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When searching for a retirement community, here's what to ask

August 7, 2012

While recent studies suggest longtime retirement havens Florida and Arizona are being passed over in favor of states like Michigan and Utah, one thing that has not changed is that older adults are still heading to retirement communities. However, not all communities are built the same, and according to The Huffington Post, there are many things prospective residents should ask when deciding on where to relocate for retirement.

The first thing seniors should ask about is the recreational opportunities. Many communities have revolutionized the way society views senior living by offering a much more varied experience than in years past. Social clubs, exercise classes and sports teams have become the norm, so seniors should make sure their retirement community of choice offers an active lifestyle.

While activities inside the community itself are important, The Huffington Post suggests seniors should also take the surrounding area into consideration. A thriving community that offers opportunities for older adults to continue education or volunteer is a component of a good choice.

Family is important to many older adults, so experts recommend asking about whether loved ones - be they grandchildren, children or anyone in between - are welcome. Additionally, some seniors may also want to inquire about pets.

What these questions amount to is whether the retirement community provides for an active and engaging lifestyle, something which is not only important to many seniors but is also a crucial part of their overall health.

Not surprisingly, active seniors can significantly cut their Alzheimer's risk. Researchers from Chicago's Rush University of Medicine found the most active adults were about 2.3 times less likely to develop the disease than their less active peers.