Not long ago, a “retirement village” was often synonymous with nursing home – a place where seniors would go when they could no longer care for themselves or live independently. Well, the times have changed, and today’s “retirement villages” have a new name and a much broader scope of offerings.
Today’s Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC’s), or Life Plan Communities, include a range of living options, beginning with independent living. These communities allow seniors who are independent and active to reside in their place of choice while having the opportunity to socialize, stay active and enjoy their senior years. Making the choice to leave a longtime home may be difficult, but independent living can actually make your life easier and free you up to have more independence!
If you are considering downsizing and want to start researching so that you can make an informed decision, take a look at these five factors that may make independent living the right choice for you.
It’s Your Space
The thought of leaving your beloved home and giving up your personal space can be daunting for many seniors considering a move to independent living. These feelings are normal, and it’s important to give yourself time to get used to the idea of moving to a new place with new surroundings. However, for many older adults, a move to an independent living community can be the start of an exciting new chapter in their life.
Independent living communities can offer different options, such as apartments within one building, single-family homes, or town homes. Regardless of the type of living quarters you choose, you will be able to maintain your privacy and independence as you have in your own home. You can furnish your space with your own furniture and personal items. You will have your own keys and can come and go as you please. You can even invite family, friends and new neighbors over whenever you choose.
Forget the Maintenance
Tired of taking out the trash, mowing the lawn, and shoveling the driveway when it snows? Not sure you can lift a heavy piece of furniture that needs to be moved or have the ability or desire to fix a broken water pipe or clogged sink?
If you move into an independent living community most required maintenance is provided by the community staff, which means less worry about home maintenance or keeping track of monthly utility bills. Leave the stressors behind and spend more time enjoying your life during retirement.
Stay Safe and Secure
Aging in place can have its risks. The bathroom, kitchen, stairs and hallways can become slip and fall hazards if not retrofitted correctly. And many older adults, especially those who are living alone, find home security to be a primary concern as well.
In an independent living community, safety features are incorporated into all living spaces. Showers and tubs have built-in grab bars and non-skid surfaces. Hallways are wider and well-lit, elevators and railings are prevalent, and most senior communities have built-in safety and security measures so that if an accident occurs it is handled promptly and without exacerbation.
Make New Friends
Regular social interaction and participating in physical activities as we age is proven to keep our minds and bodies healthy and happy.
In an independent living setting, social interaction is plentiful. Our independent living communities offer regularly scheduled special events, celebrations, classes, workshops, group exercise courses and even field trips to keep residents entertained and engaged. Meals can also be eaten with friends in a communal dining area.
Planning Ahead is Imperative
Someday you may need some assistance with daily tasks such as paying bills, transportation, medical appointments, and other issues that arise. Today’s senior living communities allow residents to adapt to their new surroundings at their own pace. As your needs change you can remain comfortable knowing that anything you may need is at your fingertips.
Making plans and arrangements ahead of time will save potential residents from the emotional and financial stress of making important decisions quickly regarding the next chapter of their lives. It is important to properly assess your needs before the downsize and move.
If you take the time to explore your options and find a community that’s right for you, your transition will be enjoyable and exciting!