Independent living residences, also known as retirement communities, are for seniors who are generally in good health and do not need professional assistance or supervision of their daily activities.
Residents live in single units and are responsible for their own schedule and care. Seniors are free to enter and leave the community as often they wish, however, many choose to take advantage of the amenities, activities and sense of community offered by their like-minded neighbors.
Who Lives In Independent Living?
Seniors who choose independent living are typically at least 55 years old and do not require outside assistance to accomplish basic living tasks such as dressing, housekeeping, laundry, bathing or eating. They do not suffer from serious medical conditions or mobility problems, and are able to move freely without aid.
Accommodations in these communities are smaller and easier to maintain, often resembling apartments, which allow active seniors to spend less time on chores and more time pursuing recreational, social and other activities.
What Amenities Do Independent Living Communities Provide?
While residents are in control of their own schedules, many independent living communities provide a number of services and amenities to enhance the well-being and quality of life of their residents. Professional staff are available daily to attend to the needs of residents and it is not uncommon for communities to offer gardening, housekeeping and laundry services.
Seniors who are looking to maximize their leisure time will enjoy the convenience an independent living community can provide. Some communities have on-site hair salons, libraries and dining facilities. Transportation to local attractions and shopping centers is often provided and organized outings are frequently scheduled. Many communities are also located in close proximity to cities with a wealth of entertainment and cultural activities for their residents to explore.
Is Medical Care Offered?
Residents of independent living should be in good health and not require constant medical monitoring or care. Residents are expected to visit their primary physicians for routine visits and on-going care. Luckily, many communities are located in or near major urban areas with access to quality neighborhood hospitals and clinics.
However, should a medical emergency situation occur, most residences employ on-call medical staff who will respond to emergencies and recommend a treatment plan to ensure that residents receive the best medical care possible.
Written by senior housing writer Jacqui Howell.