Alternative Retirement Community Options

Retirement communities can be a great option for parents who are still fairly independent. There are many types of alternative retirement communities that are cropping up, and these can provide a great shared experience while cutting down costs. Here are some alternative retirement community options.

Shared Housing Options

A shared housing option for retirement can be either organized or incidental. There are some co-ops that cater to older individuals. Other times, you may find a service that places two or more older adults together in a shared apartment with common living spaces. Choosing this retirement option can help you cut down on housing costs while providing your parent with some company. Using a shared housing option also makes it easier for you to add on care services such as housekeeping services, skilled nursing, and home aide services while sharing the costs with the other senior's family.

Niche Communities

Sometimes, a retirement community can be built around a certain interest. For instance, residents can be grouped together based on their interest in art or travel. Finding a niche community that suits your parent may require a move, but it can be a great way to indulge in shared activities with the retirement community. There's often not a specific requirement for entering the niche community besides interest, so it's possible for your parent to explore a new hobby or talent in the niche retirement community.

Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities

In some parts of the US, the migration trends have created a population that's heavily skewed towards older residents. These communities have been dubbed naturally occurring retirement communities. While there may not be a specific application or entry point for joining these communities, there is often a great infrastructure for social services and activities geared towards senior citizens.

Choosing a Nursing Home vs. an Alternative Community

While there are times when an alternative retirement community can be a great option, there are also times when a traditional nursing home is the best choice for your parent's health and well-being. If your parent has a degenerative disease, then access to daily medical care is crucial for preventing further deterioration.

Diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia can compromise your parent's safety, so being in a controlled environment at the nursing home can prevent the parents from harming themselves. When you are considering a retirement option, it's great to have many different choices, but speak with the doctor and be realistic about choosing a safe, long-term option.