Offering a cost-effective and desirable alternative to traditional retirement living, an independent living program offers retirees the chance to live in low-maintenance, high-amenity housing designed to fit their specific needs and lifestyle.
The demand for independent living programs are on the rise in the United States due to the vast amount of baby boomers becoming old enough to retire while still able to maintain the freedom of living independently.
Who Lives in an Independent Living Program?
Independent living programs are geared for the senior age group, which is generally made up of individuals and couples in their late 50's and beyond, as long as they are in reasonably good health.
This is not by any means a hard and fast number, but the majority of residents fall within that age group. Residents in an independent living program are responsible for their own care as well as daily schedules and activities.
When Would Someone Enter an Independent Living Program?
Geared towards individuals who are motivated to enjoy an active retirement, independent living programs appeal to retirees looking to downsize from their current, larger residences to smaller, more manageable homes.
Entering an independent living program allows retirees the freedom to pursue recreational and social activities without worrying about mowing the lawn, sweeping the floors or even taking out the trash.
Residents are provided with their own private units that offer all the modern amenities such a private baths, often equipped with non-slip surfaces and step-in showers, full kitchens and designer furnishings.
What Makes an Independent Living Program Different?
An independent living program is different from other types of senior housing in that it does not typically provide personal assisted living care, which includes help with basic activities of daily living such as bathing, grooming and eating, or professional nursing care.
Independent living programs are not geared towards residents with an involved need for intensive medical care, like those who reside in nursing homes.
Independent living is geared towards allowing residents the freedom to live as independently as possible, in a residential setting, with minor assistance available whenever it becomes necessary.
What Are the Advantages of Living in an Independent Living Program?
The advantages of an independent living program are many. Most programs offer housekeeping and laundry services as well as transportation to different areas and activities so that residents can shop and stay active and busy.
There are also many games and activities that are offered through the program itself. Probably the biggest advantage to most independent living programs is that they are staffed daily and offer assistance whenever it is required.
What Are the Disadvantages of an Independent Living Program?
Probably the biggest disadvantage to an independent living program is the lack of licensed medical staff on site. Although many independent living programs keep medical staff on call in case of an emergency, most have no medical personnel available on site. Good health practices and routine doctor visits are encouraged.
Find an Independent Living Program
Retirement can be an exciting time for seniors looking to free themselves from the burden of owning and maintaining a single-family home. Our directory lists hundreds of independent living programs across the country, making it easy to find independent living near you. Find an Independent Living Program today!
Written by senior housing staff writer.