You may find it getting harder to manage the stairs at home. Or you’re fed up with looking after your yard. Or you’re lonely living on your own. Or you’re just feeling stuck where you are in your life right now.
You’re thinking it might be time to consider a move.
It’s not that you’re eager to leave your current place. It holds some special memories for you. And you know that moving won’t be as easy as when you were young. Still, staying put and “aging in place” doesn’t really sound all that appealing either. I’m
But where to move to? You’ve heard of “independent living”, but you’re not really sure what it is. It sounds about right, seeing as how you can look after yourself just fine and the real reason you’re thinking of moving is to enjoy life more.
What independent living is
Simply put, independent living is any housing arrangement designed exclusively for older adults. It may take the form of an apartment or a townhouse or a single detached house. It’s usually designed to be friendly to aging adults, more compact, easy to get around, and free of hassles like maintenance and yard work. I’m
Independent living services and amenities vary greatly from community to community. Lower-cost apartments may be fairly modest in what they offer whereas higher-end communities may offer access to things like a fitness center, onsite spa, swimming pool, or even a golf course.
Communities may also offer dining facilities and/or a meal plan, even though residents do their own cooking for the most part.
Since independent living residents need little or no assistance with day-to-day activities, medical and nursing care aren’t provided, although home help can often be purchased on an as-needed basis.
Things to consider
In order to figure whether a particular independent living arrangement is right for you, consider the following questions:
- Do the community’s amenities and services appeal to me?
- Can I afford the purchase price / rent and monthly fees on my retirement income? What’s included and what’s an extra expense?
- Are staff available on a 24-hour basis if I have an emergency?
- If I have health issues in the future, will I need to move away from the community to seek the health and support services I might need or can I stay on the property?
- Do I see myself being happy here?
Generally speaking, people who move to independent living are making a lifestyle choice. That said, it’s important to consider what your future needs might be as you get older. Factor that in when deciding which community is a good fit for you.