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What to Consider When Looking at Senior Living Options

What to Consider When Looking at Senior Living Options

By Nancy Small, Mirador Resident


So many choices! It’s time to downsize. What are my choices? Do I want to go to an active 55-and-up community or a smaller independent living neighborhood at a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)?  Single family home, rental retirement community, keep my long term care policy, or a Life Care community with predictable long term care costs. Do I want to handle the move myself while I am still able? Do I want to stay in my home and manage a move when I am less able?   Some folks travel around the state looking for that next step, but for some folks, the decision is determined by where the kids are and what’s available. Is a non-destination city cheaper than a major city? My husband and I lived in a large active senior living community (where we met) before we moved to Mirador, a CCRC LifeCare community. It’s surprising what the similarities are despite the vastly different scale of these communities; one has thousands of single family homes while MRC Mirador has 125 apartment homes.


Both communities play sports; in both communities you leave your home to play golf or tennis or a bocce ball… or whichever ball you choose to chase. Both communities have yoga, swim classes, art classes, book clubs, card clubs and various hobby groups. Obviously in a larger community there is a wider variety of choices.   In a larger 55+ community you drive, while in a small CCRC community you walk down the hall. One is bustling on the outside, visible for the world to see; one is bustling on the inside, away from the view on the street.

Will there be friends that are my age?

Both communities will have 60-year-olds through 100-year-olds. How far are the friends from you: down the block and across the subdivision, or down the hall and on the next floor? Though 55+ communities will most likely have a more vibrant social scene due to the choices that come with size, we have found that there is something for everyone at Mirador.

One obvious difference is what happens with your time.

Do you want a lifestyle that sheds the responsibilities of caring for a home, preparing meals, asking neighbors to watch your house when you choose to travel to visit kids, friends or explore new corners of the world? CCRC communities simplify all of that. Your time is yours. Shut the door and your food is downstairs prepared, waiting to be shared with friends… Or, shut the door and you’re off on your adventure of sports, games or travel.

What happens when you grow older?

The world narrows in both size communities. The reduced mobility 90 to 100-year-olds are in both communities, though the options different. If you own your own home, you are vastly more confined and dependent on people coming to see you.  In CCRC communities, you’re still eating with your friends, playing cards, going to the classes of your choice, and the effort to get to them is reduced as they are just “right down the hall.” CCRC communities tend to have a culture of caring and support from friends and staff that is not possible (or expected) in a community of 7,000 people.

Community service opportunities.

Volunteer opportunities are available in both types of communities; the difference is the distance you have to travel.  In both communities the opportunities are the same if you’re willing to drive. In a CCRC community there are still individuals who want to make a difference, and there will also be many opportunities within the community itself.

Quality of living.

There will always be 80-year-olds who want to kick their feet up and watch television. It’s really up to the individual. What do you want to do with your heart, with your mind? What vision do you have for your world? Active people will always find a place for their interests and a way to find new friends if they get involved, no matter where they live.  


Are you interested in the lifestyle that Nancy is describing here? Call (361) 651-1103 for a personalized tour of Mirador!


Nancy Small is an active member of the Mirador community. She is a retired special education teacher and enjoys taking walks in the early morning, water aerobics and leading charitable efforts in the community.

Won’t you come for a visit?

MRC Mirador Senior Living Discovery Explore Card, Corpus Christi