“I ain’t never gonna be old because I ain’t got time to be old” – Dolly Parton
Meet Diane and Fred. They are my poster children for Independent Living. Besides being one of my very first clients they have become my friends. When I started working with them, they were living in Walden, Texas where they had retired. About once a month, they came into Houston to visit doctors, their children and grandchildren. They started to find it exhausting and too long of a day to make the round trip. Their house was too large for the both of them and it was becoming difficult to keep up with the maintenance. Diane and Fred are very social. A lot of their friends had moved away to be closer to their families. Their two children both live in Houston and had discussed that it would be nice to have them in town instead of making the trek out to Walden to see them.
They spent a year touring with me and finally took the leap and moved into an Independent Senior Living Community. I can honestly say that they look younger and have more energy than they did when I first met them. Not only do they have lots of new friends, but Fred has started a men’s poker club and sits on the Resident Board of the community. Together they have created an annual event called “The Follies”, a resident talent show that is entertaining, funny and creative. I secretly hope that a modeling agent will discover them soon. (Come on Elite or Ford!!!)
What is Independent Living?
Independent living is any housing arrangement designed exclusively for older adults, generally those aged 55 and over. Since Independent Living facilities are aimed at older adults who need little or no assistance with activities of daily living, most do not offer medical care or nursing staff, but many of them have a home care agency on property to help with daily tasks such as reminders or check-ins.n
What does Independent Living offer?n
It offers an active lifestyle and freedom from the hassles of home maintenance. There are a lot of options such as “buy in” communities and rentals. There are a variety of floor plans and sizes and some even have small cottages or villas.
Independent Living Services and amenities are designed to make things easier and more convenient. Housekeeping, linen service, dining plans, transportation services and security are common. Amenities often include a fitness center, pools, multiple dining venues, beauty and barber salons, woodworking shops, art studios or crafting rooms, and entertainment spaces such as auditoriums, game rooms or movie theaters.n
There is an abundance of programs and activities offered. Communities can have fitness classes adapted for seniors ranging from chair exercises, yoga, tai chi, water aerobics, dancing, weight training and meditation. There are opportunities for creative expression in art, music and writing. Often there are book clubs, bridge and other card games, mahjong and lectures. Many communities I work with offer outings to new restaurants, docent tours of museums, a night at the symphony or opera and excursions to casinos and other fun activities.
Why choose Independent Living?n
Major reasons are simplicity and freedom. It give you time to do the things you love and to pursue new interests instead of being bogged down with house maintenance and housekeeping. It’s a chance to stay active and partake in the many activities you did not have time for before. Making new friends, socializing and a sense of community is the best medicine for seniors. All of us need a purpose and Independent Living Communities provide many opportunities for just that.
We had over 250 households sign up to watch the film and had a lively discussion with the actors. Here is a personal message from Sian-Pierre and Rebecca:
Senior Living Specialists Houston is a one-stop shop providing FREE senior facility placement services. We work with families in and around Houston to identify the best senior residence community for each individual’s needs. We help our families narrow down the type and number of facilities to consider and tour typically 2-3 reputable options. We teach them how to tour the communities and help them to negotiate the best price. We set up an advocacy program for afterward. I will go on this important journey with you every step of the way!