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What are Independent Living Communities?

Healthy Living | April 26, 2024

A group of seniors enjoying a meal at a restaurant on their independent living community campus.

Senior living options have grown considerably over the years, allowing modern seniors a wide range of choices to consider. Whether they need a little assistance to live independently or could use some help with activities of daily living (ADLs), there are several levels of care for seniors to keep in mind when making their retirement plans. 

Understanding what level of care you need can be challenging. Independent living communities are one type of lifestyle option that seniors can choose to live out their golden years. These communities are designed to feel and operate like a traditional private residence while giving seniors the opportunity to pursue their passions without the hassle of everyday maintenance.

Independent living is not ideal for every senior. Interested to find out if independent living is the right option for your retirement plans? Let’s explore what makes independent living communities unique and whether they would be a good fit for you.

What is Independent Living for Seniors? 

Independent living communities are age-restricted (typically 55+) residential neighborhoods or buildings with additional conveniences for seniors. These communities are meant for seniors who do not need additional help or assistance during their daily lives.

In an independent living community, residents live largely independently in a residential setting, engaging in community life while also enjoying the luxuries of private accommodations, usually in an apartment or villa.

One of the major benefits of independent living communities is the wide range of amenities and services offered. From housekeeping to meal preparation and home maintenance, seniors seek out independent living communities for community involvement and maintenance-free lifestyle. Common amenities found at an independent living communities include: 

  • Private apartments or villas
  • Organized activities.
  • Recreational and social services.
  • Restaurants and dining services.
  • Transportation services.
  • Housekeeping.
  • Errand services.

Is Independent Living Right for Me?

When considering whether an independent living community is right for you, you need to keep in mind both your needs and lifestyle desires. This type of retirement community is a wonderful choice for seniors who can completely care for themselves but prefer to live free from the responsibilities of home ownership – making their daily lives less hectic. While they’re still active and able to take care of themselves, they enjoy the conveniences offered by communities with regular chores and maintenance.

Moving into an independent living community gives you the ability to not only maintain your independence but also pursue exciting opportunities and hobbies that you may not have had the time for while working. General benefits include:

  • Less stress and responsibility.
  • Engaging activities and enrichment opportunities.
  • Socialization and community.
  • Independence without the hassle of everyday maintenance.
  • A safe community with trained staff and surveillance.

When determining whether an independent living community is right for you, consider what you may need help with on a daily basis. Independent living communities require seniors to be self-sufficient. While some communities will allow for in-home care and outside health services, seniors who need additional help with activities of daily living should consider an assisted living facility.

What are the Differences Between Independent Living and Assisted Living Communities? 

While there may be some overlap between independent living and assisted living communities in terms of amenities, there are some key differences between these two forms of senior living. 

Independent living usually means that residents are self-sufficient and don’t need hands-on care. Many independent living communities also allow, or sometimes offer, independent home care services for seniors having a scheduled medical procedure that might need extra help for a set period but don’t need to transition to an assisted living facility full time.

When determining whether you or your loved one is better suited for an assisted living facility, consider the level of care and amount of help with activities of daily living you or they may need. For additional assistance, check out our article on the major differences between assisted and independent living communities.

What if I Need More Care in the Future?

Maybe an independent living facility makes sense for you now, but what if your needs change and you need more care? An independent living community may still be the right decision even if you need more help down the road.

Depending on your needs, you may be able to work with your independent living community to hire in-home caregivers that can come to your community to provide services. This allows residents to stay in independent living for longer, while still receiving the care services needed to thrive and age well.

If your needs change, some communities will help coordinate your transition to an assisted living facility – making your and your loved one’s lives easier. Keep in mind that some independent living locations offer these services on the same campus – giving you access to additional services without having to move too far.

Find the Right Senior Living Community for Your Golden Years

Finding the right place to live out your golden years is an essential part of every senior’s retirement plan. With so many options available, it’s easy to feel confused and unsure about which community to choose.

If you’re looking for the right senior living options and experienced senior care, National Church Residences is here to help you find the best option for your needs. Unsure of where to start? Find out which senior living options are in your area or give us a call at 844-465-6063 to talk to one of our friendly staff members today.

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National Church Residences does not discriminate against individuals based on race, color, disability, familial status, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, payment source, or any other class protected by applicable law, whether in employment or its activities, programs, or services. National Church Residences also does not discriminate based on age, except as required by government entitlements or permitted by applicable law for seniors.