Independent living communities offer healthy seniors a place of freedom to enjoy their later years among like-minded adults while not having to worry about home maintenance duties. This is unlike assisted living, where a professional carer will be assisting in providing most of a resident’s specific needs. Independent living provides residents with a lifestyle where they can enjoy a caregivers’ help only when they need it. This lifestyle is perfect for residents looking to be a part of a community or wish to “age in place,” which means living with a stable home and care system that will support them as their needs change.
Among the various types of senior accommodations, independent living options are the least restrictive, supervised, or regulated; residents in independent living settings can fully care for themselves. In some settings like continuing care retirement communities (CCRC), independent housing is the first step in a spectrum of housing options, while other settings such as subsidized apartments are designed for those with limited incomes.
Types of Independent Living
Under the definition of independent living, there are a few different types of communities you can join.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities
Continuing care retirement communities (CCRC) are a transitional setting that generally offers three distinct levels of care: independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing care. CCRCs are designed with the security of knowing that a resident’s changing needs can be met as they age without having to relocate.
Some of the advantages to residing in CCRC independent living are:
- Promotion of an active lifestyle
- Supportive social environment
- Proper medical care
- Good nutrition
- Overall wellness encouraged
Senior apartments offer many of the same amenities as retirement communities, on a smaller scale. Typically, these apartments will have one or two bedrooms, one bathroom, and a kitchen to allow residents to live independently. These complexes usually offer disability-accessible accommodations for those who use a wheelchair or walker.
Senior living complexes may offer on-site activities such as exercise classes, recreational programs, and communal dining. Some senior apartments can even provide visiting physicians and medical services, while others offer beauticians or other personal services.
The rent for these units can be substantially less than that of a townhouse or condo in a retirement community, and often includes most of the maintenance. This can be the ideal setting for someone who is no longer interested in or able to manage home maintenance or lawn care.
Independent Living Services and Amenities
Independent living communities provide seniors a place to live with like-minded people their age and grant access to services that will help make their lives easier. These facilities typically do not offer assistance with activities of daily living like bathing and using the restroom, but do often offer services to assist people with everyday activities. Below are some of the services that are typically offered by independent living communities.
Independent living communities will often offer a range of housekeeping services, from weekly trash and recycling services to full-service apartment cleaning and laundry. The grounds in and around the community will also be kept clean and presentable by service workers.
Activities and Social Opportunities
At an independent living community, residents will be provided a variety of options to keep them engaged with their neighbors. Some independent living communities will even host regular events that invite the larger neighboring community.
Independent living communities aren’t required to provide three daily meals like in assisted living, but many communities offer dining options, the ability to pay for meals in advance, or meal programs.
Some of the amenities offered at Bentley Commons at Paragon Village include:
- Weekly housekeeping
- Linen service
- Round-the-clock maintenance services
- Scheduled transportation services
- Full-service beauty salon and barbershop
- Concierge services
- 24/7 emergency call system