Retirement is a time to kick back and enjoy the rest of your life doing the things you enjoy without the burdens of everyday homeownership. If you’re toying with the idea of looking into independent living communities for seniors, then you’ll want to check out all the benefits that goes along with it.
Over 40 million Americans are 65 years or older. That number is expected to increase as the Baby Boomers continue to retire. It will peak around the year 2030, with seniors making up about 20% of the population.
Senior citizens have different levels of mobility and varying degrees of health. Some need round-the-clock assistance and can function only in a nursing home.
At the other end of the spectrum are relatively healthy individuals. They don’t need everyday medical assistance, but they no longer want the responsibilities that go with owning a home.
For members of this group, an independent living community for seniors might be an ideal fit. Independent living has many advantages. Below let’s see what they are. Read on!
What is an Independent Living Community?
The key word here is independent. People who thrive in independent living communities pretty much take care of themselves.
They are in good health, and they don’t require assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs). Some of the residents may even drive!
In fact, independent living communities aren’t equipped to care for seniors with chronic medical problems. For that reason, anyone who needs consistent medical care isn’t a good fit for this type of housing.
For healthy seniors, though, these communities provide opportunities for socialization. Many of them also offer fun and engaging activities. We’ll look at their benefits in more detail below.
But, for now, let’s go over the differences between an independent living and assisted living community. These terms sound similar, and it can be hard telling them apart. But once you have the facts, it’s easy. Let’s go!
What’s the Difference Between Assisted Living and Independent Living?
Assisted living communities and independent living communities are not nursing homes. Residents in both places remain independent for as long as possible.
They are similar in other ways as well. Residents might live in their own apartments or condos. They might take part in activities offered or participate in a meal plan.
Yet, there is one main difference between the two types of housing. Assisted living residents are independent, but they require help with their daily routines (ADLs).
Residents there might have dementia, Parkinson’s, or another chronic disease. Or they might lack the mobility and dexterity to do basic tasks.
Bathing and grooming could be impossibly hard. Remembering all their medications could be a challenge, and preparing meals impossible.
For these reasons, the staff is available 24/7 to offer immediate assistance. They help the residents with their ADLs and also keep on eye on them, reporting back any major problems to concerned family members.
Residents of independent senior living apartments, on the other hand, don’t need this type of everyday management. Their interactions with staff can be as much or as little as they like.
Sometimes things happen, though. An independent living resident might suddenly require temporary or permanent help. What then?
Most communities allow residents to hire a home care attendant. But they, not the community, would be solely responsible for managing the attendant. The resident might also have to sign a liability or release form.
Those, then, are the primary differences between the two types of housing. In the next section, let’s take a deeper look into the advantages of independent community living.
What Are the Advantages of Seniors Living Independently?
In the past, retirement was viewed as a time of rest and relaxation. Many seniors today, though, want to be active, learn new things, and make new friends.
Apartments for senior living allow them to do all these things. In this section, we’ll explore the advantages seniors gain from living in this kind of community. Read on for more information.
1. Residents No Longer Have to Worry About Housekeeping or Maintaining Their Homes
Buying a home is a major milestone in a young adult’s life, but, maintaining it is a lot of work. You have to mow your lawn, take care of the yard, and shovel snow.
Inside are just as many tasks. Think of cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming, making repairs, etc. The list goes on and on!
When we are young, we perform these chores easily. But, as we age, they become harder and harder. After retirement, some people don’t want this burden anymore at all.
Independent living makes that possible. No matter the type of housing (an apartment building, condo, or single-family home), residents pay a maintenance fee along with their rent.
Staff, not the resident, are then responsible for all maintenance and repair work. Inside and out. Seniors are then free to pursue their own interests or rest without having to worry about all those chores anymore.
2. Apartments for Senior Independent Living Often Have Meal Plans
Some seniors may prefer to make their own meals in their own kitchens. Independent living allows them to do that.
For others, though, cooking their own food every day is a burden. While living at home, they might not bother to cook at all.
Independent living communities solve this problem for them. Many offer meal plans where residents can eat together in a cafeteria- or restaurant-style setting. The food is fresh, delicious, and staff will accommodate special dietary requirements.
This means no more having to go grocery shopping or preparing food. It opens up time for relaxation or other activities that contribute to personal growth.
3. Seniors Don’t Have to Worry About Transportation Any Longer
Some senior citizens continue driving for as long as they can. They love driving and are not impaired.
Independent living allows them to do that. These communities often have parking spaces or garages for residents who wish to drive.
But for other seniors, driving becomes harder and harder. It’s stressful and not as easy as it once was. They would prefer not to drive, and they don’t have to in an independent living community.
Often, transportation is provided for residents. They are able to get to local events, appointments, or general outings with ease. All the resident has to do is show up, and someone else does the driving.
4. There Are More Opportunities for Socializing and Personal Growth
When seniors live alone, maintaining friendships and keeping up with their favorite activities is hard. This is especially true if they’re having trouble driving.
Loneliness and depression can set in, and that’s an unhealthy situation for seniors. Studies have linked loneliness with memory loss, strokes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
Independent living communities offer seniors a chance to prevent diseases associated with isolation. They let them socialize with like-minded people and make new friends.
Residents can also participate in engaging activities daily. Things like bridge, chess, reading groups, exercise classes are all possible options in many communities. There’s something for everyone.
Conclusion: Independent Living Communities for Seniors
Independent living communities for seniors are an ideal choice for mobile, active people. They allow seniors to meet new friends, take part in fun activities, and remain independent for as long as possible.
Are you or your loved one thinking about independent living? Or maybe assisted living or home care? If so, we can help tailor a care program for you or your loved one.
Feel free to contact us today with any questions. We’d love to hear from you!