1. What is independent living?

Independent living, senior living, retirement community – these are the same name for the same type of senior living community.

Independent living is a type of senior community where elderly adults are physically independent but prefer living with other people the same age and appreciate the community lifestyle. It offers a carefree lifestyle for the seniors who want to enjoy their golden years. Independent living facilities provide a range of services and amenities that are perfect for residents’ stress-free, active lifestyle such as prepared meals, transportation arrangements, group activities and home maintenance. Senior living communities also encourage healthy aging with a diverse programs for physical fitness, travel, educational, and cultural opportunities.

Best place for seniors - independent living

2. What are the benefits of independent living?

Senior adults nowadays are becoming more and more excited and eager to live out the best of their golden years – and independent living communities are rising to the expectations. Independent living is an opportune venue that allows seniors to pursue the grand living they want.

  • Convenience and maintenance-free living

Independent living facilities liberate senior living residents from the responsibilities and burden of housekeeping, home maintenance, and other daily chores. These activities can be time-consuming for the elderly and may also lead to unpleasant accidents.

  • Deliciously prepared meals

Independent living facilities provide three meals per day that were prepared with the residents’ nutrition and dietary requirements in mind. Senior apartments are usually also equipped with a mini-kitchen that residents who enjoy cooking would love or those who prefer to simply dine alone.

  • Sense of community

More than just a facility, independent living facilities create a community to be shared among adults who are at a similar stage of life. Social activities and shared programs encourage residents to explore hobbies and create a lasting bond with others.

  • Fun and recreation

While these facilities are programmed to take care of their senior residents, activities also have an eye for independence and recreation. Programs and planned events are designed to cater to the needs of the seniors’ total wellbeing – physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally.

  • Safe, secured and senior-friendly apartments

Older adults have a higher risk to accidents that may, unfortunately, lead to head and hip injuries and broken bones. Independent living apartments are designed with the senior’s safety in mind. Staff are also available 24 hours a day in case of an emergency.

  • Available and complimentary transportation

Driving for aging adults could become a hassle or unsafe sometimes. Living facilities typically have complimentary transportation services. Although some residents can still drive a car, arranged complimentary transportation services offer a level of convenience.

  • Pet-friendly community

Many communities allow pets, so residents don’t have to leave their pets anymore. However, rules are commonly set in place regarding the types, size, and number of pets.

  • All-inclusive rent

Rent in independent living communities already covers housing, utilities, meals, and amenities. This allows the residents to spend less time managing finances and paying bills.

3. What’s the difference between independent living and other types of senior retirement living?

It’s important for our elderly seniors to know their options in deciding for the senior retirement living that aligns with their senior lifestyle and needs.

These living communities both provide secure, safe and senior-friendly housing, along with social activities, for the aging adults. The main difference between independent living and assisted living facilities is that the latter is more independent and caters for residents who need less attention in their personal care needs.

  • Independent living vs. active adult communities

Active adult communities are usually for 55 years old and older adults who want to maintain an active lifestyle. These communities offer amenities that attract active adults such as tennis courts, pools, and golf courses. However, unlike independent living facilities, these don’t provide housekeeping laundry, prepared meals, and transportation services.

  • Independent living vs. senior apartments

Both of these facilities are senior-friendly and designed primarily for accessibility – with elevators, handrails, and wide doorways. Senior apartments are usually low-cost, compared to the other facilities, and don’t offer luxury amenities. Unlike independent living, senior apartments don’t provide housekeeping, laundry, prepared meals, and transportation services.

4. Is independent living right for me?

Independent living is perfect for aging adults who want to maintain an active lifestyle that is free from the responsibilities of home maintenance.

Here are the top three questions to reflect on when considering independent living:

  • Are you generally capable of doing daily self-care activities?
  • Do you want to live an active lifestyle and delegate home maintenance chores?
  • Does living in a community with active senior adults sound appealing to you?

If later on you find yourself needing assistance with personal care, home care is an option that is available for senior residents.

5. How much does independent living cost?

  • What’s included in the cost of independent living?

Independent living facilities are usually all-inclusive. This means that resident enjoy the services and amenities, such as:

  • Housekeeping and lawn maintenance
  • Social activities
  • Meals, snacks, and drinks
  • Transportation services
  • 24/7 security
  • Utilities, such as electricity, water, and gas
  • What factors affect the cost of independent living?

Location, type and size of accommodations (studio, one-, or two-bedroom facilities), pricing structure and mechanisms, services, and miscellaneous fees all affect the cost of independent living.

  • Questions to ask about the cost of independent living
  1. What services and amenities does the base rent cover?
  2. What fees, services, or amenities are not included in the base rent? What a la carte services are available or served as additional costs?
  3. Are there different apartment sizes and styles? And what are the price differences?
  4. How often does the price increase and by how much?
  5. How long is the minimum lease?
  6. How do I pay for independence?

​​6. How do I choose an independent living facility near me?

Make sure you choose the best independent living facility for your needs by considering the following factors: location, services and amenities, social activities, dining arrangements, community culture and staff relations, safety and security features, and budget.

7. How do I make my move to independent living easier?

Moving to an independent living facility is an emotional process to undergo for you and your loved ones. You can lessen the anxiety and make the move smoother by following these tried-and-tested tips:

  • Understand your community and plan the activities you are looking forward to doing in the facility.
  • Downsize your belongings by applying the one-year rule: eliminate the items you haven’t used in the past year.
  • Pass on to your family members some heirlooms and vintage items of value.
  • Make packing and organizing things a meaningful activity by taking your time to reminisce.

Moving into an independent living facility is a defining yet daunting moment for families and their elderly loved ones. You can make the emotional transition less stressful and much lighter by partnering with our Senior Living Advisors. Through our advisors, we can make a sound assessment of your situation and connect you with an independent living facility that will best match your needs and lifestyle.

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Whether you are looking for a community in your local area or you need to support a loved one from another state, we are here for you. We provide services from consultations to making the right and relevant senior living arrangements for your loved ones.