What is a Full-Service
Retirement Community?

When it’s time to consider life after retirement, those exploring their living options need to know where to start. One of the most popular solutions is to move into a full-service senior living community, one that provides an environment where residents can embrace their independence and freedom, with everything they need right at their fingertips. This article covers some of the basics about life at The Lodge to help you as you search for the best senior living community for an active, healthy lifestyle.

Defining What is a Full-Service Retirement Community

A full-service retirement community, also known as a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) or life plan community, is a type of senior living that offers retirees care for all of the phases of their life. On a full-service retirement community campus, residents will have access to a continuum of aging care needs, including independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing. The biggest benefit of full-service retirement communities is that adults never have to move to a new campus or community when their needs change.

We need to consider many factors as we age, such as maintaining an active social life, continuing to grow and learn or having access to healthcare when we need it. Becoming a part of a full-service retirement community is an easy way to enjoy your lifestyle, all while allowing you to have total control of your life, in your own space.

Care Options Offered at a Full-Service Retirement Community

Full-service retirement living means that as your or your family member’s needs change, you’ll find the support you need. You’ll have the security that comes from knowing care will always be available and the added convenience of having that care in your own, private home in the community.

Several different living options are available for a wide range of lifestyles, featuring the following:

Independent Living

Independent living is a great choice for healthy and active adults who’ve chosen to trade in the worries associated with homeownership for the comforts and conveniences that can be found in a senior living community. Residents typically furnish their own private apartments or condos, enjoy amenities and services like swimming pools, scheduled trips to cultural activities and on-campus dining. The community takes care of maintenance and chores like landscaping.

Assisted Living

Assisted living is ideal for adults who require some level of support with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as housekeeping, medication management, hygiene assistance or dressing and grooming assistance. Individuals are encouraged to live as independently as possible but receive the assistance that maximizes their abilities.

Memory Care

Memory care is specialized support for those who are affected by memory impairments, often various forms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s. Memory care team members are specially trained to help residents preserve their identity and enjoy a full life that focuses on their interests and what they are able to do. Programs and events are scheduled regularly to stimulate the mind and spark joy in residents.

Memory care accommodations are often designed differently than other areas in a full-service retirement community, with wide, accessible hallways and simple layouts to make them easier to navigate. They also contain additional security measures to ensure residents who are prone to wandering are safe.

Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitative Care

In a skilled nursing community, licensed medical professionals provide specialized care around the clock. Care may include treatments such as wound care and other needs that must be overseen by medical professionals. Some skilled nursing communities also provide short-term rehabilitation following a hospital stay, surgery or accident. Communities with skilled nursing and rehab services make it easier for residents to transition back to their regular life after having additional healthcare needs met.

Benefits of a Full-Service Retirement Community

There are many advantages to full-service senior living. These communities provide residents with financial freedom, social engagement, peace of mind and more.

No Need to Move to a New Community
Moving is difficult at the best of times and can become increasingly difficult with age. That’s where one of the key benefits comes into play: for residents at full-service retirement communities, there is no need to search for a new home with a higher or lower level of support when needs change. Residents stay in the same community and simply adjust their support level when necessary. Some communities even provide assistance for the initial move in, helping individuals organize, downsize and pack as they prepare to transition into their new home.

Multiple Levels of Care
As care needs change, an individual may need to relocate to a different location in the community — to a different floor in the same building, to a different wing of the same building or a different building on the same campus. This is much easier than having to find a new supportive care community and then moving across town, to a new city or possibly even a different state, depending upon options available that will meet your needs.

Retain Existing Relationships
Having the ability to live in the same community means you continue to retain and maintain valued relationships you’ve built within the community, including neighbors and staff you’re comfortable with. You won’t have to deal with the challenges that occur when relocation into an entirely new community is required.

Stay Close to Your Partner
In other situations, couples with differing care needs may have to live in different communities that can meet their respective requirements. In a full-service retirement community, couples with different care needs can continue to live in the same place. Instead of scheduling trips outside the community to visit one another, couples can easily spend time with each other, dine and socialize together.

