Independent living facilities, also known as retirement communities or senior apartments, cater to seniors who are primarily self-sufficient but prefer the convenience and sociability of living in a community of their peers.
Independent Living Services
These independent senior living facilities offer a wide range of services to make life easier and more enjoyable for residents. Services include some of the following:
The housing options may include apartments, townhouses, or single-family homes. The floor plans of these homes are designed with seniors in mind; this includes particular safety features.
Maintenance and Housekeeping
Independent living for seniors offers maintenance and housekeeping-free living. This means no snow shoveling, grass cutting, or other home maintenance duties. Full-time housekeeping is also provided at many facilities.
Many independent living communities, such as retirement homes, offer meal plans, with dining services ranging from communal dining rooms to in-home meal delivery.
Social Activities and Amenities
These communities have vibrant social scenes with planned activities, clubs, and events. Amenities may include fitness centers, swimming pools, golf courses, and hobby rooms.
It’s also common for some communities to provide transportation services for residents, making it easier for them to get to appointments, shopping, and social events. Retirement homes, for example, are generally built close to shopping areas.
What Does Independent Living for Seniors Cost?
The cost of independent living in the United States varies greatly depending on the size of the accommodation, location, and the services offered. On average, the monthly cost of independent living is around $3,170. However, it’s important to note that every independent living community is unique, so they do not have the same monthly fee. Fees can vary significantly from state to state and region to region.
This wide range in cost can be attributed to the variety of services and amenities that different communities offer, as well as the cost of living in other parts of the country. Generally, there are base costs for a single senior renter to cover the necessities, and 2020 numbers varied considerably—many of these base costs have likely increased.
It’s also important to consider additional expenses when calculating the total cost of independent living. These might include utilities, meals, transportation, and personal expenses. Some communities may include these services in their monthly fee, while others may charge separately.
It’s essential for seniors and their families to consider their budget carefully and needs when choosing an independent living community.
Frequently Asked Questions: Independent Living
How does independent living differ from other senior living options?
Unlike nursing homes and assisted living facilities, independent living communities do not provide medical care or assistance with daily activities. However, retirement communities have options for seniors to transition to assisted living.
What are some potential drawbacks of independent living for seniors?
The drawback is the cost involved with independent living or retirement communities. It can be challenging to budget accordingly.
Do I have the freedom to do what I want, when I want?
Yes, you would enjoy the same degree of freedom you would have if living in your home or apartment. You can come and go as you please. There are no restrictions or curfews, and it is up to you how you spend your time.