What is independent living?
It’s a type of living arrangement that’s available to seniors who are active, mobile, and do not require assistance with their daily activities. They’re looking for a more convenient lifestyle. They’re also looking for more social opportunities.
Independent living can take many forms: apartments, cottages, townhouses, or single detached houses. These homes are designed to be senior-friendly, meaning they’re easy to get around. For instance, many are laid out on a single level so that navigating stairs isn’t necessary. Bathrooms may have added safety features. These kinds of features make it easier for residents to age in place.
Download our free booklet, Just the Facts: Your Guide to Independent Living.
Part of a community
You’ll generally find independent living units clustered together. In other words, they’re part of a community. Very often, these communities will have organized social and recreational programs, making it easy to make friends and pursue leisure interests.
Independent living communities are sometimes part of larger senior living communities that also include housing for seniors who need some help with day-to-day activities (i.e. assisted living). Many independent living residents find this reassuring. They know that if they require more support as they get older, they have the option of moving to assisted living without having to leave the community (or the friends they’ve made).
A lot of independent living communities offer services like housekeeping and property maintenance. This allows residents to spend less time worrying about chores they took care of themselves in their old homes and more time pursuing other activities that are more meaningful to them.
When it comes to meals, independent living communities vary in their approaches. Some homes include full kitchens, meaning that residents generally make their own meals. However, they may still have the option of eating at community dining facilities whenever they want. Seniors who live in smaller independent living units without a full kitchen generally have their meals served to them in a community dining room.
For more information about independent living in your retirement, take a look at our free booklet, Just the Facts: Your Guide to Independent Living.