Independent Living: Understanding Active Adult Management
With the older adult population becoming increasingly more active, the term “active adult” is a commonly used phrase in place of the words “seniors,” “senior citizens,” “older adults” and “elderly.”
“These active adults are the largest, wealthiest and fastest-growing segment in the population and they are searching for products, services and programs that are designed specifically for them,” says Lisa Puma, senior director of Marketing of GHA Community Management. Essentially, these individuals are looking for a maintenance-free, activity-filled, and well-managed community where they can begin their transition into retirement.
An option that perfectly complements the lifestyles of these vigorous individuals””while shifting from the common misconceptions surrounding senior housing””are Active Adult Communities, a unique form of housing where individuals move in at the age of 55 or older to enjoy the perks of various amenities. Many communities offer the option of purchasing a home or renting to further accommodate individual financial needs.
As with any other housing option, it is recommended that individuals speak to residents and the management of prospective communities in order to become familiar with their philosophy. It is also important to understand how the management of active adult communities differs from multi-family management.
“Unlike multi-family, active adult communities are unique because they require more complex management to serve the lifestyle of the homeowners,” says Lisa.”The goal is not only to achieve a successful homeowners association, but to build social involvement, exercise, education, stress reduction and a balanced lifestyle.”
GHA Community Management has a specialty division that provides professional management and lifestyle services to meet the needs of active adult communities. This includes services ranging from in-home maintenance to energy and utility management as well as various consulting services, including those for community lifestyle directors and amenity and recreational building design reviews.
Although many do not offer healthcare services, active adult communities are an appealing housing option with their extensive list of amenities and homes that are low maintenance and easily accessible. The communities are typically adjacent to recreational facilities and golf courses, and often include tennis courts and swimming pools among other perks.
With all of these aspects of a community, it is the responsibility of active adult management and key members of the staff to establish a relationship with residents that ensures the different facets of their home suits their needs and overall lifestyle.