Independent Living Facilities
Independent living is designed for people, usually 55 and older, who are able-bodied, active and healthy, but who are interested in giving up some of the demands of daily living, such as home care, household chores, grocery shopping and meal preparation. Typically an independent living resident needs no personal assistance with such daily activities as bathing, dressing, ambulating (walking or getting around), and medication. If you or your aging loved one needs help with these sorts of tasks, you may be more interested in an assisted living facility. As a concept, independent living centers provide a transition from living alone at home to being part of a senior care community, where they have access to a comfortable continuum of care as they age, and as their needs change.
Types of Independent Living Facilities
Independent living facilities vary in style, accommodations, services and amenities. If you’re considering an independent living center, you’ll want to scout around a little bit to get a feel for the types of independent living centers available to you, and the kind that would suit you or your aging loved one best.
Independent living housing is generally available as studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments. Independent living townhomes, cottages or single-family homes are not uncommon. Oftentimes a center for independent living is actually a community comprising several buildings, such as duplexes or small apartment complexes, grouped around a central housing, dining and recreational facility or clubhouse.
Independent living centers, sometimes call retirement communities, often offer a large variety of social, cultural and fitness activities as part of their service package. Senior independent living plans typically include daily meals in a central dining room, home maintenance and repair, transportation to shops and doctor’s offices, and some sort of social activity and recreational program. Some independent living facilities offer housekeeping, laundry and lawn care services as part of the rent or cost of ownership.
Most senior independent living facilities create a unique service plan that allows residents to maintain their current lifestyle while receiving the specific services they need. These independent living centers regularly check in with their residents so they can continue tailoring services to their changing needs. Costs often vary for independent living services, as does the level of social, cultural and fitness amenities. Independent living costs may be part of an all-inclusive plan, or the costs of independent living services may be charged as part of a base monthly fee.
Why do people choose Independent Living?
Most residents of Independent Living facilities made their decision because it seemed to be the right move at the right time in their lives. They were still in good health, they were active and mobile, and many continued to work fulltime after making the transition. For these folks, moving into an independent living center was the result of looking ahead—years ahead, as we like to say around here. They set themselves up to live a comfortable life as they age, when it was convenient for them to do it, instead of waiting until it became a necessity, when such a move would likely be much more stressful and difficult.
For others, the move to senior independent living was a matter of improving the quality of their lives. Some activities of daily living, such as home upkeep, yard maintenance, and even shopping and cooking, started to become a little overwhelming. Independent living was a good option for them, because it freed them to pursue a more leisurely lifestyle, devote more time to enjoying recreational activities, and generally make their day-to-day routines easier and more convenient. For many of these residents, independent living centers offered the right combination of social and recreational amenities, with the additional value of some household assistance that really made their lives better.
Is Independent Living Right for Your Aging Loved One?
We know it’s not always easy to determine exactly what kind of senior living arrangement your family member or loved one may need at this time. How can you tell if an independent living facility is the right solution for you? One easy way to find out is to take our guided Care Path Assessment survey. By answering a few basic questions, you can quickly discover whether an independent living community will best suit your aging loved one’s needs.
In addition to this helpful tool, Three Links is proud to provide a nationwide network of high-quality independent living facilities to meet the needs for families seeking care. Each Years Three Links assisted living provider has a detailed profile with comprehensive information, including photos, experience and capabilities, pricing, reviews, and more, so it’s easy and convenient to check them out before contacting them. As always, Three Links is free of charge to you, and you can use it as much as you need or want. We are dedicated to helping families understand, evaluate and find the right care for their aging loved one.