It’s understandable that Americans often have broad misconceptions about independent living. The only exposure to senior living many of them have had was from visiting their grandparents or other older relatives in assisted living or nursing homes.
And while those are both examples of senior care you’d find at senior living communities, they’re not indicative of the lifestyle and freedom found in an independent living community.
To understand the benefits of independent living — and to decide whether an independent living community is right for you — we’ve put together four questions to ask yourself, along with four reasons why it may be better to make your move now.
Defining Independent Living
Independent living is a living environment that allows older adults the freedom to enjoy their self-sufficient, active lifestyles without the worries or responsibilities of cleaning and maintaining their home, caring for their yard, and preparing their own meals. Residents of an independent living community have their own private residence they furnish and decorate; a maintenance-free community takes care of nearly everything inside and outside their home. The community also offers activities, events, programs and common spaces for residents to enjoy.
Independent living is often another level of living at a Life Plan Community (also known as a Continuing Care Retirement Community or CCRC. Many older adults choose to move to a Life Plan Community while they’re healthy and active enough to take full advantage of the all-inclusive lifestyle. If their health changes and they need additional senior care, such as assisted or skilled nursing, it’s available to them in the senior living community, making future moves for senior care unnecessary.
Is Independent Living Right for You? Four Questions
The definition above may sound great in theory, but it can be difficult to know if that’s something that would be a fit for you in reality. So ask yourself these four questions:
- Do you feel like your house is too big for your needs? You may still be living in the same multi-bedroom, multi-bathroom house you raised your family in. But the kids are all grown now, with families of their own. You no longer need all the bedrooms and bathrooms or the attic, basement, two-car garage and large yard. Rightsizing into a smaller independent living residence might be the right choice.
- Would you prefer to pass the chores to someone else? No matter what size it is, every house requires maintenance. Inside there’s always housecleaning and laundry; outside there’s yardwork and landscaping. And the house itself may need a new roof, new HVAC, new gutters, new appliances, new carpet, new paint — the list just goes on. A maintenance-free community would certainly unshackle you from the never-ending honey-do list.
- Would you benefit from having more social opportunities? Many people find it difficult to stay socially connected as they age. An independent living community offers activities and events designed to promote socialization. And neighbors can quickly become your good friends, especially when you discover how many interests and hobbies you share.
- Does it bother you to leave your future care needs in the hands of your children? Most older adults don’t want to think about needing care in their future; it’s why many don’t have a plan in place for their senior care. But if you have a health crisis, who will make decisions for you? Do they know what you would want? The more palatable solution may be to stay in control of your future by choosing independent living at a Life Plan Community, where you can enjoy living independently with a plan in place for any future care.
If you answered yes to most of these questions, moving to independent living at a Life Plan Community may well be the right choice for you. A helpful checklist can assist you as you look into a community that fits your unique wants and needs. But you may be wondering when is the right time to make your move.
Four Reasons You Should Move Now
- You know you could be eating healthier. Most independent living communities provide three nutritious, delicious, chef-made meals every day. You don’t have to grocery shop, do meal prep, prepare the dish, set the table or clean up afterward.
- You know you could also be exercising more. Residents at many independent living communities have access to state-of-the-art fitness centers with senior-specific equipment and fitness classes, indoor pools, outdoor walking trails, personal trainers and other wellness opportunities. And exercising with friends makes maintaining your health much more enjoyable.
- You’re happy and healthy, and you plan to stay that way. Independent living communities encourage your overall health and well-being, so you have the best probability of continuing to live as independently as you want for years to come.
- You have a perfect window of opportunity right now. If you agree that you’re happy and healthy now, why wait until your health changes? Make your move now so you can fully enjoy everything independent living at a Life Plan Community can offer you.
Could Independent Living at Canterbury Court Be Right for You?
There’s a great way to find out: Arrange your personal visit. It’s easy — simply contact us to start the conversation. If you’d rather hear what the experts have to say about Canterbury Court, check out some resident testimonials. And if you have a question about our community, see if we’ve answered it on our FAQ page. Regardless of what you’d like to know, we’re here to help you find the right independent living fit for you!