Making a decision about senior care can be overwhelming, particularly if you don’t quite know the difference between the options available to you. Independent living is an option that allows seniors to retain much of their autonomy while benefiting from additional amenities and bit of extra assistance when needed. It’s a preferable choice for care, as 89.3% of independent living residents rate their overall satisfaction as being good or excellent. Below, you’ll find some frequently asked questions pertaining to independent living. We hope the answers will clear up any confusion you might have and encourage you to find out more about this senior care option.
What exactly is independent senior living?
In essence, independent living is a type of retirement setup that gives seniors the control to make their own decisions and enjoy their life while providing extra help with maintaining their home, meal preparation, shopping, and more. Instead of having to deal with those little chores, independent living seniors can focus on what really matters to them, whether it’s spending time with friends and family, learning a new skill, volunteering with local organizations, or participating in group activities they love. Many consider this care option to be the best of both worlds, as seniors can live in a safe, well-maintained home, make the most of their retirement, and receive some extra assistance as needed.
What kinds of activities can I enjoy with senior independent living?
Each senior living facility will provide different activities for residents, but you can be sure there will be a wide array of social gatherings, classes, crafting sessions, special events, and other opportunities to enrich your life. These activities may be physical in nature (like group exercise or dance therapy) or stimulate the emotions and mind. The living community activities in which you participate can provide a sense of purpose, reignite a passion, or allow you to learn something totally new — and make new friends along the way.
Will I have to leave behind my possessions and decor when I move in?
Absolutely not. Independent living seniors should make their homes feel like — well, home! Residents are encouraged to bring their furnishings and decorate the way they choose. While many living situations will have the same general layout, you can easily make the space your very own. Many communities will even allow you to have rooms painted to suit your preferences. In most cases, major appliances are included, which means you’ll have even less to worry about when you move in.
Can independent living seniors bring their pets along?
Many facilities will welcome your furry companions with open arms. Staff members understand how important a pet can be to your overall happiness and sense of purpose, which is why there are lots of facilities that will allow cats and dogs (and even birds or fish) to come along. That said, you should check with your facility to make sure this is allowed. And if bringing your pet is a non-negotiable, make that known during your search for a facility.
May I bring my own car? Do independent living facilities for seniors provide transportation?
Yes and yes! You are completely able to bring and drive your own car to retain your independence. Many units even have garages or parking spots included. In addition, many facilities will provide transportation for your convenience. This transportation can be arranged for shopping trips, social outings, appointments, and more. Check with your specific facility to find out whether complimentary transit options are available.
Are meals provided for independent living seniors?
One of the great things about living in an independent community is that you don’t have to cook unless you want to. High-quality meals are included for residents, which means you can spend more time together eating delicious food (rather than preparing it). Most facilities will even have options for those who need to restrict their sodium or sugar intake. You can, of course, choose to eat meals at home whenever you wish, since living units come equipped with full kitchens.
It can be difficult to know which senior care option is most appropriate for your needs. For seniors who are able to live independently but would like a bit of extra assistance so they can better enjoy their lives, independent living may be the best choice.