What Is It Like Living in a California Retirement Community?

If you’re approaching retirement, you’ve likely given some thought to the next chapter of your life. Will you travel? Volunteer part-time? Move closer to the kids?

The type of housing you’ll live in makes up a large part of that conversation. You could remain in your home or, for example, move to a private suite at your son’s or daughter’s home. You could also move to a townhome, condo, rental property or retirement community.

Where you choose to live during your retirement years is a personal choice. You want to live somewhere that lets you continue your lifestyle, but you also want to be near all the people and activities that make life enjoyable. Living in a retirement community could be just the home you seek.

A Day in the Life at a Retirement Community

What exactly would you find if you moved into a retirement community? A lot more than you might anticipate. California’s retirement communities are all about supportive living, and that often means a more active lifestyle in an independent living residence or support in an assisted living suite.

But living arrangements are just the beginning. First, you’ll want to know what your new home could look like. Residences for active adults have the same features you’re used to, including a full kitchen, bathroom, sleeping area, living area and more. And depending on the community you live in, you might have a choice between a studio, one-bedroom or two-bedroom suite.

Apart from your residence, you’ll love experiencing all the perks of your community, including amenities, events and peace of mind.

Top-Tier Amenities

Each community has its own amenities, but many feature well-developed libraries with comfortable seating, full-service dining areas, a fitness center, meeting rooms and a computer center.

You’re free to pick and choose the amenities you wish to enjoy, whether that’s establishing late-night library adventures or working up a sweat with line dancing. The variety of amenities offered at the best communities make it easy for you to pursue established hobbies or explore new activities that appeal to you.

Some communities also have dedicated game rooms where residents can enjoy a game of darts, shuffleboard, chess, puzzles, card games or bingo. Other communities offer sewing and craft rooms, theaters, art rooms and music rooms that you can use at your leisure.

Events Calendar

Are you someone who loves to keep your calendar full? Good news: you’ll have the option to join in on many programs. Community staff create events calendars – typically by the month – that highlight all events going on for the next 30 days.

Some enrichment programs take place once or twice a month – such as movie showings or shopping excursions – while other programs like dance clubs, walking tours, writing groups or craft classes likely have a weekly timeslot. You can participate in every event or pick and choose the ones that fit your schedule.

Accommodations for Peace of Mind

Everyone has unique needs, which is why some communities offer various accommodations and operate as continuing care retirement communities, also known as CCRCs. Active adults typically join these communities when they’re healthy and want to enjoy greater amenities and time to pursue other interests. Once they’re a part of the community, they have a home for life and can move through independent living, assisted living or skilled nursing as their support needs change. Each accommodation level works to provide a supportive living environment for your changing needs.

Remaining in the same location gives you peace of mind that you won’t find yourself in an unfamiliar environment should you require more health support down the line.

Wellness Benefits

Supportive living communities typically have a holistic approach to wellness that empowers residents to remain active mentally, physically and socially.

Staying Social

Living close to others your age gives you immediate access to a broad social network. Whether you love large gatherings or small, intimate conversations, you’ll have no difficulties connecting with neighbors and new friends in a community. You can find common interests with new friends or invite family to join you for meals and activities.

Studies have shown that remaining social as you age helps to improve mental health and happiness while reducing the chance of developing certain health issues. Taking advantage of shared activities in communities while you’re still healthy can help you develop a supportive network that only grows stronger over time.

Staying Active

Adult living communities also provide plenty of ways to stay active. From walking tours to tai chi and yoga, physical wellness programs are in abundant supply, as are opportunities to use the community’s fitness center. You can join a fitness class or focus more on personalized fitness with the guidance of a certified trainer.

Many California communities also feature open spaces with gardens and landscaping so you can enjoy outdoor areas without leaving the city.

Staying Mentally Stimulated and Engaged

To provide a truly holistic approach to wellness, many communities have a variety of programs and amenities that are designed to engage your mind as well. When you’re able to settle down in the library for book club or join a class to learn a new skill, you’ll help keep your brain functioning at peak level.

Personal Stories About Retirement Community Living

Retiring in California has many benefits, most of which are only enhanced by living in a community. Corinne Beauvais, a resident of Lake Park retirement community in Oakland, loves the abundance of amenities and how welcoming people can be. She notes, “Everybody here has a story. I came here not knowing a soul, and now I enjoy everyone.”

Dr. Jou Tchao echoes Corinne’s comments about the sense of community. He appreciates the lifestyle and feel of the community. “There’s a real atmosphere of support, wellness and preventative medicine. There is also a lot of involvement and good conversation.”

And then there’s Lucille Bellucci, who loves the amenities and the community team in equal measures. She says, “The staff is friendly and always responsive to any need I may have. The dining staff call you by your name and are remarkable in their attentiveness.”

Are you ready to join other happy residents at one of the best retirement communities in California? Lake Park has been a beloved downtown Oakland retirement community since 1965. While the neighborhood has changed over the decades, one thing that hasn’t is Lake Park’s commitment to exceptional living.

Lake Park is a full-service retirement community that provides independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing while helping residents pursue their personal goals. Contact us for more information about our community, amenities and programs.

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