Independent Living for Seniors

Are you considering relocating to a senior living community, independent living house, or retirement home? Examine your options and discover how to select the option that best suits your needs.

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Independent living: what is it?

Any housing arrangement created specifically for older adults, usually those 55 and over, is known as independent living. There is a huge range in housing, from single-family detached homes to apartment living. In general, the housing is more accommodating to senior citizens; it is frequently smaller, easier to navigate, and requires no yard or maintenance work.

The majority of communities provide amenities, activities, and services, even though residents live independently. Recreation centers and clubhouses are frequently available on campus to allow you to socialize with other residents and take part in community events like movie nights, holiday get-togethers, arts and crafts, and continuing education classes.

Along with other amenities, independent living communities may have a tennis court, fitness center, swimming pool, golf course, and other clubs and interest groups. Onsite spas, hair salons, daily meals, and basic housekeeping and laundry services are possible extra services provided.

Most independent living facilities do not have nursing staff or medical care because they are designed for older adults who require little to no assistance with daily living activities. However, you can pay for in-home assistance separately as needed.

As with any change in living circumstances, it’s critical to prepare ahead of time and allow yourself enough space and time to adjust. You can extend your independence, improve your quality of life, and enjoy a fulfilling retirement by employing these suggestions to find independent living.

Types of retirement communities and independent living spaces

Independent living facilities come in a variety of forms, with prices and services varying widely. These include standalone homes and apartment buildings.

affordable or assisted senior living. For instance, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds senior housing complexes for low-income individuals in the country.

Senior living communities or communal housing. These apartment buildings have age restrictions; typically, residents must be 55 or older. Community services like meals served in a shared dining room, transportation, and recreational programs may be included in the rent.

Retirement communities and homes. Retirement communities are neighborhoods with housing units reserved for people over a specific age, usually sixty-two or fifty. Single-family homes, duplexes, mobile homes, townhouses, and condominiums are some examples of these housing units. Should you choose to purchase a unit, extra monthly costs might go toward clubhouses, recreation centers, or outside maintenance.

Retirement Communities with Continuing Care (CCRCs). If you or your partner are currently in relatively good health but you anticipate serious health issues in the future, you might want to think about moving into a CCRC. Within the same community, these facilities provide a range of care services, from independent living to nursing home care. Residents can move from independent living to an assisted living or skilled nursing facility on the same property if they start to require assistance with activities of daily living, for example. The primary advantage of a CCRC is that you can keep your independence for as long as possible and only have to move once to a new place.

Differences between other senior housing options and independent living

The degree of assistance provided for daily living activities is the primary distinction between independent living and other housing options. Other housing options, like assisted living facilities or nursing homes, might be a better fit if you need regular medical attention or round-the-clock assistance with eating, dressing, and using the restroom.

Are you ready to live on your own?

Any move in or move out can seem like a loss of independence as you get older. Independent living, as the name implies, is less about giving up your independence and more about simplifying your life. Sometimes, accepting some help now and admitting your limitations—that you can’t take care of the maintenance of your current house, for example—will help you stick to your routine of independence for a longer period of time.