What Is an Independent Living Community?

Posted on: September 19, 2018

If you’re looking for a new living arrangement for yourself or a family member, you may find that an independent living community provides you with the ideal mix of services and amenities to support your lifestyle. Among multiple supportive living options, independent living caters to individuals who seek a private residence without the burden of home maintenance, cooking, cleaning and other household chores.

Residents of independent living communities benefit from a variety of convenient services along with social opportunities, fine dining, scheduled activities, wellness programming and more. To assist you as you consider whether an independent living community may provide the perfect fit for you, we’ve put together some important introductory information. We invite you to read on to learn more about the many advantages of independent living.

An Ideal Solution for an Active Lifestyle

Most independent living communities offer services, amenities and programming designed to benefit individuals who can live on their own and tend to their daily needs without assistance. However, details can vary by location and type of community; take time to research all the available options before you make a decision.

Independent living serves as a great solution for individuals who wish to downsize to a smaller residence. With many convenient services available, you can leave chores behind and spend your time on the people and activities that are important to you. How you structure your lifestyle in independent living is your choice. Many residents continue to drive — although transportation services are available — and some continue their careers.

At independent living communities, you’ll find a variety of different types of living accommodations, from houses to apartment-style, private residences. Most independent living residents prefer a private apartment paired with access to a variety of elegant indoor and outdoor common areas.

Accommodations

Whether you prefer an inviting space filled to the brim with personal mementos or clean, elegant lines and minimalist furnishings, your independent living apartment will reflect your personal style and preferences. You’ll choose among a range of different floor plans customized with options like a den, patio or balcony, and you’ll enjoy elegant touches like crown molding and granite countertops.

You can select a floor plan that reflects your personal preferences. For example, you may choose a two-bedroom apartment if you need a little extra space for guests, a media room or an office. Or you may decide that a cozier, one-bedroom provides you with ample room to stretch your legs. Regardless of the type of residence you choose, you’ll benefit from downsizing and streamlining your living space as you enjoy the many amenities available in your independent living community.

 Services and Amenities

For many independent living residents, services and amenities serve as primary factors in choosing a community. Amenities vary among communities — and often are influenced by the local landscape and natural features. They may include meeting spaces, fitness centers and outdoor walking paths, landscaped grounds, beauty salons and barbershops, game rooms and dining venues.

Independent living communities typically provide a variety of services to help make life comfortable and convenient for residents. In your community, you may enjoy transportation to outings and local appointments, as well as housekeeping, snow removal and landscaping, home maintenance, campus-wide WiFi, some included utilities and anytime dining. In addition, communities may offer 24-hour security, including staff members on-site as well as emergency call systems.

At independent living communities, team members work diligently to maintain a safe and comfortable environment. In addition to security services, team members also make sure hallways and common areas are clear of any debris that could cause hazardous conditions, and they regularly check the status of safety features such as lighting and handrails.

Recreation and Activities

Individuals who live at independent living communities have access to a wide variety of scheduled activities, events and resident clubs. No matter your interests, you’ll find like-minded individuals in your community, as well as a range of opportunities to get involved and meet new people.

Within the community, scheduled activities may include musical performances, lectures, classes on a variety of topics, fitness and wellness programming like yoga and tai chi, art exhibits, games, special events, holiday celebrations, religious services, movies and social opportunities. If you enjoy a hobby like woodworking or knitting, you’re likely to find a group to join. You can also get involved in the greater community through volunteerism; your independent living community’s activities staff can connect you with opportunities in your area.

In addition, communities often schedule off-site events, including day trips to museums, performances, shopping and tourist attractions throughout the region.

Healthcare

Independent living communities generally do not provide healthcare and personal care services included in the monthly service fee or rental fee. However, if you are recovering from an injury, illness or surgery — or if you develop chronic health problems — you may decide to hire in-home assistance in your independent living residence. In some communities, home health assistance may be available through the community, while in others you may secure care through an outside agency.

By choosing to have a home health provider assist you within your residence, you may be able to remain in your independent living community instead of moving to another type of community, such as assisted living. Guidelines for using home health services vary by independent living community.

Costs and Fees

When you compare the costs of a move to independent living versus remaining in your current residence, be sure to consider everything that your monthly fee includes. While the monthly fee or rent may exceed what you currently pay for rent or mortgage, remember that your independent living fee may include transportation, activities, housekeeping, landscaping, maintenance, security, meals and other services.

When you choose to move to an independent living community, you may simplify your finances. Rather than paying separate fees for a health club membership, utilities, home maintenance, yard work and meals, you simply pay your monthly fee that covers nearly everything you need to live comfortably. If you need assistance within your residence due to health concerns, you should expect to pay additional fees. However, you may save money by paying only for the care you need rather than moving to a community that provides additional care as part of the fee.

In most cases, independent living is not covered by insurance — including long-term care policies or Medicare. However, if you contract for home care, insurance may cover at least part of the costs. Most people fund a move to an independent living community with their existing income, by selling their home or by tapping into retirement funds or other savings.

Choosing the Right Community

If you believe that an independent living community will fit your needs and preferences, consider visiting several communities in your desired area. By visiting in person, you can get a feel for the community, and you may be able to see available floor plans. In addition, you can speak to some residents and team members, and you can enjoy a meal during your visit.

Feel free to ask any questions that you have; a move to independent living is a big decision, and you should feel comfortable with the choice you make. Consider asking questions along the following topics:

  • Services and amenities included in the monthly fee
  • Contract details
  • Dining options
  • Transportation
  • Activities and social opportunities
  • In-home healthcare or personal care assistance
  • Security procedures and staffing
  • Policies regarding visitors and pets

Create Your Ideal Lifestyle

At Pine Ridge of Plumbrook, you’ll enjoy an active lifestyle and freedom from the chores associated with homeownership. Customize your own beautifully appointed, private apartment residence and select among a range of helpful, supportive services — paying only for those that benefit you. Experience an array of exciting activities, make new friends and enjoy delectable, chef-prepared dining every day. To plan your visit to our Sterling Heights independent living community, please contact us today.