5 Key Things to Look for in an Independent Living Community

Are you looking for a great independent living community for yourself or a loved one? Maybe you’re just testing the waters to see what’s out there.

Almost 90% of residents living in independent living communities are enjoying their time there, and nearly as many would recommend it to a friend. Maybe it’s your turn to take the plunge and join one yourself!

How do you find the right community though?

This is where the hard part comes in. There are so many options, especially if you’re not constrained by location. How are you supposed to choose the right independent living facility for you?

We’re here to help you narrow down your search.

Keep reading for a few things that you should look for when you’re deciding on your next home.

  1. Cost

Let’s get this out of the way first. Cost is an important factor when you’re considering a new home.

Everyone has different budgetary concerns. You may have been saving up for this for your entire life! If that’s the case, you may not be as worried about how much your new independent living facility is going to cost you.

Most people, though, don’t have that privilege. They might be limited by the money that they have available to them.

While some communities are definitely closer to “luxury”, they often come with luxury prices.

Make sure that you’re getting the features that you need before the ones that you want and then go from there. Be careful not to overspend.

Independent living communities can cost thousands of dollars per month, and sometimes that price is just the basics. More amenities will require more money. Make sure you know that you’re able to cover the costs.

  1. Amenities Offered

Not all senior living communities are created equally. As we mentioned under “cost”, some of the facilities with more luxurious options are also going to be hard on your wallet.

That said, it’s important that you’re happy in your new community, so looking for certain non-negotiables is important.

Is there free parking or transportation? Is there a laundry service, or do you clean your own? If you clean your own, are the machines free or paid (and are they in your unit)?

You might also be interested in specific amenities. Maybe your new home has to have a gym or a pool. Maybe it has to have some kind of clubhouse where you can congregate and make friends.

Make a list of the things that you need and want and see how your options stack up.

  1. The Community Itself

Sometimes independent living communities will have mixers where you (as a non-resident) can go hang out with the people who are already living there. This is a great opportunity to see what the place is actually like straight from the mouths of those who are staying there.

You can get real answers to any of your questions while socializing a bit with the locals.

This is also a good opportunity to see if you really get on with the people who are already there. Let’s face it, not every community is going to suit every person.

If this group is a bit quiet or uptight and you’re the kind of person who likes to hang out and let loose with friends, this might not be the best community for you. Maybe you just don’t like these people. There’s no shame in that.

You’re doing this to figure out where your place in the world is. Take every opportunity that you can to ensure that you do so correctly.

If the community isn’t fulfilling for you, move on. You’ll be spending a lot of time in this new home, so you need to get the right fit for your own social health.

  1. The Location

When you’re moving into an independent living community you get to decide where you want to live. This doesn’t just mean the facility itself, but also the location.

Do you dream of living in a warm, tropical climate? Maybe the beach is a few steps away and you can sit out by the pool with your new friends.

Maybe you want to live in the mountains. You want beautiful views and to finally see what that fresh mountain air is all about.

You have these options when you’re choosing a new home.

However, maybe it’s more important to you that you live close to your family. Moving into the city where your children or grandchildren live might be a priority.

Don’t exclusively look for places in your direct area. You have options!

  1. The Care

You’re probably moving into independent living because you’d like the security of a community and the ease of assistance when you need it.

Some communities are more independent than others.

If you have specific health needs that should be addressed, you should know whether or not these things will be made available to you.

Are there nurses or assistants available at the community itself for small needs? Is there an in-house medical team? How close is the hospital, and are they efficient with transportation?

Knowing these things ahead of time will help you plan and determine if this new facility is going to be right for you.

Are You Ready for Independent Living? 

Making the transition from a “normal” home to an independent living community doesn’t have to be jarring. It can just be your next big adventure!

Choose a place and community that you can truly blend into. This is the start of an awesome new stage of life, so you should enjoy it!

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