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Aging-friendly retirement communities have several things in common

December 20, 2012

Retirement communities vary considerably depending on the location. Some may cater specifically to seniors interested in volunteering while others may be geared toward older adults who need assistance around the house. While there are many variances, there are certain factors all aging-friendly communities should focus on, according to The Huffington Post.

Accessible transportation plays a large role, says aging expert Barbara Meltzer. Senior residents should have the ability to get from place to place because doing so can help them maintain their independence.

Along with offering easy-to-access transportation options, it's also critical that retirement communities offer some opportunities for their residents to continue their education. Lifelong learning can play a key role in healthy aging.

"Lifelong learning I think is terribly important," Meltzer told The Huffington Post. "Opportunities for people to remain engaged, and to keep learning as long as they can."

Finally, Meltzer says that retirement communities should be sure to have opportunities for civic engagement, since many seniors value volunteering. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 20.4 percent of people 65 and older volunteered in 2011.