By Jillian Garbutt

When the time comes to consider downsizing there are a lot of options to consider. Sometime moving to a smaller house, condo or apartment is the right option. But choosing to move to a place that offers community living brings a few extra things to the table.

There is no stressful yardwork or maintenance. Mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, changing lightbulbs, vacuuming, or shoveling snow are no longer a concern. If you enjoy doing any of those things, most communities will have hobby rooms and gardens that offer those opportunities without the stress of it being necessary.

There will also be activities and wellness programs to stay physically and mentally fit while having fun. Group exercise classes are a great way to get motivated to get in shape. Other activities like bingo, cards, art classes, puzzles, and book club keep the mind sharp. Entertainment like visiting music groups and going out to plays is another way that communities will overcome any boredom.

Good food is another thing offered in communities. That’s not to say that your own cooking isn’t delicious, but everyone gets stuck in a rut when it comes to meal ideas. And who hasn’t ever been lazy and had cereal for supper once in a while. But sometimes that isn’t occasional and happens more often especially when only having to cook for one or two. Having three well-balanced meals that meet all the food guide recommendations available every day is great. It not only saves the stress of “what will I make tonight?” but it also means you’re not the one doing dishes after the meal either! Most communities will still have a community kitchen that is available for use when you get that craving for the family’s secret recipe of chocolate chip cookies.

The number one benefit that you’ll see throughout all the others is socialization. And that is coming from an introvert like me. Residents in a community will maintain their privacy and independence in their own suite but benefit by knowing there is always someone close by. At all meals, activities or just being in one of the many common areas residents are being social. Being social stimulates us mentally and is a good motivator to keep us moving.

Every person and every community is unique and choosing where you want to live can be a big decision. It’s always a good idea to plan for the future and have a chance to visit or tour all your options before making a decision.