I have found one of the benefits from living in an active retirement community, is that residents can share help and support to and from neighbors in their community.
In a regular subdivision, most of your neighbors work, are busy with their kids and may be too busy to help. You can build your own help and support group but it’s hard to do with friends living all over and some still working.
Not so in a retirement community. Friends are living right in the community and have a mindset that we are all in this together. We need each others help and glad to offer our help and assistance when we can.
A single person or a couple can really benefit, especially as they get older, from having neighbors that will pitch in when needed with various types of help. This is a very helpful arrangement which solves a problem we all face as we get older. Heck, no matter what age you are, this is a good arrangement, to help others and they help you. Kind of like a support network.
We have only been living in our Del Webb Community for one year and I have seen these examples of help and support many times. You don’t have to be an expert to help, most of the help needed can be done by anyone.
- Drive to Doctors Appointments
- Pick up after leaving car for repair
- When you are not home, someone to get your mail, look out for package delivery, meet repairmen.
- Come to the rescue when there is a medical emergency.
- Help move, unload or pickup stuff. Moving a TV, unload a Costco purchase from your vehicle are two examples.
- Take to hospital for cataract surgery.
- Comfort after loss of spouse.
- Someone to talk and socialize with. Just pick up the phone, walk down to the clubhouse, or attend any activity.
- Share adult living tips like where to get prescriptions filled, where senior discounts are given, good local doctors.
- Neighbors borrowing at no cost temporary medical equipment like a walker, wheelchair, crutches, shower seat, etc.
- Traveling together either with neighbors taking a cruise or a group trip organized by the HOA or sometimes a neighbor.
- Going out for lunch or dinner with neighbors is a fun socializing event at it’s best. Helps get you and an friend out of the house! Also sharing tips about great restaurants in the area.
- Taking a food dish over to someone recuperating.
- Sharing Repair and Maintenance Vendors info. Since we all live in homes built by the same builder, and many times the same appliances, this is really helpful. Also info about how you can solve home problems.
- Walking on our neighborhood streets and parkway, sharing a hello and maybe conversation for a while is an uplifting way to start your day.
- Playing pick up sports like pickleball or bocce with a same day email asking if anyone wants to play today at 7pm?
- Help with technical issues like a computer mouse not working, a smart TV not getting the internet, or how to use wireless head phones. There is usually a neighbor who can help.
- Searching for a lost cat or dog.
- Also related, feeding and talking care of your cat or dog while you are away.
- Keeping an eye open for home security, especially when you are gone. The neighbors will notice when someone new is around.
These are some of the ways neighbors help each other, that I have seen in my community this year. I could keep going. There are many, many other forms of helping each other through friendships, sharing activities and events and in intellectual, artistic and even physical ways.
So when you visit a retirement community and look at all the facilities and amenities, just remember that the thing that may be most beneficial is something you cannot see: the help and support we provide each other as good neighbors.