Besides the great variety of things to do that many senior living communities already offer (senior proms, guest lectures, art workshops, fitness opportunities, Bridge tournaments, iPad classes, and many more activities), residents can opt to participate in volunteer projects on and off campus, in addition to serving on the community’s Resident Council or any of its related committees. Most of today’s independent living communities stress the importance of an active lifestyle, although a sufficient number of opportunities for rest and relaxation are also available.
Depending on their level of involvement in the activities offered (or based on their engagement in the surrounding community; many still keep volunteer, professional, or social commitments long after a transition), some residents may even find their busy schedule to be fuller than it was before retirement.
Although resident committees can quickly become a breeding ground for complaints, they also serve an important function: providing a vehicle of communication between residents and the community’s management. Committees and councils cover a range of issues too: from the quality of food and service in the dining room to concerns about staff shortages to suggestions for new programs and events. The possibilities are endless, provided the management is open and amenable to collaborating with the council and committee members.
That being said, consider this senior care search tip: when visiting or calling a prospective community, ask about their resident council and committees. Try to get a sense of the relationship/level of engagement between residents and the provider.