As a person gets older and the children move out of the home, and especially as they near retirement age, they may start to think about selling their home and downsizing to something more manageable for themselves. Many seniors opt for an apartment or condominium of some sort, as there is less maintenance and upkeep needed.

Another option is a retirement community for seniors, which is typically a type of apartment or condo complex that has planned activities and other amenities for the residents. Consider some surprising benefits of these types of communities for seniors.

1. Seniors may eat better at such communities

Most senior complexes and communities offer free breakfasts other such meals throughout the day or the week, and these can ensure that a senior is eating well. Very often a senior citizen may start to neglect their own healthy eating when their budget gets tight or when they're just cooking for one, and in turn their health might suffer. Having healthy food available to them on a regular basis can ensure they're getting the nutrition they need.

2. A sense of community can add to a senior's security

In a senior center, the residents may work to build a sense of community as they participate in group activities. Because of this, seniors can be safer. Another resident might notice when one resident doesn't show up for breakfast or may notice signs of failing health that someone is overlooking. When their own family cannot be there to care for them every day, this sense of community can keep a senior much healthier and much safer overall.

3. Activities can keep seniors mentally sharp

One reason that many seniors seem to decline in their mental abilities is that they often stop challenging themselves mentally after they retire. Being involved in activities can keep seniors mentally sharp. They might get together to play cards or do crafts, and all these activities keep them mentally alert and active even as they age.

4. Not needing to drive can keep them safer

If retirement living communities offer shuttle service on a regular basis, this too can keep seniors safer. They won't need to rely on public transportation or their family to help get them to the supermarket or a doctor's appointment but won't need to drive with failing eyesight and poor reflexes. Many senior complexes provide shuttle services once per week or may be able to arrange taxi services for seniors as needed, so they can be mobile yet still safe as they get older.