Independent living is simply any residential complex that is designed exclusively for older adults, usually for people aged 55 and over. Living is very diverse, from apartment-style living to single-family homes. In general, the housing is friendlier for aging adults, often more compact, with easier navigation and no maintenance or gardening work to worry about. Unlike assisted living, independent living is ideal for people who can still live independently but have access to assistance when needed.
Independent living communities provide residents with convenient access to restaurants, medical care, entertainment, and more. The independent lifestyle provides residents with a safe living environment but with minimal support. Catering services such as cleaning services, meals, and laundry may or may not be included in the monthly rent, but are usually available. The term independent living covers a variety of living options for seniors.
There are municipalities with age restrictions that only offer housing to people aged 55 and over. Many of these are rental communities that do not offer care services. There are also Life Plan communities (also known as Continuing Care Retirement Communities) that offer independent living options for seniors as well as assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing. For example, if residents need help with day-to-day living activities, they can move from independent living to an assisted living facility or a qualified care facility at the same location.
When you’re looking at a variety of housing options for seniors, there can be a lot of confusing terminology to learn. Orchard Cove in Canton MA offers housing options that span the entire continuum of care, including independent living. At NewBridge on the Charles in Dedham, MA, you’ll find modern seniors living on a 162-acre intergenerational campus. There is no fixed size for an independent residential community. So it’s up to you whether you prefer a smaller community or a busier place with more people and opportunities for socialization.
This allows residents to live independently for longer while receiving the care services needed to thrive and age well. In addition to local amenities, many independent residential or retirement communities also offer convenient transportation to activities outside. To really understand what today’s independent living can offer you, consider visiting an independent residential community near you. Both independent and assisted living communities offer older adults the opportunity to establish social relationships, pursue hobbies and interests, and stay active.
For an older adult, the choice between assisted living and independent living usually depends on how well a person is able to manage daily activities without additional support. Do your homework in the independent living facility and make sure all your questions are answered ahead of time. If you find that you need minimal support when it comes to activities of daily living, independent living may be right for you. Typically, independent living facilities are for older adults who don’t need much help or medical care, so most don’t offer these services.
- Independent Living for Seniors – HelpGuide.org
- Assisted Living vs. Independent Living: 5 differences | Hebrew SeniorLife