Moving to independent living can be a significant adjustment. Taking the time to tour communities and ask questions before deciding is essential.
Top independent living facilities have much to offer, but each differs.
The first impression you get from the community is essential. Take a tour and observe the cleanliness of both indoor and outdoor areas. During your visit, ask questions about amenities and services that are offered.
Look for regular apartment or home cleanings, including vacuuming, dusting, and laundry service. Also, ask if housekeeping is included in the monthly rent or charged a la carte.
Many independent living communities have meeting spaces, such as cozy fireside living rooms and sunrooms, that allow socializing. You’ll also find that these communities often have fitness centers, beauty salons, and pools to keep residents in good shape. Some even offer transportation for errands and appointments. And some are directly affiliated with a religion, so they might offer on-site church services.
The meals available in independent living facilities, like Westminster Suncoast, are essential to the lifestyle. Look for nutritionally balanced, delicious options and provide a high-quality dining experience.
Some facilities include a meal plan with a fixed number of included meals in their monthly fees for independent residents, while others offer meal credit programs or an a-la-carte approach. When choosing an independent living community, verify how many meals are offered, whether they include snacks or drinks, and what additional meals are available for a fee.
Unlike assisted living, independent living is designed for seniors who do not need regular access to medical care or daily help with activities of daily living such as bathing and dressing. Independent living residents can hire in-home help if they need more assistance.
A top-rated independent living facility should provide residents with numerous amenities and conveniences. These include housekeeping, laundry, pet accommodation, on-site salons, and more. They can be included in your monthly rate, or they may be offered at an additional cost.
Senior living communities offer meaningful ways for seniors to connect with their peers. This socialization can boost mental and emotional health.
Some independent living facilities also have transportation services or partner with independent services that offer low-cost transportation to medical appointments and other destinations.
Choosing one that provides meaningful socialization opportunities is essential when looking for a senior living facility. This could be through daily activities, community outings, exercise programs, and other events that foster friendships.
Independent living communities offer opportunities to connect with others in similar stages of life, and regular socialization can help reduce these symptoms.
Some independent living facilities are directly affiliated with a particular faith tradition and may have pastors on staff to attend to spiritual needs. Make sure to ask about this when visiting potential communities. Also, ask about additional amenities and conveniences such as housekeeping, trash removal, on-site salons, and more.
As with any facility, a retirement community should have adequate security measures. In addition to a secure perimeter, it should have security cameras in rooms and hallways and a system of alerts that notify staff and family members when a resident is in danger or needs assistance. Some independent living facilities also use wireless pendants with GPS tracking systems to help locate residents when they are wandering.
Since independent living is geared toward seniors who need little to no assistance with their daily tasks, many of these communities do not have full-time caregivers on-site or offer medical care services. However, they typically provide landscaping and housekeeping services, a laundry room, on-site dining options, and security surveillance. Ask about these services when touring a facility, and request a sample of their food.