these factors, seniors can make an informed decision about which retirement community is right for them.

Social Security and Retirement Benefits

When considering a retirement community, seniors should take into account their social security and retirement benefits. These benefits can help cover the cost of monthly fees and medical care.

It is important to understand how much you will receive and when you can start receiving benefits. Seniors should also consider if their retirement community offers any assistance in navigating these benefits.

401(k) and Retirement Savings

Seniors should also consider their 401(k) and other retirement savings when planning for a retirement community. It is important to understand how much you have saved and how much you will need to cover the cost of living in a retirement community.

Seniors should also consider if their retirement community offers any investment or financial planning services.

Monthly Fees and Medical Care

Monthly fees and medical care are important factors to consider when choosing a retirement community. Seniors should understand the cost of living in the community and what services are included in the monthly fees.

It is also important to consider the cost of medical care and if the retirement community offers any medical services or assistance.


In conclusion, seniors want a retirement community that meets their needs and provides a comfortable, safe, and enjoyable living experience. They want to maintain their independence, socialize with others, and have access to a range of amenities and services.

To meet these expectations, retirement communities should focus on providing personalized care and attention to each resident, offering a variety of activities and events, and creating a welcoming and inclusive environment.

Additionally, seniors want to feel like they are part of a community and have a sense of belonging. Retirement communities can achieve this by encouraging residents to participate in group activities and events, promoting social interaction, and creating opportunities for residents to connect with each other.

Overall, the key to creating a successful retirement community is to understand the unique needs and preferences of seniors and to provide a supportive and engaging environment that meets those needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about what seniors want in a retirement community:

What are some unique amenities that seniors look for in a retirement community?

Seniors are looking for a community that offers a variety of amenities that cater to their interests and hobbies. This may include things like golf courses, swimming pools, fitness centers, and social clubs.

What is the difference between an independent living community and a continuing care retirement community?

An independent living community is designed for seniors who are able to live independently but want a community that offers social activities and amenities. A continuing care retirement community offers a continuum of care, from independent living to assisted living and skilled nursing care, so seniors can age in place.

How important is socialization for seniors in a retirement community?

Socialization is crucial for seniors in a retirement community, as it helps combat social isolation and loneliness. Many retirement communities offer social clubs and activities to help seniors connect with others who share similar interests.

Are baby boomers looking for different things in a retirement community than previous generations?

Yes, baby boomers are looking for more active and engaging retirement communities that offer opportunities for learning new things and staying active.

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