Many of today’s luxury senior-living communities are redefining what they offer their residents by introducing resort-style amenities that appeal to retirees who want to maintain an active lifestyle.

It is not new or unique for these senior-living communities to include pools, fitness centers or onsite libraries for the enjoyment of residents. But some communities are upping their game by also offering bars and restaurants, spas and salons, movie theaters and more.

At The Alexander, which opened in 2019 in Bend, Oregon, the mix of amenities includes fine dining, luxury apartment finishes and recreational opportunities that make the most of the area’s scenic beauty.

“We have learned the importance of offering a more dynamic entertainment experience for our active seniors that mirrors their expectations for engagement, both individually and in group settings,” says Dan Lamey, the president and COO of BPM Real Estate Group, which manages The Alexander. “We have seen residents who have lost touch with hobbies they used to enjoy. Community living gives them an opportunity to rediscover those hobbies, and it is a joy to watch them recapture that part of themselves, making new friends in the process.” 

Meeting a new standard of dining expectations

Senior communities that cater to active adults are seeing a rise in resident interest in fresh, seasonal, locally sourced dining options. The Alexander offers fine dining, casual bistro and pub fare —  currently by reservation with limited seating, or packaged “to go.”

“We know that those who are isolated are more likely to eat poorly or even skip meals as a result of eating alone,” Lamey says. “We also know that getting out and socializing can lead to sharing meals with new friends and connecting. Our residents wanted flexible and unique dining options, so we designed three areas to meet their expectations.”

Led by an experienced executive chef, the ALX Restaurant serves dishes that rival any high-end restaurant in the area. Once restrictions are lifted, residents will again be able to visit the Café Liz, where they can enjoy specialty coffees, smoothies and an assortment of breakfast options, or pick something up at the grab-and-go store. At the Wally Bar, residents will be able to listen to live music, join a group of friends for trivia night, or enjoy the drinks and pub fare that are served there. 

Outdoor entertainment spaces at The Alexander include seating, fire pits and a telescope for stargazing.
Outdoor entertainment spaces at The Alexander include seating, fire pits and a telescope for stargazing.

Entertainment and socializing are key

One important feature communities offer is the opportunity for residents to gather and share experiences, enjoy a little quiet time, or explore a special area of interest.

“[At The Alexander] we have witnessed the evolution of senior entertainment go from the days of bingo and sit-and-stretch, to the current desire to never stop learning or trying something new,” Lamey says. “Today’s seniors are interested in custom fitness programs, theater and the arts, and social interactions that may include classes on making the perfect cocktail. Entertainment is engagement, and engagement is a key factor in wellness.”

At The Alexander, JB’s Game Room offers darts, shuffleboard, billiards and a gaming table, as well as a large-screen TV for watching sporting events. An onsite cinema, Janie’s Theater, boasts a 98-inch high-definition screen with luxury living-room-style theater seating.

There’s an indoor heated pool and spa, a spacious patio with a barbecue island, and a rooftop terrace with three fire pits and a telescope for stargazing.

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More opportunities for staying active

Access to fitness equipment and classes helps keep “active aging” more than a lifestyle slogan.

“Participating in group exercise classes and embracing a healthier lifestyle has been proven to decrease the likelihood of experiencing many common health problems, such as osteoporosis, high blood pressure and heart disease,” says Nancy Gialanella, an aquatics instructor at The Alexander. “Having access to a pool, fitness center and a wide array of classes being offered at all hours is a big motivator to stay fit and healthy.”

There are more than 30 different apartment floor plans at The Alexander, including studios and one- and two-bedroom layouts, that range from 410 to 1,475 square feet.
There are more than 30 different apartment floor plans at The Alexander, including studios and one- and two-bedroom layouts, that range from 410 to 1,475 square feet.

Residents at The Alexander can make use of the state-of-the-art fitness center featuring HUR programmable equipment. Scheduled fitness classes with a full-time instructor and trainer are all included in the monthly rent, as are classes at the yoga and Pilates studio and water aerobics classes in the pool. Many classes are currently being offered virtually.

“The full calendar of pre-planned activities and experiences provided in a community setting makes it easy to engage mind and body and create lasting bonds with individuals who share the same passions,” Gialanella says.

The Alexander is a senior-living community located at 1125 N.E. Watt Way, Bend, Oregon. Prices start at $2,475 per month for studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments. For more information, call 541-330-6000 or visit thealexanderbend.com.