A lot of older adults and their families assume that if they don’t need the services of assisted living, there’s no reason to consider moving to a senior living community. They feel that as long as they’re healthy and independent, why move? But the truth is, there are several good reasons to consider moving to an independent living community, which is still considered to be in the senior living community category but is very different than assisted living. In fact, the more “youthful” you feel and the more active you are, the more likely you are to feel that an independent living community is right for you. Here are five reasons why.
Independent Living is a More Carefree Lifestyle
Right now, where you live, is your home maintenance-free? Is everything in good repair, or do you see things that need attention? Maybe your hot water tank finally gave out. Maybe the washing machine doesn’t get things clean any longer. Perhaps the back steps are beginning to crumble. Most older homes show signs of deterioration after a few decades. As you age, it can get harder to muster up the energy to keep things in their best shape.
It might be time to downsize to a smaller home that’s easier to take care of. Some retired folks find that they want to sell their older, bigger home sooner rather than later, before it loses more value due to neglect. Selling your home to move into an independent living community means all those commonplace worries of home ownership vanish (along with the expenses associated with them)! That also includes no longer worrying about mowing the lawn, raking leaves, shoveling snow, and other burdensome chores.
Click here to read about the average cost of a senior living community.
It Means You’ll be Living in an Active Community
Folks living in independent living communities aren’t typically ready to give up their social lives. Nor are they ready to throw in the towel on fitness and good health. They’re generally active, social, and ready to make new friends. However, many older Americans find themselves increasingly isolated as they age. Their circle of friends diminishes gradually as people move away or get too sick to go out and do fun things. Bridge clubs disband, golf clubs go unused, and dinner parties become a thing of the past. Moving to an independent community stops the slow decline of your social life and helps you stay engaged with friends, involved in the community, and even more active.
Click here to read about the importance of socializing as we age.
You’re Assured of Access to Future Care
One of the greatest things about independent living is that you don’t have to give up the freedom to live your life the way you want to. You’re simply improving your life by eliminating home maintenance, increasing your social circle, and enjoying your leisure time a little more. Another benefit is peace of mind – not just knowing that those essentials have fallen into place but also knowing that your future needs will be met, too.
That’s because someday, should you need assistance in any way, whether it be help with cooking or household chores or more medical care, such help will be there for you if you’ve chosen a certain type of independent living. In a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), residents can transition smoothly from independent living to assisted living. You’re simply adding more personal services to your plan. No need to relocate to another community – you stay in place, where you’ve already made friends and become part of a tight-knit community.
It’s a Good Way to Ease Your Worries About Future Costs
Few people on this earth would relish the thought of getting older with no plan for how they’ll pay for things. Everyone likes at least a little control over their finances, and everyone benefits from planning ahead. If you’re worried about your future health care costs (and the cost of living), then independent living as part of a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) might be a good retirement option for you. But the benefit of reducing stress by controlling costs is typically only available if you enter the community at the independent living level.
Waiting too long to enter an independent living community means you may already have health problems related to aging. That could disqualify you from some CCRCs, which require a health exam as part of the application process. On the other hand, when you enter as a relatively healthy individual, you’ll be more likely to benefit from all that the community has to offer. From wellness programs and special diet meal plans to on-site fitness professionals and state-of-the-art fitness centers to meditation classes and other ways to explore healthy living and healthy aging, these communities emphasize total wellness, considering all aspects of your well being, including mind, body, and spirit.
Want more information? Read financial planning advice for seniors.
It’s Taking Matters into Your Own Hands
Finally, in what may be the reason that hits home with more older adults than any other reason listed here, moving to independent living means you’re keeping control of how you live your life. By ensuring that you have a CCRC community in which you can continue to thrive, with an active social life, access to fitness and wellness programs, and a continuing level of care should you need it, you’re relieving your adult children or other relatives of having to worry about you. In short, you’re taking matters into your own hands and securing a future where you can be safe, comfortable, happy, and fulfilled.
Take the Next Step
Today’s generation of retirees are welcoming a new breed of senior living arrangements, among which we can count independent living as a quickly growing option. Many of these communities are part of a larger Continuing Care Retirement Community that provides attractive options for older adults of all ages and levels of health. Residents are typically encouraged (if not required) to enter residency at a CCRC through the independent living community. That is, they join the community while they still need very few, if any, services. Then, as they age, their service package can grow with them while they remain in the community they’ve come to love. If you think a CCRC might be right for you, make sure you do careful research about how they’re structured and what’s covered in the fees that you pay. It’s an important financial commitment. But in return for that commitment, the access you get to a complete continuum of care for the years ahead is truly a life-impacting benefit that shouldn’t be considered lightly.
For more information on retirement, read these articles by Acts Retirement-Life Communities: