What Is a Senior Independent Living Community?
As you get older, you may find yourself wanting to make some changes in your living situation and lifestyle. For many people, this can mean downsizing to a smaller home with lower maintenance needs and lower overall costs. There are also options for assisted living, for seniors who are experiencing physical or mental disabilities that make it hard to take care of everyday tasks.
Most people are familiar with the concept of nursing homes and assisted living, where residents live in apartment-style units with access to staff who can help with things like chores, meal preparation, and even bathing.
But there are also senior living communities geared toward independent living. These housing complexes cater specifically to seniors — usually defined as people over fifty-five — but rather than catering to people who need assistance with activities of daily living, they’re designed for healthy, active seniors who can still live on their own.
Senior independent living communities often offer amenities like community pools, community centers with organized activities, golf courses, and other activities that give you opportunities to get out and be social.
If you’re an active senior who doesn’t really need assistance with anything, but would like to live around other seniors with whom you can socialize, a senior independent living community can be a great choice.
What Kind of House or Apartment Will I Have?
Unlike more intensive assisted living facilities, which are often apartment-style with common areas, many independent living communities are more like a neighborhood or subdivision. You can often purchase a home within the community, as long as you’re over the minimum age.
Depending on the community, and the region that it’s in, you could be looking at patio homes, apartments, condos, townhouses, or even mobile homes. They often offer both ownership and rent-to-own as an option.
Since residents must be over 55, these communities tend to be pretty laid-back and quiet, the kind of neighborhood where you’ll never have to call in a noise complaint. They also tend to have security measures in place, such as a front gate with a guard, making them very safe places to live.
What are the Benefits of Senior Living Communities?
Independent living communities offer healthy, active seniors the opportunity to live near other seniors with similar lifestyles. With amenities like clubhouses, swimming pools, and golf courses, there’s always plenty to do, just a few blocks away. It’s easy to socialize with other seniors.
Some communities also offer meal delivery as an option, which can help if you have dietary restrictions, or just don’t feel like cooking all the time.
What Are the Extra Costs?
There are a number of expenses associated with buying or renting a property in a senior independent living community. Some are basically the same as you’d have anywhere else, while others are specific to these communities.
Along with things like utilities, cable, and internet, you may also need to account for other costs and fees, including:
- Waiting list deposits
- Move-in fees
- Pet deposits
- Field trips and community activities
- HOA or community center dues
- Optional amenities like meal delivery or wellness programs.
Finding the Right Community for You
Different senior independent communities have different rules, requirements, and goals. They can differ in things like whether pets are allowed — particularly dogs — as well as whether you can live there if you are the temporary or permanent guardian of a child.
Some communities do not allow children as residents at all, while others may make exceptions if the child is in the custody of grandparents.
Pricing can vary, as can the number and quality of amenities and activities that the community provides for its residents. It’s important to find a community that fits your budget comfortably, while still offering you the things you’re looking for in an independent living setup.
If you’re healthy, active, and able to live alone or with a spouse without assistance — but you’re ready to make a change, and you’d like to live somewhere with other seniors where there’s a genuine sense of community — a senior independent living facility can be a great option.
To read more on senior housing, visit our blog. Senior Care Center is here to help you find the best home for your senior loved ones. Call (855) 242-9668 to speak to an advisor and find the perfect home for your senior family members.