Assisted Living & Senior Living in U.S.

How to choose an Independent Living Community

How to choose an Independent Living Community

Independent Living for Seniors

Age has its limitations. Just to cite a few, it becomes difficult to learn, remember things clearly, or to get involved in physical activities. After sixty, most people find it more and more difficult to maintain their homes by themselves. In addition, they are often lonely because they have few people their age to interact with. If you long for the companionship of others and are finding it difficult to manage life the way you used to when you were younger, why don’t you consider living in an independent living community?

Independent living entails a housing arrangement for seniors and particularly those aged 55 years and above. Depending on preference, you can choose between apartments and freestanding houses. Unlike conventional homes, apartments and houses that are specifically designed to support independent living are easily navigable and don't have any yard work. There are very few things to worry about which means you have more time to focus on a joyful life. Retiring means you have paid your share of productivity to the society in full, and therefore are fully justified to break away from responsibility. The years after retirement are a time to do what you did not have a chance to do during your younger years. It’s unlikely that you will pick up soccer as a hobby but how about relaxing in a spa? Just like current day resorts, independent living homes have access to such amenities like swimming pools, salons, fitness centers and club houses where seniors spend their days reminiscing and talking.

Before you move into a senior home, there are a few basic things you need to know. These pertain to how these institutions are run, what to expect, and tips on how to make your selection.

Who is independent living for?

It is important to note that independent living is not suitable for everyone. Although it is advertised as a solution to all of your aging problems or a getaway from household chores, you have to understand that neither will go away completely. What independent living offers is a platform that makes it easy to approach these problems. It only becomes a viable option if it has become difficult to be happy in your current home. It could be because you meet the same people every day and cannot stop yearning for new companionship from your age mates. Additionally, the idea of relocating to a retirement community is ideal if it has become difficult to move around in your current home because of the physical limitations that come with age. At 60 years, old, you do not expect to go up the flight of stairs that lead to your bedroom as fast as the day you and your spouse moved in to your home.

Your spouse will also have a profound impact on your decision. For instance, is he or she still working? Besides, is the feeling that you would not like to spend your future in your current home mutual? Often, most spouses will differ because they are sentimental about a home they spent so many years living in.

In independent living homes, medical care is not provided for, although most independent living communities provide easy access to a health facility. Before you decide on purchasing a unit, consider your health and that of your spouse.

What options are presented by the independent living communities?

It's obvious that people have different interests, which is the principle reason why many products are offered with a wide spectrum of options and varieties to suit differing tastes. Independent Living offers such options which are described as:

  1. Low Income or subsidized senior housing. This arrangement is where the government subsidizes housing for low-income seniors.
  2. Senior apartments or congregate care housing: Usually, these are apartment complexes that have age restrictions. Advantages include meals, access to recreational amenities, and transportation options.
  3. Retirement homes: Often planted as part of a retirement community, these homes can be styled as condominiums, townhouses, duplexes, or single family homes.
  4. Continuing Care Retirement Communities: Suitable for seniors whose health conditions support the independent living style but can foresee complications in the future. Normally, such arrangements have nursing homes in their vicinity or on the same site. The benefit here is an easy transfer from independent living to a nursing home, when the need arises.

Will relocating from my current home to independent living community make me happier?

Most seniors who have recently been thinking about Independent living communities hesitate to take action because they do not want to abandon the hobbies they are used to. Just to cite an example, there is a popular myth that says it is impossible to have a gardening hobby while you are part of an independent living community. Remember that the key point of establishing these institutions is to involve seniors in many more senior activities than they would partake in as compared to living at home.

First of all, there will be a lot of people you can talk to. This means you will get a great look at what your peers do and consequently, will have possibilities of developing new hobbies. If you find out that the home where you currently live does not support the kind of lifestyle you would want, you are craving for a break which naturally comes when you do something new. Do not hold on to what you have been doing your whole life. You may be surprised to find out that indulging in something that’s entirely new may give you a new purpose during your senior years.

The cons of relocating to Independent Living homes

The benefits certainly outweigh the cons. Independent living communities are quite popular among older adults. In fact, it’s likely because of your personal preferences that you will find disadvantages in relocating. People find it hard to move on when they learn to love something. Because of how long you have lived in your current home, you will always want to live a little bit longer in it. Bearing the impact of such immense change is, therefore, one of the challenges you will be dealing with. At the end of the day, it’s like going to college once again.

Besides, you will be forced to either sell or rent your current home because you will no longer be available to maintain it. Renting out your current home is a good option if you need money to maintain the lifestyle you plan to embark on when you finally join other adults who live in independent living communities.