How to Choose an Independent Living Community
How to Choose an Independent Living Community
Independent living communities are great choices for seniors who are ready to enjoy every moment without having to deal with life’s little hassles. Freed from preparing meals, driving to appointments and maintaining a home, independent living offers the perfect opportunity to socialize, relax, pursue interests, and be included in a friendly community of busy, active people.
Since this type of community doesn’t offer routine help with the activities of daily living like dressing, eating, or mobility, those in search of more supportive services should consider an assisted living community. But if you’re in search of an independent lifestyle and need help with how to choose an independent living community right for you, read on.
As you begin your search for the perfect location, take a moment to consider what makes a neighborhood ideal for you.
Pull up a map and see where your potential senior community lies. Is it close to the stores you like? Is it in a quiet neighborhood, a charming countryside, or on a busy, urban street? Will you still be close to family members and friends? If not, are there highways and routes that make it easily accessible?
If you plan on keeping your car, the location may be less of a priority. For those who prefer not to or are unable to drive, find a community that offers transportation so you can still go to appointments and outings whenever you like. Different communities offer varying levels of transportation services, so make sure to learn about important details, including service radius and additional costs.
Rental-based senior living communities offer the best value and the most choice. If you’re living on a fixed income, look at your monthly budget.
The money saved on home expenses such as mortgage payments, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, home repairs, autos, and lawn maintenance usually outweighs the costs of an independent living community. The savings increase when you include homeowners’ insurance, upkeep, and utility bills which typically run about 3.25 percent of the value of a house.
For example, rent at Tiffany Springs Senior Living covers:
- All utilities
- Dining Dollars
- High-speed, fiber-based Wi-Fi
- 24-hour security
- Full interior and exterior maintenance and repair
- State-of-the art fitness center
- Pool and Jacuzzi
- Transportation service
- Lifestyle and leisure programs and activities
- Emergency call system
If value is your main priority, compare all floor plans and expect more square footage and in-apartment amenities to increase the monthly cost. Your move can become more cost-efficient if you take advantage of time-sensitive move-in incentives.
Services and Amenities
Here’s where independent living shines.
When comparing communities side by side, your choices may seem as though they offer virtually the same services and amenities. If this happens, visit each community so you can discover the small details about their services and amenities that make a big difference. The perfect time to do this is at an open house or community event where you can taste their food and enjoy a free class or activity. You can get all your questions answered during a personal tour.
Whether you or your parent loves to cook, likes to frequent favorite restaurants, or is excited by the idea of chef-prepared meals daily, independent living has something for everyone.
Some communities offer varying meal plans, menus, and dining styles. When you visit, ask to see sample menus and visit the dining areas and bistros.
Another factor to consider is how often you may want to eat outside of the community or cook your own meals. Take the time to visit potential communities to view their menu, sit in their dining areas, and experience their cuisine first hand. After all, eating food you love, even if it’s just once a week, can enhance your quality of life.
As we age, socializing may become more difficult. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, independent living gives plenty of different ways to find new friendships and nurture existing ones. Through clubs, classes, events, and activities, some communities aim to always have a reason to get out and be with like-minded people. Many communities even host happy hours that make for a fun and relaxed environment for everyone.
Staying social throughout our lives keeps us emotionally, intellectually and physically healthier. Research from the National Institute on Aging indicates that social isolation constitutes a major risk factor for older adults. A national survey by the AARP Foundation shows that about one-third of U.S. adults age 45 and older reported feeling lonely. If you (or your parent) is experiencing loneliness or loss, being surrounded by a community of caring individuals makes a world of difference.
When you’re visiting a community, you’ll easily notice how friendly the staff and residents are. Don’t be afraid to stop, say hello, and ask them questions.
The time to look is now
Some seniors don’t think they’re “ready” to move to a senior community but don’t let that stop you from exploring your options now. Come see what it’s like. That way, if you decide to make a move based on an unexpected event in your life, you’re armed with the information you need to make a good decision, unencumbered by pressure.
So many times, seniors visit a Tutera community like Tiffany Springs Senior Living and fall in love with the friendliness, the ease, and the carefree lifestyle they discover here. And because we offer help with downsizing and selling your home, the move is easier than you think.
Visiting a Tutera community in person is the best way to compare location, cost, services and amenities, dining and community culture. So, give us a call to schedule a personal tour or visit our website to find out about our next event. Let us help you choose an independent living community right for you!