An overwhelming majority of seniors say they want to remain independent as long as possible. But for many, remaining at home is actually a barrier to independence. A house can become a financial burden, a source of endless work, and even a barrier to socialization and learning—particularly if you no longer drive, or prefer not to drive at night.
An independent senior living community blends the freedom of living at home with the active, engaged existence that only community life can offer. Check out the amenities that only life in an independent senior community can offer, and you might find yourself weighing the benefits of a move.
Nutritious meals are vital to good health. They’re also one of many luxuries that make life worth living. But meal preparation is time-consuming and potentially expensive. Even if you like to cook, you may have neither the time nor energy to shop for and prepare nutritious meals every day.
In an independent living community, you’ll have access to quality nutrition when you don’t want to cook, and beautiful kitchens when you are in the mood to whip up something delicious. Enjoy gourmet meals in a luxurious setting just a few feet from your door. You’ll no longer have to drive to eat out. You’ll get the benefits of eating out at every meal, but without the exorbitant price tag.
A Lifetime of Learning
Remaining intellectually active can lower your risk of dementia. Yet learning new skills can become increasingly difficult when you live at home. In an independent living community, you’ll be able to take classes on a wide range of topics like gardening, book club, trips, and more. Sharpen your mind and expand your hobbies without paying expensive course fees or traveling to far-flung locations.
When you envisioned your retirement, you might have pictured yourself sitting on the porch with your neighbor. Or maybe you planned to travel with that couple you visit twice a year. Socialization is always easier in theory than in practice. People move away, face economic barriers to travel, or lose the ability to drive.
Many seniors can feel lonely. This loneliness undermines mental and physical health, is linked to dementia, and can even make seniors more vulnerable to elder abuse. Independent living offers a simple antidote to loneliness. Simply walk outside to socialize with other members of your community. Or if you’re a little reserved when it comes to making new friends, allow shared interests to bridge the gap. Take a class in something that interests you, and meet people who live within walking distance of your home.
Is your once-beloved garden becoming a source of endless stress? Do you see the wear and tear on your roof and wonder when the whole thing will have to be replaced? Are you discouraged by the constant demands of upkeep and cleaning that inevitably come with home ownership?
Independent living communities alleviate these worries. Forget about the roof, the grass, and the wallpaper. In an independent living community, the staff takes care of upkeep for you. So you get to enjoy a beautiful, updated home and attractive landscaping, without any of the associated work, expense, or risk to your health.
According to the U.S. Census, 28 percent of seniors over 65 lived alone in 2010. Living alone can turn a minor health issue, such as a fall, into a potential catastrophe. Living in a community of peers means someone will almost always be nearby in the event of an emergency.
Independent living can also protect your long-term health. Because you don’t have to worry about home maintenance, you’re less likely to have an accident while gardening, cleaning the gutters, or mowing the lawn.
Ready access to classes, physical fitness groups, and healthy eating also offers a buffer against poor health. By keeping your mind and body active, independent living may help you live longer—and enjoy your life more.
Independent living communities use an all-inclusive approach to billing, so many seniors experience a bit of sticker shock when they first see the price tag. Consider, however, that in an independent living community, all of your basic living expenses are included in the price. You’ll no longer have to pay for yard work, eating out, groceries, utilities, or entertainment. It’s all covered. So you might save some money.
You also won’t have to worry about unpleasant financial surprises like a leaky roof, a high water bill, or property damage after a storm. The price you agree to is the price you pay, making it easier to make a realistic budget.
An End to Boredom
When you’re working 40 hours weeks, fighting traffic, and dealing with difficult bosses, it’s easy to fantasize about what you’ll do when your time is your own. Many retired seniors, however, are surprised by how difficult it is to fill their time—particularly without spending lots of money.
There’s always something happening in independent living—whether it’s a formal class, an informal gathering among friends, or one of many recurring group social activities. Banish boredom once and for all by moving to a community of like-minded peers.
Luxury Without Work
In an independent living community, you can step outside to view a gorgeous garden. Like magic, though, this beauty appears without any work. For most of your life, you’ve worked hard to maintain a home. You’ve gardened, painted and repainted, endlessly cleaned, or maybe hired someone to do these things for you. In an independent living community, you can enjoy luxe living without the work (or the price tag).
Assistance When You Need it
Independent living is not nursing care. Yet if you need help, it’s readily available. Many independent communities offer assisted living support to those who eventually need it. Others provide access to “sister” assisted living communities that offer a similar level of luxury, but with added help.
Independent living is redefining what it means to be a senior. Today’s seniors are learning and doing more, embarking on new relationships, and embracing luxury dining. With help of the right community, you might even find your kids and grandkids struggle to keep up with you!