This article originally appeared in the December 2012 issue of So Scottsdale! magazine.


You’ve chosen to live in Scottsdale for a reason. Whether it is because of the beautiful mountain and desert views, the array of year-round activities, the shopping opportunities or the overall luxury lifestyle, you don’t want to give that up post-retirement. Maybe you even want to bring aging parents to Scottsdale to share your love of the city, but wonder how you can provide that same lifestyle for them.

Sierra Pointe

Sierra Pointe Retirement Community featured in December 2012 issue of So Scottsdale! magazine. Credit: So Scottsdale!

A Scottsdale gem has been serving the community since 2000 and it can offer the ideal solution. Sierra Pointe Retirement Community, located in North Scottsdale with beautiful McDowell Mountain views, offers resort lifestyles for both independent living and assisted living residents.

Sierra Pointe isn’t a stuffy “senior citizen community” nor is it a “nursing home” of yesteryear’s nightmares. Instead, Sierra Pointe is an active community that defines the upscale Scottsdale lifestyle.

Sierra Pointe Independent Living apartments

Residents in the independent living community have a choice of several different one- or two-bedroom luxury apartment models, ranging from 568 to 1455 square feet. Your apartment is truly a home with all kitchen appliances, washer, dryer, expanded cable television and patio or balcony.

The luxuries included with each apartment make Sierra Pointe ideal for seniors: weekly housekeeping, included utilities, daily scheduled transportation within a 15-mile radius, daily continental breakfast plus one additional meal per day (except for weekends, when brunch is served), all building maintenance both inside and outside your apartment, complimentary coffee/tea bar, gated parking and a concierge always on duty.

Sierra Pointe Independent Living community

What truly sets Sierra Pointe apart, however, is the community. The facility is part of Scottsdale and close to all the amenities, yet it is also a community all its own.

Residents have a full-size heated swimming pool and spa, a computer lab, library, arts and crafts room, game room, movie theatre, salon and barber shop, fitness center, the Camelback Bistro and Lounge and The Pinnacle restaurant serving gourmet meals.

Sierra Pointe is a community that encourages residents to socialize. There is always some type of activity, whether it is a performance, a speaker from a local museum or organization, an excursion to a nearby attraction (a recent outing, for example, was to Dolly Steamboat and others have included the nearby casinos or sporting events), a dance class, movie, walk in the desert or a friendly game of bridge. Of course, there’s no pressure to do anything and there is always time to lounge by the pool or curl up in the library or on your patio with a book.

Outside, in the common areas, are patios, swimming pool, spa, gardens and plenty of places to sit and enjoy the Scottsdale weather and views of the McDowells.

Sierra Pointe Assisted Living program

If you need an upscale assisted living facility for a parent – or want a home where you know you can transition to an assisted living facility someday should the need arise – Sierra Pointe is ideal. The philosophy is simple: there is no need to sacrifice luxury resort lifestyles just because you need daily assistance as a senior.

The Sierra Pointe staff is dedicated and always on hand, but encourages residents to be as independent as possible. The assisted living studios and one-bedroom apartments range from 427 to 494 square feet and include a kitchenette, cable television, three daily meals plus snacks, weekly housekeeping, weekly linen service, all utilities, and scheduled transportation.

Apartments for assisted living residents open onto a beautiful courtyard. There is a common Sun Room with a library and movies play daily on a large flat-screen television.

The staff at Sierra Pointe is aware of the special needs of assisted living residents and provides specialized separate areas from the independent living residents, including a salon and barber shop, laundry room, game room, living room, dining room, and arts and crafts room. They also offer a variety of other individualized services that residents can purchase as necessary, from medication management to dressing assistance or companion services.

Creating an easy transition

Deciding to make the move to a retirement community can be one of the most difficult decisions in life – whether it is a decision an individual or couple makes when leaving a home and downsizing to an apartment or it is a decision that an adult child makes with an aging parent. Sierra Pointe prides itself on creating relationships with its residents and their families. In fostering that relationship, it has developed several innovative programs designed to make the move to a retirement community easier.

One of the programs is the “Stressless Move-in package.” The package includes two hours of pre-paid service with an interior designer. The designer will assist residents with downsizing, accessorizing the new place and even making new purchases for the Sierra Pointe apartment. The designer can also help arrange estate sales and find movers who will pack and unpack households.

Sierra Pointe keeps a concierge on site 24/7 to help residents and a full-time Life Enrichment Director is on staff to answer questions and help with plans and activities. Sierra Pointe aims to provide a true resort living experience for its independent living residents and to offer a luxury experience for all residents.

Vacation package for visitors

Short-term visitors to Scottsdale can also take advantage of the amenities at Sierra Pointe and call it home for the duration of their stay in the area. Starting at $99 per night, for a minimum of 60 days, seniors can enjoy a resort lifestyle without any of the hassles of owning a vacation home. There is an additional $20 per night for a second person. The Senior Vacation Package includes:

  • Continental breakfast Monday through Friday
  • Lunch or dinner Monday through Friday
  • Brunch on Saturday and Sunday
  • Chauffeured trips within a 15-mile radius
  • Light weekly housekeeping (excludes dishes and laundry)
  • All scheduled activities and outings
  • Use of all on-site amenities, including the theatre, library, pool tables, pool, and spa

Finding out more

Sierra Pointe has many different options available with all the unique floor plans. Starting prices for independent living residents in the 568 square foot apartments is $2925 monthly. Starting prices for assisted living residents in the 427 square foot studios is $3910 monthly.

According to Executive Director Tracy Colburn, the best way to see if Sierra Pointe is a good fit for you or your loved one is to pay them a visit. She encourages anyone considering the facility for parents to bring them along so they can be included in the decision-making process. Guests are welcome to stop by for a tour and a complimentary lunch. Visit Sierra Pointe online at sierrapointe.com.

[Susan Lanier-Graham can be reached at www.wanderwithwonder.com]

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