What Are University Retirement Communities and How Are They Different from Traditional Life Plan Communities?

What Are University-Based Retirement Communities and How Are They Different from Traditional Life Plan Communities

What Are University Retirement Communities and How Are They Different from Traditional Life Plan Communities?

Does the idea of going back to college in retirement pique your curiosity? If so, a university-based retirement community may be the perfect setting for the next chapter in your life. There’s no need to brush up on college entrance exams or move into a tiny dorm room. This opportunity is open to older adults who value the learning opportunities available as part of a college or university. It’s an experience unlike any other in senior living.

A university-based retirement community is a retirement community with a strong emphasis on lifelong learning for older adults. These communities are affiliated with a college or university and typically located on or near a college campus. University retirement communities offer a host of academic activities for seniors, including the option to enroll in noncredit college courses and other lifelong learning opportunities. Residents who live in a university retirement community have a full range of senior housing services, including independent living and a continuum of health services.

Just imagine all the possibilities when you have access to the academic programs and amenities of a college campus. You could take a course in art history, environmental science or global studies; study in a world-class library; or attend a college sporting event, art gala or college alumni event. And when you’re ready to relax, you can retreat to the comfort of your residence with an array of amenities right at your fingertips.

Key Elements of a University Retirement Community

A university-based retirement community provides a unique experience that’s attractive for the next generation of retirees, especially those who have a love of learning and thrive on the energy of a college campus. Here are some of the distinct opportunities available at a university-based retirement community:

Proximity to campus. University retirement communities are located on or near a college campus, and are designed with walkability in mind. Our location is adjacent to Furman University, where you can walk the campus and enjoy an array of campus amenities, including a fitness center and pool, library, sports venues, music and theater performances, art galleries and more.

Academic engagement. Retirement communities with university affiliations offer college courses and academic activities for residents. Through our partnership with Furman University, residents can enroll in a range of noncredit courses specifically developed for adults age 50 and older and taught by university professors. Located in an on-campus building, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute offers classes, lectures, hands-on experiences, daytrips and cultural events.

Senior housing. As exciting as it sounds to have a true college experience in retirement, this isn’t college dorm life! On the contrary, the apartment homes and villas in our community are spacious and thoughtfully designed. Choose from a variety of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartment homes and spacious free-standing villas.

Health care. A university retirement community is designed to be a place where you can stay and be supported for years to come, even if your health care needs change. The Woodlands at Furman offers a full continuum of health services you can count on, including assisted living, memory care, personal care services, skilled nursing and rehabilitation.

Campus transportation system. Having a robust transportation system or shuttle service in place helps residents get around campus. Residents appreciate the convenience of accessing their daily activities without the hassle of driving.

Alumni affiliation. Typically, a small percentage of the residents are former faculty, staff or alumni of the university. Being part of the community is a great way to stay connected with former colleagues and classmates.

Intergenerational experiences. A variety of perks are associated with being part of an academic community, including interacting with college-age students, professors, university staff and other retirees. Residents at The Woodlands at Furman can participate in an Adopt-a-Grandparent/Adopt-a-Grandchild program, which provides an opportunity to mentor and interact with a Furman University student.

What Sets Us Apart

Traditional senior living communities (some known as Life Plan Communities or continuing care retirement communities – CCRCs), offer senior housing services, maintenance-free living and a full continuum of care, which is similar to the residential and health services offered by university retirement communities. The emphasis on lifelong learning and the proximity to a college or university campus is really what sets university-based retirement communities apart from other communities. Other senior living communities have lifelong learning programs with opportunities for residents to take online classes or travel to the nearest college campus for in-person courses. This is valuable, but it’s not the same as having an affiliation with a college or university and being part of the campus community.

Discover a College Experience in Retirement

Are you ready to expand your horizons with lifelong learning? Come enjoy the perks of senior living and find out why young seniors are choosing university-based retirement communities like The Woodlands at Furman.