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Debunking Common Myths About Retirement Communities

Whether based on fact or fiction, most of us have developed our own ideas of what a retirement community is like and who it is for.  Often times, there is a preconceived notion that a retirement community is a place for those who want to spend the day sitting in a rocking chair idly watching their golden years pass by.  Many mistakenly regard retirement communities to be the same as assisted living or skilled nursing care.  But truthfully, the retirement communities of today cater to adults who live independently and enjoy an active lifestyle.  If your perception of a retirement community is based on the senior living options from years ago, you may be surprised to learn the truth behind myths surrounding these communities.  Read on for common retirement community myths and their truths.

Myth: We’re too young to move to a retirement community.

Truth:  With most retirement communities having a minimum age requirement around 55, many residents make the choice to move to a community while they are still healthy and active.  With the home maintenance, lawn care, and snow shoveling taken care of by the community, residents have the freedom to live their independent lifestyle without being bogged down by the time-consuming tasks of home upkeep.  The retirement communities of today are specially designed for those adults who desire a full life while enjoying hobbies, interests, wellness pursuits, and time with friends and family.

Myth: I’ll lose my independence in a retirement community.

Truth:  Many confuse retirement communities with other senior living options such as skilled nursing care.  Retirement communities offer maintenance-free living options for those who desire to live independently.  Residents can spend their time on personal hobbies or choose to get involved in the many social opportunities and activities offered by these communities.  For those who wish to spend time traveling, a retirement community offers the perfect home base where your residence will be looked after while you’re away.

Julie Beltramea, Retirement Community Director at Snyder Village, shares about the active community when she says, “Our residents enjoy a wide array of activities offered such as cooking classes, painting classes, Armchair travel, Silver Sneakers, tai chi, euchre, pinochle, happy hours, etc. Our activity department does an excellent job of appealing to a variety of interests. Our residents do not have an opportunity to be bored in our community.”

Myth: I shouldn’t move to a community until I need help taking care of myself.

Truth: Moving to an independent living community while you’re still healthy and active allows you to take full advantage of all the fun activities and perks that a retirement community has to offer.  If you wait until an illness or health crisis occurs, you may be forced to pick a senior living option that is not your first choice.  Life plan communities like Snyder Village offer several levels of care all on one campus.  With a retirement community, assisted living, and skilled nursing center, you can make a move to Snyder Village while healthy and then progress through the levels of care if necessary.

Myth: Meals offered are unappetizing.

Truth: Modern retirement communities understand the importance of a good meal in today’s culture.  Not only is a meal a social event for many, but high-quality nutritious food offerings are vital to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  At the Snyder Village retirement community, meals are prepared in the open-kitchen bistro.  A seasonal menu is offered with options to please a variety of preferences, along with made-to-order items to appease that spontaneous craving you may have for a Philly cheese steak or salmon salad.

Myth: You must be retired.

Truth: Today, more and more people are choosing to move to independent living before being officially retired.  Whether they work full-time and want the convenience of no longer doing home upkeep, or they work part-time for extra spending money or to keep busy, working while living in a retirement community can be a great option.

Myth: No pets are allowed.

Truth: Although each community has their own rules and regulations regarding pets, more communities are recognizing the importance of pets in their residents’ lives.  To ensure a quality living experience for all residents and neighbors, most communities have restrictions regarding size or number of animals, and a small fee may be required.  On any given day at the Snyder Village retirement community, you will see cats in the windows and residents walking their dogs.  Even if a community does not allow pets, many offer animal therapy programs.

It can be easy to base perceptions on stereotypes and old ideas.  But the retirement communities of today are worth a visit with fresh eyes.  Learning more about a community or visiting a campus in person may surprise you and debunk those myths you may be unknowingly believing.


Snyder Village in Metamora is a Life Plan Community that offers an independent living retirement community, assisted living, memory care programs, skilled nursing care, physical therapy, and home care.  For more information or to schedule a tour of the Retirement Community, call (309) 367-4900 or visit

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