Ease of Planning for the Future
It can be challenging to anticipate what the future will bring. This is especially true when trying to predict what wellness care and daily support you will need down the road. Thankfully, full-service retirement communities relieve that pressure by providing access to a variety of senior living options.

Independent living, for instance, is designed for individuals who do not require daily support, but who do desire a community atmosphere. Should their mobility decline or a medical emergency occur, these individuals can seamlessly transition to assisted living, memory care, or skilled nursing and rehabilitation. These higher levels of support are available the moment a resident needs them, though they are not charged for the additional care in the meantime.

All-Inclusive Services and Amenities
Adults who choose to stay in their own home often struggle to keep pace with repairs and lawn work. At a full-service retirement community, however, these responsibilities are managed by dedicated staff members.

Services like housekeeping and maintenance are included in the monthly fee. The monthly charge also includes access to restaurant-style dining, the fitness center, craft and art rooms, beauty spas and other amenities such as walking trails, events and activities, and more.

Built-In Social Network
Perhaps one of the best benefits of living in a full-service senior living community is the built-in social network. Residents can enjoy a meal with neighbors or share coffee with others who have similar interests.

Most communities also plan events that encourage socialization. These programs are often planned to accommodate all residents, no matter their unique needs. This means that staff design activities to suit those in independent living and other activities to engage residents in memory care.

Added Security
Security is a priority at full-service retirement communities. Urgent call systems are available which allow residents to alert staff no matter the time of day or night if they experience an emergency.

When Is It Time to Move Into a Full-Service Retirement Community?

The best time to move into a full-service retirement community is during your retirement. Remember, full-service retirement community residents start with independent living. A common misconception about full-service retirement communities is that you can wait until you need care before calling to reserve your spot. However, if you wait, you might not find one open for you when you’re ready to commit to the community.

This means that you should start researching and exploring full-service retirement communities before retirement. This gives you the time you need to find the right community for you versus feeling rushed into making a decision.

Moving to a full-service retirement community might be the next step when you are ready to enjoy a maintenance-free lifestyle. Perhaps you no longer want to tend to your home or would rather spend that time exploring hobbies, establishing wellness goals, meeting new people, and indulging in pastimes. A full-service retirement community can help by providing restaurant-style dining, biweekly housekeeping services, a full schedule of events and programs, and more.

How Much Does a Full-Service Retirement Community Cost?

Older adults often have many questions when exploring full-service senior living. One of their first questions is, “How much will a full-service retirement community cost?” This can be a challenging question to answer because there is no one-size-fits-all price. Rather, the cost depends on an individual’s home choices and support needs.

The Lodge, for instance, offers a variety of options. Prospective residents can choose from a one-bedroom apartment, two-bedroom apartment, or two-bedroom villa.

Monthly costs at a full-service retirement community are predictable, which makes budgeting much easier. Since these communities’ bundle expenses like housing, utilities, dining, security systems, and transportation into one monthly bill, residents know what to expect. The monthly payment also covers the cost of the amenities and household maintenance like trash removal, landscaping, and repairs.

What is the Difference Between a Full-Service Retirement Community and Independent Living, 55+ or Assisted Living?

The biggest difference between a full-service retirement community and an independent, 55+ or assisted living community is the scope of care provided.

An independent or 55+ community doesn’t provide care, and an assisted living community offers only one level of care designed for individuals who often need help with bathing, dressing, toileting, and eating. Comparatively, a full-service retirement community provides several living options on the same campus. By providing a spectrum of living options on one campus, the retirement community can accommodate residents’ changing needs.

The Lodge’s Commitment to Full-Service Retirement Living

There are often a number of living options you can choose from, each with different amenities and services. At The Lodge, you will be a part of a community with a large variety of resort-like amenities for an exceptional lifestyle. If you’re looking for a new home, or just have questions about whether or not a full-service retirement community is right for you, contact us. We’ll help you understand your options and find the best way to enjoy your retirement.