How to find an Independent Living Community

Selecting an Independent Living Community

Independent living communities, also referred to as retirement villages, retirement communities, and Congregate Care Units, allow seniors to live independently in apartments of various sizes. Meal plan options as well as social and entertainment activities, housekeeping, transportation, and laundry services may also be provided within the community.

Benefits of Independent Living Communities

Independent living communities offer seniors a respite from cooking, mowing the lawn, and daily chores. Instead, seniors are able to live independently with other like-minded retirees and seniors who are interested in fostering a sense of community through activities such as shopping trips, sight-seeing, movies, golf, and dining.

Amenities can vary, but in upscale independent living communities residents may have the flexibility to choose from a variety of different sized floor plans, paint colors, patios, and balconies. Twenty-four hour emergency staff may also be available, and apartments often include safety features.

Who would not benefit from an independent living community?

Independent living is not appropriate for all seniors. In fact, those who need extensive help with activities of daily living such as bathing, grooming, dressing, or using the restroom may not receive adequate support within the independent living community.

Additionally, those who require consistent medical care or have the inability to ambulate effectively on their own may be more suited to an environment which provides more extensive care.

Finally, individuals who have no wish for social interaction or those who are a danger to themselves or others will find that an Independent living community is not suited for their needs and should find an alternative living arrangement.

Costs of Independent Living Communities

Independent living communities can be very expensive, although the price can vary substantially based on purchased amenities. For example, meal service for every meal is expensive but costs for food service can be lowered if you decide to cook for yourself.

Independent living communities on average can vary from $1,500 per month up to $4,000 per month.