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Independent Living

What is Independent Living?

Finding long-term care can seem like an overwhelming task, especially if you’re unsure of which one is the best fit for you. For seniors who require little to no assistance with their daily activities, independent living can be a very convenient care option.

For many people looking to move on to the next phase of their life, independent living represents an option that is flexible, efficient, and packed with features which are invaluable to aging.

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Without the added stress of keeping up with the house or lawn, you’ll be able to focus on enjoying retirement however you want to! Many communities feature amenities like wellness centers, tennis courts, pools, and plenty of social activities to keep you engaged and enjoying life.

Since it’s uncommon to find anyone under 65 in these communities, you’ll be surrounded by a supportive network of your peers from the first day you move in. Staying social is important to maintaining your health, and independent living makes that easier than ever. 

Besides plenty of new people to meet, there is also 24-hour staff trained to provide supervision and security during your stay. Should any problems arise, emergency call-systems make it easy to get in contact with the right people.

Making the Transition to Independent Living

It can be difficult to move out of a familiar home, yet there are plenty of benefits to finding an independent living community of your own. With the ability to come and go as you please, you will have the ability to take day trips or travel without having to worry about what’s going on back home. Independent living allows you to focus on what makes you happy instead of staying bogged down with chores.

Most communities offer either apartment style housing or even small cottages. Each living space is fully furnished with the necessities, leaving you the freedom to decorate however you’d like. Some communities also allow pets within a certain weight restriction.

It’s common for living spaces to have full kitchen areas and easily accessible closets and rooms. Providing a comfortable and low-stress lifestyle is the goal of many independent living communities across the nation – combine that with the safety of 24-hour staff and you’ve got a fantastic long-term care option.

Costs of Independent Living

Independent living costs vary greatly. There are independent living programs for low-income seniors, as well as for seniors at continuing care retirement communities that have options for long-term care. In the U.S., you can expect average monthly costs for independent living to range from about $1,500 to $3,500. If you are considering aging in place at a CCRC, note that they typically have an expensive entry fee, which may be around $250,000. 

Although Medicaid and Medicare don’t usually pay for independent living, other payment options are still available. Long-term care insurance can cover any in-home care services after you move, however, it won’t pick up the bill unless you decide to sell your policy back to the company. Reverse-mortgages can also provide a way for people to use the value of their current home to pay for a long-term care option.

Finding the Right Independent Living Community

When searching for a new place to call home, it’s important to visit a few different communities and really get to know residents and staff. See if people are happy, supportive, and ready to help you find a new way to enjoy life. Beyond the bells and whistles of a facility, check their public records and how management may have dealt with any past violations.

Finding a community that gives you peace of mind and engages your passions may seem like a lot to ask but is very important for your overall well-being and physical health. Take your time and really trust your gut on whether a community is right for you. Once you move in, the choice is yours as to how you’ll keep those golden years shining brightly!

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Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between independent living and assisted living?

Independent living communities are available to seniors who are still healthy enough to live on their own schedules. Most independent living communities still offer assistance with things like housekeeping and other custodial tasks, however, they don't usually provide very in-depth medical care. Assisted living is more for seniors who require daily assistance with their tasks, but aren't ready for full-fledged skilled nursing care. This can include help with personal hygiene, medication management, or things like memory care for dementia and Alzheimer's patients. 

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How much does independent living cost?

Based on the location and size of the apartment, costs for independent living facilities range from $1,500 to $3,500 a month on average. Depending on the available amenities, this can be quite the bargain for many people – especially for those with depleting funds.

Medicaid and Medicare don’t usually cover independent living, although it’s possible to receive coverage for in-home care after moving into a community. Long-term care insurance may also cover certain costs depending on your policy, however, it’s most common for people to pay out-of-pocket at least the first several years.

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Finding the perfect senior care community is only part of making your loved one’s senior living transition smooth. At SeniorCaring, we know that it is also equally important to be aware of what other community services and resources are available to your family’s senior. Choose your location and find local resources for your senior.