Coastal NC

VOL12ISS2 2016

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28 THE ORIGINAL RELOCATION GUIDE — CAPE FEAR NC | VOLUME 12—ISSUE 2 SENIOR LIFESTYLES Senior Lifestyles BY BEVERLY BOOTH Marketing Director, Cambridge Village of Wilmington Much attention has been devoted to the changing demands and expectations of the baby boomer generation. This large segment of the population has a much longer life expectancy than previous generations, due in large part to advancements in medicine and lifestyle. Today's emerging seniors are healthier, they are more active, and they are not content with following the traditional paths of their parents. How and where they will spend their retirement years are decisions they are making for themselves rather than relying on family to make the decisions for them. No longer are retirees content with staying in their home until their health declines and they are forced to seek assistance. They are looking for less stress and more time to do the things they enjoy. And fortunately, the senior living industry in general has evolved to meet the needs of this progressive demographic. While "senior living" is certainly not a new concept, obvious by the multitude of complexes built solely for seniors, the focus has shifted. Today's options have opened up a whole new world for those who want to trade the hassle of keeping up a home for a simplified lifestyle – one where cooking is optional, but possible, fitness is fun, and the daily choices include whether to play a round of golf or volunteer at a favorite charity… or perhaps both! While the type of living options for retirees vary from apartment homes to one level bungalows, the "must-have" list for all includes an amenity rich environment, preferably included in the package cost. Embracing the Changing Face of Retirement Living The amenities are typically geared toward the geographic location and reflect the interests and desires of those seeking this type of simplified, maintenance-free lifestyle. Dining options, without doubt, have evolved over the years. The concept of one large "dining room" serving a limited choice of bland entrees along with a couple of sides has been replaced with more appealing options. Depending on one's mood or schedule, a choice of fine dining, a casual café setting, or even a "grab & go" can be enjoyed now at many communities. Also increasing in popularity to meet the demands of the boomers is the inclusion of an on- site pub serving a full menu of spirits. And for those who still enjoy honing their own culinary skills, full kitchens make cooking up a meal easy and convenient. The vibrant, eclectic lifestyles of today's senior population have also forced the retirement living communities to revisit the activities made available. No longer is weekly bingo enough to satisfy the social calendar. Exposure to various performing arts and ongoing educational opportunities are expected and widely embraced. Whether it's delving into a totally new arena or further enhancing one's knowledge or skill, programs designed to actively engage residents are being weaved into the calendars. One of the most expansive areas of change is the focus on health and wellness. Along with longer life expectancy comes the desire to enhance the quality of life in these retirement years. To meet this challenge, communities are offering state of the art wellness programs designed to accommodate diverse levels of fitness. This includes aquatics classes for beginners to higher intensity water aerobics as well as cardio and strength training. The convenience and accessibility of the classes and one-on-one coaching sessions is a definite consideration for today's retirees looking for a well-rounded format. The changing face of retirement living across American is evident. Kayaks and bikes are no longer just for the millennials. Tai Chi and spin classes are all the rage. Pampering spa treatments are just a few steps away. The vibrant lifestyles of today's retirees have forced the senior living industry to evolve into more of what seems like a permanent vacation. To learn more about retirement living options in the Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach area, contact Beverly Booth or Pierrette Cortner at 910.239.9500 or visit www. []

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