When you’re ready to transition out of your home or apartment to begin your journey to independent senior living, there are many things to take into consideration. Independent senior living communities are perfect for older adults in need of maintenance-free living, delicious and healthy meals, housekeeping support, or for those who no longer wish to live in a home by themselves. These communities offer safety, healthy and chef-prepared meals, transportation, friendships, social activities, spiritual and physical wellness, medical services, and many other amenities – quickly becoming home.
To ease any overwhelming feelings or stress, we’ve gathered some information on different areas to research and consider when finding independent senior living that suits your lifestyle, needs, and desires.
Finding the Perfect Community
Finding the independent senior living community that is in perfect alignment with your personal needs will require time and patience. You’ll want to consider your personal lifestyle and needs, research and make a list of communities in the area you would like to live, and then begin to carefully examine each one. Having ideas or even a list of what you’re looking for can help you get started on the path towards finding the right independent senior living community that’s right for your lifestyle and meets all (or most) your needs.
What do you enjoy about your home, your neighborhood, your social life, your personal care? Think through hobbies and living preferences that make a positive – and negative- impact in your life.
Amenities and Services to Consider
When selecting an independent senior living community, identify which amenities and activities that are important to you. If you would like to have assistance with housekeeping or laundry, you’ll want to find a community that offers those particular services to residents. If participating in an active social life is of utmost importance to you, you’ll want to consider a community with life enrichment activities that keep you moving, busy, and engaged.
Other types of amenities you’ll want to take into consideration include transportation to-and-from appointments, outings, or stores, services that meet your personal medical needs, and what type of dining services the community offers. The choice of your specific apartment layout from an efficiently sized studio, to an ample 3-bedroom has value to many people looking for independent senior living. Customizing the apartment to make it suite your specific needs is part of the fun of this process!
Here are several senior living amenities and services available that increase comfort and quality of living:
- Hair Salons & Barber Shops
- Game Rooms
- Social or Activity Rooms
- Rehabilitation Care
- Communal Kitchens
- Movie Theater-Style Rooms
- Outdoor Patios
- Spiritual Care
- Residential Gardens
- Fitness Centers
- And More!
Do Your Research on Communities of Interest
The first step in doing your research is to make a list of communities in your area, or in the area you’d like to reside. Next, create a separate list of the types of amenities and services offered in each of these communities. Once you’ve narrowed down your search, it’s time to then visit each location to find out if you truly feel at home. Bring a loved one along with you for your tour, they may think of questions or notice aspects of the community you don’t. Family and friends are welcome and encouraged in these types of communities, as you should feel as at-home as possible.
Things to Consider During the Decision Making Process
Again, you’ll want to be sure that the community you select is right for your lifestyle. Not only should it meet most of your personal and medical needs, but you should also feel truly comfortable in the environment of the community as well. Because of this, it is vital to visit each site in-person and take time to ask questions, but also reflect on each tour. In the end, you’ll want to make sure that the senior community you choose to reside meets or exceeds your needs and expectations.
Most importantly, follow your intuition when making your decision. While it is important to also consider the many services and amenities of each community that you've carefully researched, how you feel at the community will continue to affect your happiness. Lastly, talk to other individuals in these various communities during your tours to find out how they feel about the community. It’s often human nature to allow others to influence many of our life’s decisions, even when it comes to the selection process of an independent living community.
This decision may not be easy, and it will take some time and consideration. Be patient and do your best to enjoy the process, when you do, you’ll be able to find a senior community that truly fits you. If you’d like to begin exploring options, consult with a Walker Methodist Housing Specialist.