By the year 2030, the number of adults over the age of 65 will double in size to make up approximately 20 percent of the United States' population. Often referred to as baby boomers and more recently as, ‘Active Agers,’ these older Americans’ decisions and preferences regarding where and how they choose to live are causing builders to create more diverse housing options by designing fun, modern, and more walkable, mixed-use communities that allow for greater social interaction. Today, more than 300 Active Adult community initiatives are underway nationwide, and state and federal agencies are awarding grants to research, test and implement new models. Active Adults not only enjoy more years free of chronic disease and depression, but they are also happier and more independent than their institutionalized, often isolated peers. It’s no wonder then why developers are taking hold of this golden opportunity and changing what it means to grow older. If you’re an Active Adult looking to start a new chapter, here are three reasons why you should keep 55+ Active Adult communities on your radar:
1. Well-being: developments that keep physical and social well-being top of mind
A recent study conducted by the AARP on the social impact of adults 40+ found that those who are 'socially-disconnected' have below-average mental well-being scores and are more likely to report a decrease in cognitive functioning. Respondents in the same study stated that social relationships encourage them to try new things and take better care of their health, ultimately improving their sense of well being and quality of life. With stimulated mindsets just as important as flexible joints when it comes to successful aging, Active Adult communities focus on giving residents a reason to get up and get going. From in-home elevators to wide open living spaces and quiet retreats, you’re able to connect and contribute time and social capital as much, or as little, as you’d like.
2. Convenience: close proximity to amenities and entertainment
Active Adult communities such as Van Metre’s Birchwood or Crest of Alexandria feature convenient access to stores, parks, restaurants, health services, nearby interstate roads, and readily available public transportation—all near major hubs like Washington D.C., Alexandria and Downtown Brambleton. In recognition of the key role physical activity plays in helping older adults maintain their independence, these communities also offer an expansive range of physical activities including outdoor fitness circuits, indoor fitness centers, pools, yoga studios, pickle and bocce courts, putting greens, scenic ponds and walking trails to keep you up and moving.
3. Endless activity: site plans that encourage an active lifestyle
In Active Adult communities, residents can do more of what they love most. From yoga on the main lawn to attending community coordinated events and social gatherings, you will be able to access exclusive clubhouses made to host gatherings, celebrations, screenings, learning sessions, and natural experiences that invite interaction and engagement with best friends, family and clubs.
Redefine what it means to grow older
‘Active Aging’ is already redefining what it means to retire and grow old. As builders seize the opportunity to create Active Adult communities that are age-restricted, they are ultimately building neighborhoods that improve the well-being of everyone that resides there, regardless of age or stage of life. Whether you want to stay active, be social, or just lounge in a new home, live the life you’ve dreamed of—in an Active Adult community. -- Van Metre homes is currently developing two Active Adult communities in the D.C. metro area—the Birchwood at Brambleton and the Crest of Alexandria. Both will feature comfortable walking routes with enhanced streetscapes and improved lighting and signage, making street crossings safer and for pedestrians and drivers. Additionally, each community will include a thoughtful mix of residential, retail and professional office space to keep Active Agers closer to home.