What is Independent Living?

Posted by Daniel Lawrence on July, 2015

As people get older, they are often forced to revise their living arrangements. If a senior feels overwhelmed by the prospect of keeping a home, or if they feel isolated from others, a retirement home or independent living facility may be an appropriate option. Moving is stressful, but by giving the person space and time to deal with change, they can learn to thrive in their new homes.

What is an Independent Living Facility?

Simply put, Independent Living is a housing situation designed just for those 55 and older. Accommodations vary widely, from freestanding homes to apartments, and they are geared toward older adults because they’re easier to navigate, and there’s no maintenance required.

While seniors live independently, many communities offer services, activities, and amenities. Often, clubhouses are available, allowing seniors to connect with others their age. Some independent living facilities may even offer fitness centers, onsite spas, salons, and housekeeping services. Because these facilities are aimed at those who need a little assistance, most don’t offer nursing services.

Types of Retirement Homes and Independent Living

There are many types of retirement living, and they vary in cost and services provided.

1. Low-income senior housing. There are senior complexes that are subsidized by HUD (the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

2. Congregate care. These apartment-style homes are usually age-restricted to those 55 and over. Rent might include services such as transportation, recreational programs, and communal meals.

3. Retirement communities: These housing units are age restricted as well; they can be duplexes, mobile homes, condos or townhouses. Monthly fees may cover groundskeeping, recreation, and clubhouse use.

4. Continuing care: If a person is healthy now but anticipates future health problems, they should consider moving into a CCRC. These facilities offer services from independent living to nursing care on the same site.

The main difference between the above types of senior housing is the extent of the service provided. If a person needs round-the-clock care, a nursing home or assisted living facility may be the right choice. However, a healthy senior can enjoy years in an Independent Living setting such as Orchard Crest Retirement Community.

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