In terms of senior care, independent living refers to any kind of general housing designed solely for seniors. Typically this means anyone over the age of 55. Other terms for independent living include residential communities, retirement homes, senior housing and senior apartments. The key difference between independent living and other types of senior housing is that seniors choosing independent living need much less help with daily activities. These may be apartments, condominiums or even free-standing homes. But, typically these units are designed to be friendlier to seniors. They usually are smaller, more compact and easier to navigate.
Independent living is a good choice for seniors who need some help with day-to-day activities. Maybe a senior lives in a house that requires a lot of upkeep and maintenance. An independent living option can be helpful by lessening the amount of work the senior has to complete each day. If the home contains too many stairs, too many rooms to clean or a large yard to maintain it might be worthwhile to look at other living options. Also, since an independent living community is designed specifically for seniors, there can be more social activities for the members of the community.
When researching independent living options, it is most important to get to know the community. These are the people you or your loved ones will be living with and around, so you need to get an understanding of the community. Are these the kinds of people you want to live with? Are there social activities that interest you? Would you feel comfortable living here?
Also, location is an important consideration. Do you want to move far away from where you currently live? Do you have family members that you would like to remain in close proximity to? The further away you move, the more likely you are to have to set up a new social network and find new medical care.
As with any senior living option, you need to plan in advance. Start researching communities and examining the costs associated with each choice. A lot of communities have waiting lists. Also, the sooner you begin to look, the more comfortable you will be with your final choice because you will have taken the time to analyze the options and get to know the members of the community.
Independent Living Community by State
District of Columbia
Independent Living Community by City
Salt Lake City