Q&A with Kelley D. Hamilton – Types of Retirement Communities

Kelley D. Hamilton

Kelley D. Hamilton

Today we talk to Kelley D. Hamilton, CEO of Bonaventure Senior Living, about the styles of retirement communities available for today’s senior adults.

Q: Tell us about age restricted communities, please.

Kelley D. Hamilton: Well, typically a community will set a minimum age, usually at least 50 or 55. Association restrictions are designed accordingly, so older adults can relax and take life at a pace they’re comfortable with.

Q: What are some examples of towns that have age restricted communities?

Kelley D. Hamilton: Georgetown, Texas; Portland, Maine; Paris, Tennessee; Santa Fe and Tucson all have great age restricted communities, sometimes several of them in each town.

Q: How does that differ from an active-adult community?

Kelley D. Hamilton: Active-adult communities are made up of privately-owned homes and condos for baby boomers who want to stay active with things like golf or tennis. They’re designed with easy access to the features and amenities that older adults value.

Q: What are some examples of active-adult communities?

Kelley D. Hamilton: Sun City and The Villages are pretty well-known, with franchises around the country.

Q: Aren’t green retirement communities a fairly new idea?

Kelley D. Hamilton: Yes, they are designed for baby boomers who are hitting retirement age.

Q: What do green retirement communities offer?

Kelley D. Hamilton: They embrace sustainable living, with Energy Star compliant structures and appliances, great indoor air quality, recycled or local building materials, community gardens, water conservation and low carbon emissions.

Q: For a lot of people, when they hear “retirement community,” they think about nursing homes. Hasn’t that changed, though?

Kelley D. Hamilton: Yes, definitely. The nursing homes of old are not what you see when you visit a modern day Retirement Community or Assisted Living Residence.  The easy way to think about it is living in an apartment suite with all the accommodations of a fancy hotel.  If you need a little help with activities of daily living, there Assisted Living services available.

Q: What other types of “retirement communities” are available to seniors?

Kelley D. Hamilton: There are continuing care retirement communities, serving seniors who have differing needs. There’s flexibility built into those systems as needs change or people’s conditions improve. Cohousing is also catching on, with a community of people living independently but sharing dining and other activities, and pitching in to support each other and enjoy hobbies and things like meditation, yoga or sports together.

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