Independent Living for Seniors

5 Distinctive Features of Independent Living Communities

Getting older brings a new set of limitations on life. It may become too difficult to keep the home clean and prepare meals while still having time for the kind of social life you desire. Expensive retrofits for the bathroom and kitchen may make it easier to move about the home, but making friends to spend time with can be hard even in the best of circumstances. Independent living communities are increasingly popular, and there are a variety to choose from based on your needs and lifestyle. Take a look at some of the features to get an idea of whether or not an independent living community might be right for you.

  1. Homes are already fitted with necessary appliances: Rather than piecemeal identifying and trying to find the many items that make the home safer and easier to get around in, independent living communities have already done this chore. Besides shower handles, no-slip surface liners, large handles, and latch doors, these homes typically feature wide doorways, lower cupboards, and closet shelves to prevent accidents. If you experience problems in maneuvering, staff is available to install extras.
  2. The safety of a community: Many assisted living communities have security running patrol 24/7. While gates and patrol can cut down significantly on crime, homes are also fitted with alarm systems that include remote panic buttons, so that help can be called in any type of emergency from any location in the home. Besides security guards and home alarm systems, living in a community provides its own layer of security.
  3. Only choose the level of assistance you require: Life can get a lot more difficult when you lose the ability to push a vacuum cleaner around or slice vegetables. Even if you never cooked or did the cleaning, loss of a loved one who did may leave you without the skills to see to these tasks. Assisted living communities typically provide meal service, though it is unlike nursing homes. This meal service may be modified to fit your needs. Some may choose to receive three meals a day from community staff, while others may be able to manage everything but dinner. Others services, like cleaning and laundry, are also optional and provided only at the level you need.
  4. Assisted transportation: If driving or keeping track of directions has become too difficult, some communities offer group transportation to popular stores and recreational areas. Even if you enjoy driving and plan to keep the vehicle, group transport can save you time and money. Plus, it is more fun to go to the beach, boutique or gym with a group than to go alone.
  5. An active social life: Researchers have found that one of the best determinants of good health is an active social life. Getting to know people you have things in common with can be difficult at any age, though it is especially critical in later years. Communities will often have an events coordinator who arranges regular get-togethers and plans recreational outings with the primary purpose of helping you meet others in the community. Living in a community means getting to know your neighbors. You will always find someone friendly with whom to share a laugh, conversation or meal.