Senior Life in Mesa, Arizona
If you want to retire in a town as family-friendly as it is open to senior citizens, you should definitely check out Mesa, Arizona.
Often overlooked by its wealthier neighbor Scottsdale, Mesa has been coming into its own in recent years, boosted by a first-rate Arts Center in a revitalized downtown cultural district served by fast, clean light rail.
Like Scottsdale, Mesa offers options for urbanites and those who like more open spaces. The main difference is Mesa’s affordability for both seniors and families. So it’s no surprise that more seniors are choosing to retire here, including long-term residents.
A City Devoted to Culture and Recreation
If you’re thinking of moving to Mesa, you’ll find a great deal of cultural and outdoor activities.
Mesa is rightly proud of its Arts Center and redeveloped downtown. Its venues host live theater (plays and musicals), comedians, musicians (pop, jazz, classical) include, tour stops by legends like John Cleese and Eric Idle, Jackson Browne, Bernadette Peters, and Boz Scaggs. Itzhak Perlman will perform here in 2017; so will Hal Holbrook, touring in his renowned Mark Twain Tonight one-man show. Comedians Robert Kline and Paula Poundstone perform here regularly.
Golfers flock to the par 72 Dobson Ranch Golf Course, one of more than 50 public parks (not counting four downtown “pocket” parks) in the city. Other parks include miles of hiking trail for all abilities, outdoor pools, rec centers, and community fishing at two parks; a third will open in 2017.
Mesa Senior Housing Communities
Mesa is also home to two of three Active Adult Centers in the region’s East Valley. Active Adult Centers offer an interesting variety of activities including exercise classes (low-impact aerobics, tai chi), writers’ groups, dancing, singing, art, ceramics, and more. Volunteer opportunities are available for seniors interested in mentoring or tutoring local students and young business owners, or who to assist homebound seniors and/or persons with disabilities in the community.
Mesa Offers a Range of Assisted Living Arrangements
Assisted living services in Mesa range from communities that offer resort-style private apartments to care provided inside luxurious adult group homes. Many offer a range of care, allowing seniors to age in place.
Some assisted living communities offer independent living as well for seniors who do not require help with activities of daily living (ADL), but appreciate many of the benefits that come with assistive living:
• Chef-prepared meals in open, friendly dining rooms
• Housekeeping services
• Concierge services
• Internet access
• A range of socializing opportunities in onsite game and entertainment rooms, physical activities onsite and within the community, and planned excursions
The Citadel is one such residence more typical of assisted living in cities. This apartment community serves independent living and assisted living residents, who can transfer from one arrangement to another as needs and abilities change. Its amenities include a concierge, a professional chef who presides over its dining room, and special events (parties, outings) catered for senior tastes.
Heritage Village is another senior community that’s a little different in that it’s home to residents with different abilities, allowing for a true “aging in place” service. It runs eight adult group homes with 16 rooms each; residents live in homes that specialize in providing the type of assistance they need, from assisted living to memory care. Each room has its own private bath. The homes themselves are lovely, with Tudor-influenced entrances and modern yet homey interiors.
Independent or Assisted Living in Mesa
Crismon Peaks is another community that offers independent and assistive living services in three homes in west Mesa, a more rural/exurban area in the shadow of the famous Superstition Mountains. Residents live in one of three homes that offer single-occupancy suites; two of the homes offer one double-occupancy suite. It offers care ranging from basic assisted living to memory care.
Crimson Peak homes have certified eco-friendly indoor environments built with hypoallergenic insulation. Inside, the air and water systems are purified, and only eco-friendly products are used in and around the homes.
Assisted Living in Private Homes Deliver Skilled Advanced Care
Much of Mesa’s Assisted Living is provided in private adult group homes in neighborhoods. From outside, you wouldn’t notice that these houses are any different than those next door. This neighborhood approach is ideal for seniors who have special needs and may be more medically fragile than those in community-based assisted living, where care tends to be more general and focused on ADLs and medication management. Many provide or can arrange for hospice care in place.
Residents have their own private rooms (some homes offer shared rooms) and eat meals together in the kind of dining room you’d find in most large homes. They often congregate in a living room before and after meals to socialize and receive visitors. Most homes have open visiting hours (within reason, of course: no one wants visitors at 2 am!) and invite family members and guests to join them for meals.
Some home-based care facilities specialize in dementia/Alzheimer’s care and hospice services. One such home, Caring Heart Terrace, cares only for women with dementia or Alzheimer’s.