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Retirement Communities Are Key to Living Well

Today, growing older doesn't necessarily mean slowing down your life. In fact, just the opposite is true, as thousands of seniors have already discovered how to enjoy their "golden years" with vigor and style. Not content with sitting in front of the television, today's senior citizens are swimming with dolphins, learning a new art form and even plunging from a plane in their first skydive. What is the key to their happiness and well-being? According to a recent study, it could be living in a retirement community. According to a University of Michigan study, people who live in retirement communities are more satisfied with their daily lives and are more likely to be happy than their contemporaries who remain in their own homes. Residents of these communities also are more likely to say their health is better today than it was two years ago, the study concluded.

Many retirement communities not only give seniors a place to share common interests, but also provide unique opportunities to try new hobbies and experiences. For instance, the Fountains communities, located in 13 states at 19 locations, plan activities and excursions for their residents. On a recent excursion to Key Largo, Fountains residents age 78 to 98 swam in natural lagoons with six Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. Creative expression also is encouraged at the Fountains, home to hundreds of artists - both professional and amateur. Each year, the company produces an annual calendar featuring the work of its resident artists.

Communities such as the Fountains also offer various styles of retirement living to meet different needs and desires. For seniors who want to maintain or enhance their independent lifestyle, the Fountains' "Town Center" neighborhoods offer apartments, cottages, cabanas, casitas, bungalows, suites or condos. Amenities include dining venues, fitness centers, salons, lounges, movie theaters, bank branches, convenience stores and wellness clinics. For seniors who want to live independently with some assistance and supervision, the Fountains provides ready access to services, gentle encouragement and motivation from the community's 24-hour staff. Medicare-certified nursing care for those recuperating or rehabilitating from illness is also available at many locations.


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