What to Expect after Moving to an Active Retirement Community

Retirement can mean different things to different people. There are a number of factors that determine what the post-working years will look like for older adults, such as age of retirement, budget, health status, family dynamics and personal goals and lifestyle among others. As more and more Baby Boomers reach retirement age, the traditional picture of what retirement looks like is evolving. And as people live longer than previous generations, such an active community offers older adults the opportunity to maintain a healthy and well-rounded lifestyle after retirement.

What is an Active Retirement Community?

Also known as independent living or retirement communities, these arrangements are designed to offer older adults the freedom to pursue a physically and socially active lifestyle in a supportive community, without many of the responsibilities and maintenance of traditional homeownership.

Every community is different but active retirement living is typically designed for adults over the age of 55. Amenities vary greatly but can include everything from golf and tennis to spas, shopping, and banks within a private community.

What to Expect When Transitioning to Independent Senior Living

Once you have decided on the best community for yourself, making the transition will require a number of adjustments, as with any move. Independent living communities are designed to make life easier and more enjoyable for older adults; the changes involved are more lifestyle-oriented than with seniors moving to assisted living for predominantly health and medical-related issues.

Some of the most common factors to consider when adjusting to life in one of these include:


Most retirement communities consist of studio, one bedroom and multiple bedroom apartments and cottages. Many new residents there are transitioning from a larger home, and getting used to smaller living quarters in a planned community environment may take some getting used to.

Become familiar with the new space and community before the move, and plan ahead for the transition to account for everything from what you will take with you from your old home, to what amenities and features of the community you’d like to experience in the first few weeks or even months of your move. This can help ease the natural feelings of stress and even sadness that can accompany a move and transition to a new phase in life.

A Community

Most older adults are used to living in communities with people of all ages, including adult children, grandchildren, and neighbors with younger families. The transition to a community that consists exclusively of adults can take some getting used to for many new residents.

The truth is healthy and active adults well into their 60s and 70s report feeling much younger than their actual age, and in many cases are leading more physically and socially active lives after retirement than they did in their younger years.

The Difference Between Assisted Living and Active Retirement

Assisted living communities are designed to support seniors with help for the activities of daily living and Alzheimer’s and dementia. Residents in active retirement communities are typically healthy and physically active and independent with little to no medical needs. Some continue to work after moving to an independent living community and are free to travel, drive and maintain the lifestyle of their choice.

Benefits of Active Retirement Communities

People choose to move to independent living residences for a number of reasons, one of the most common being the desire to simplify their lifestyle and enjoy living among a community of peers with similar interests and goals. Whether the children have grown up and started families of their own, left for college or retirement is approaching, independent living has a little something for everyone.

Contact us

For more information about independent living at The Willows Premier Retirement Communities for Active Adults, contact us today by calling (508) 366-4730 for information about the Westborough campus, or (508) 755-0088 for the Worcester campus.