Adapting to the New Generation of Retirees

Readers of the November issue of Cleveland Magazine got a taste of what it’s like living at South Franklin Circle retirement community in Chagrin Falls through the eyes of members Dr. Harvey and Cindy Tucker. 

Here is the second excerpt from the story:

Retirement Living in Cleveland

Sunday brunch at Radius emphasizes the recent changes in the senior living industry. From the fresh fruit to the frittata, this is nothing like lunch at your grandma’s nursing home. Gone are institutional meals – no rubber chicken or pureed peaches.

Gone, too, are rocking chairs.

Retirement living today means staying active and engaged. Above all, retirement communities help stave off social isolation.

South Franklin Circle has a pool and exercise rooms. Daily, it might host a book group or a lecture on topics from broadband technology to stem cell science.

The Weils assisted living community in Chagrin Falls holds happy hour three times a week and features chef-prepared dining. The most popular classes include yoga, tai chi and art therapy.

Breckenridge Village, a continuing care retirement community in Willoughby, has two early childhood centers on campus so seniors can interact with younger generations. In its latest effort to meet resident demands, it’s even considering putting in an area where residents can build a hot rod or work on a motorcycle.

“Today, it’s about, ‘How do we adapt to what the residents want to do in independent living?’ ” says David Schell, executive director at Breckenridge.

The baby boom generation is used to having choices in life, Schell says. To be successful, retirement communities will have to meet that expectation.

The average age he sees in independent living is 78 – about 13 years after retirement, when a couple wants to downsize and give up the burden of housework.

“People ask me who the competition is, and I tell them it’s the person’s home,” Schell says. “The house holds security in one sense. But, as one ages, sometimes that security becomes a little more of a nemesis.”

Cindy admits downsizing was stressful. The Tuckers gave up a 5,700-square-foot, custom-designed home for their 2,400-square-foot cottage. But giving up the work of a large home was also a motivator.

To read the rest of this Cleveland Magazine story, please click here

For more information about South Franklin Circle, please call (440) 247-1300 or click here.

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