What services are offered when you move into an independent living community? The answer is a bit ambiguous, but true: it depends. Rents and ownership costs can vary according to the area along with the amenities offered.
Independent living options can range from private apartments to large two-three bedroom units that can be rented or bought. Sadly, independent living facilities usually only accept private payment methods, but this is something to discuss with a social worker or gerontologist.
These professionals can help you understand the process and find the best fit for you. It really is a subjective search and depends on your personality, finances, and preferences.
What Is Independent Living?
Before you can understand the services that independent living offers, it is important to know the difference between various senior care facilities. Independent living for seniors is also known as retirement communities, senior apartments and senior housing, and targets mainly ambulatory, active people, age 55 and older who do not require significant medical care, but may need some minor assistance with activities of daily living.
The independent living lifestyle is considered a good alternative to remaining at home, while still retaining an active and independent quality of life. Once someone needs serious medical care, assisted living or skilled nursing care may be the right option.
What Can You Expect With Independent Living?
Independent living allows you to enjoy a wide variety of social, cultural and fitness services. With your monthly fee, most facilities usually do cover the basics, such as:
- Three meals a day
- Home maintenance
- Transportation to local shops and doctors' appointments
- Social activities
However, this all depends on the community. Some may offer housekeeping, while others charge a fee for that. Also, personal care services such as bathing and medication dispersion are usually not provided but, at an additional cost, they may be added.
Moreover, when the time for more assistance approaches, residents can bring in outside care, such as a home-health aide, allowing the resident to remain in their independent community.
Find Independent Living Services
The ability to remain autonomous and active is usually what draws people to independent living communities. The social interaction they get with living within the same cohort is uplifting and stimulating. Others may have lost a spouse and/or the cost of maintaining a big house is becoming overwhelming and they find the need to downsize.
Whatever the reason, independent living communities offer abundant services to retain that active lifestyle. It is important to choose the best place for you. After all, this is going to be your new home so do your research and shop around. Browse our nationwide directory to find independent living today!
Written by gerontologist Melissa Schulz.