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.
What does Independent Living offer?
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.
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?
Major reasons are simplicity and freedom. It gives 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.