Are you planning for your retirement? Are you wondering about independent living?
Many folks look forward to senior living because they know they’ll be able to enjoy their years of freedom and leisure. Yet they want to make sure they can support their fresh new lifestyle with their income.
What is an independent living arrangement, and how can you make it work for you?
Let’s take a look.
What is Independent Living?
Assisted living occurs when seniors need help with their daily activities at home. They receive regular support for activities like cleaning and meal preparation.
Independent living, however, means that folks can live independently but still have access to assistance when they need it. Folks may enjoy a safe environment with minimal help.
Those who choose assisted living pay monthly for a number of included services. These include meals, laundry services, and transportation.
With independent living, however, fees for medical services, food, and housekeeping are typically not paid by residents. They do, however, have convenient access to these services.
What Are the Benefits of Independent Living?
Many senior adults prefer independent living to other lifestyles. They enjoy the opportunity to make new friends as they enjoy the amenities offered.
Your facility may have a gym, movie theater, or game room. Some communities even have things like libraries and hair salons on the premises, so you won’t have to worry about regular transportation as often.
Those who live in independent communities enjoy the fact that they no longer have to worry about a strict work schedule and finding vacation time. They can explore new hobbies, volunteer, and relax in their communities on their own schedule.
Seniors can enjoy a weekly golf game or yoga class without worrying about their work or family obligations. They may want to enjoy cooking clubs, wine tastings, or book groups.
That being said, seniors like the security of knowing that the things they require are available nearby when they need them. Senior communities are usually within a short drive to grocery stores, medical centers, and shopping centers.
Many seniors don’t require regular assistance with their daily needs, and they like being able to plan their own meals or host their grandchildren regularly. Independent living provides an excellent way for them to enjoy their freedom.
What is Different About Senior Apartments?
Senior apartments are designed specifically for adults ages 55 and older. This means you’ll be surrounded by your peers and those you have things in common with.
Senior apartments are often created with the unique needs of senior adults in mind. This could mean in-unit laundry facilities or limited stairs.
You may be able to walk your pets and enjoy activities without having to worry about traffic. Stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors, and balconies are other amenities you can enjoy without concern now that you no longer have children living in your home.
Where Are Senior Communities Located?
You can find independent living communities in almost every type of neighborhood. Some folks prefer suburban neighborhoods where they can easily visit grandchildren or have them over for dinner.
Others enjoy a more rural feel, preferring to have the freedom to fish, hike, or enjoy a nature walk. Wherever you are, however, there is usually transportation available. Many seniors, however, prefer to drive themselves to wherever they’d like to go.
Senior living communities are usually located near lots of places of interest for older adults. These could include museums, art galleries, or parks.
Maybe you prefer to shop at a local outlet or get a gourmet cup of coffee while you saunter through town. Or perhaps you’d like to take in a movie or sample some local cuisine.
Busses and cab services may be available, but you may also wish to drive yourself. Independent living allows you to enjoy your retirement years while still having access to all of the accommodations you need.
How Can I Prepare to Live in an Independent Living Community?
Before moving to a 55-plus community, it’s important to know what you can afford. If you’re living on a fixed income, you’ll want to consider whether or not you can pay the rent while still affording things like groceries and entertainment. You’ll also want to find out what utilities are included in your rent.
You’ll also want to think about your proximity to friends and family. Don’t choose to live in a community that’s a day’s drive away if you’re going to want to see them on a daily basis.
If, however, you’re comfortable with a reasonable distance from extended family, think about how you will make friends in your new home. Some folks will make friends quickly no matter where they end up settling.
You’ll also want to think about the climate in your new setting. You may want to move somewhere warmer, or you may still wish to enjoy the change of seasons.
You may wish to purchase furniture for your new place, or use some of your existing pieces and give others away. Many folks prefer to decorate more simply once they’ve moved into a 55-plus apartment.
You’ll also need to think about your wardrobe. Make sure you’ve got lots of sneakers, shorts, and pieces you can use when golfing or working out.
Making the decision to move into an independent living community can be exciting. With the right research and the right location, you could be starting an active new chapter in no time.
Don’t stop getting smart about senior living now. For excellent, affordable options in many East Coast locations, contact us today.