How seniors are seizing the day with maintenance-free livingPosted on: October 27, 2018, by : Anik Paul
Senior living communities often draw new residents by showcasing everything that there is for residents to do onsite — from exercise classes to book clubs, these properties’ central clubhouses usually feature signup sheets galore. Perhaps even more of a draw than what there is to do, though, is what residents don’t do: worry about doing maintenance on their properties.
Maintenance-free living is often a central aspect of senior living communities directed at adults age 55 and over. Homeowners within the community simply pay a monthly fee for maintenance services, and the property developer takes care of the rest.
Wegman Companies, Inc., for example, is a developer of local maintenance-free senior living communities including The Gardens at Fieldstone in North Greece and The Villas at Canandaigua. Their motto features the hands-off approach that their maintenance-free offerings allow residents: “We cut, we trim, we plow…YOU PLAY.”
The comprehensive maintenance services that Wegman offers cover more than just the basics that their motto references, like cutting or trimming the grass and plowing snow. While the specific services vary from community to community, services can also include items such as maintaining or replacing roofing and repairing exterior siding.
Residents are incredibly appreciative of the time they gain by not having to keep up with a regular maintenance routine. “Not having to maintain your property frees you up to do things you want to do, not things you need to do,” said Jim Ballerstein, a Gardens at Fieldstone homeowner.
When they don’t have to spend their spare time on weekends mowing the lawn, weeding the garden, or trimming the trees, residents can take full advantage of the communities’ social events at the clubhouse. There’s plenty to take advantage of, too: both of Wegmans’ communities host activities like ladies’ and men’s nights, holiday cookouts, Sunday brunches, card games and ice cream socials.
Having enough time to invest in developing relationships and participate in onsite activities enables a true sense of community in the neighborhood. People get to know each other not only at regularly scheduled events, but out and about at the clubhouse, at one of the communities’ large gathering areas, working out at a fitness center, lounging by the pool or putting together a barbecue on the grill. Together with the extra free time from not having to worry about upkeep, these amenities all encourage socialization among neighbors.
Ron and Fran Lippa, also Gardens at Fieldstone homeowners, agreed that with the time residents save from Wegman taking care of maintenance concerns, they can focus more on community building. “Living maintenance free means more leisure time, which leads to more community camaraderie and activities,” Lippa confirmed.
In addition to more free time, maintenance-free living also gives residents more space. Without having to handle home repairs and maintenance, homeowners don’t have to designate an area of their home to store all of the maintenance tools that they would otherwise have to use. “[There’s] no need to fill my garage with all of the equipment, tools and chemicals to maintain my property in any season,” explained Rita Sally, a Gardens at Fieldstone homeowner.
Aside from giving residents the gifts of more free time and more space, maintenance-free communities provide another major benefit: a sense of security within the community. With an outside company keeping streetlights, house lights, sidewalks and private entrances all in top working order, community members can feel 100% secure at all times, both inside and outside of their homes.
Closely linked to security is a third major benefit of living maintenance-free: safety. For 55 and over communities in particular, some standard home repairs can also involve activities that are safety hazards. As a best practice, for example, an elderly homeowner shouldn’t have to be the one to climb onto the roof to fix a shingle or use a ladder to access the gutter for cleaning; that way, they don’t have to worry about the possibility of accidents. Given the risks of even routine maintenance, it makes sense that so many community members value these outside services so highly.
Residents in maintenance-free living communities can also count on a reliable outside company to handle weather-related safety issues. Walkways are always clear of snow and ice, the driveway is always salted and plowed, and in general the highest standards of safety are maintained. Not only are all of the homes taken care of in a uniform and consistent matter, but so are the common areas.
For all of the benefits of well-kept homes with none of the work, maintenance-free living is an obvious answer.