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What is Senior Independent Living?

Senior independent living

You’ve gotten past retirement age, and the house where you’ve spent the past 20 or 30 years suddenly seems like too much work.

You’re far too young and too healthy to think about moving to a nursing home, but you’re still looking for a change. That’s where senior independent living comes into play.

What is senior independent living?

Senior ladies by the poolYou might have questions at this point: “What is senior independent living? How is it different from a nursing home?”

A nursing home is a form of assisted living, where residents get regular support in everything from cleaning to meals to laundry to medical care.

What is senior independent living then? It’s a community where residents, as the name implies, live more independently.

These are people who typically don’t need help with daily activities or round-the-clock nursing care, but enjoy the access to things like dining services, transportation and – in some places – access to on-site amenities like gyms or pools.

But not every senior independent living community is the same. Here are a few questions to ask to determine whether a community is right for you.

1. How old are the residents?

There was a time when everyone living in a retirement community was the same age. But today more and more people are able to live independently well into their eighties, while many retirement communities have lowered their minimum age restriction from 55 to 50.

Grandma and kids2. Do they have rules governing kids?

Some communities have restrictions on whether children can live on site or even visit. In some cases, the community might set a minimum age to control noise, while others limit the number of nights a child can stay on site.

Senior with pet dog3. What’s their policy on pets?

Do you have a pet? Are you thinking about getting one? Make sure the community you’re considering will welcome your four-legged friend.

Most senior independent living communities are open to cats, although they may have restrictions about letting cats roam freely. Dogs, especially larger dogs, might be trickier.

4. What do the people there like to do?

Seniors in painting classYou’ll be more likely to feel at home with people who share your interests. Some communities are even built around a common interest or lifestyle. For example, the Stilwell Retirement Residence in Waco, Texas is a retirement community for former teachers.

Of course, most places aren’t that specialized. Look at the community calendar and see if there are activities that appeal to you and find out if those activities are well-attended.

You should also see what kind of transportation is available. Even if you’re comfortable driving now, it may become an issue down the road.

Seniors eating lunch5. What’s on the menu?

Some communities offer the services of a top-quality chef or kitchen staff. If you’re dealing with restrictions on your diet, you’ll need to find a place that meets your needs.

Keep in mind that unlike assisted living centers and nursing homes, retirement communities typically only provide one or two meals a day instead of three.

EMt and senior6. How is the security?

A good retirement community should have some form of 24/7 security. Make sure security is in place day and night, on weekends and holidays. Ask about local emergency services. How far away are ambulances from the center?

7. Will I be able to age in place?

Woman on stairlift

Some retirement communities are designed to let residents age in place, and transition to an on-site assisted living operation when the time comes.

At Pennsylvania Stairlifts, we know how vital aging in place is to the nation’s seniors. It’s something nearly every older American wants: to grow older in the place they call home.

We can help with that: our stair lifts are designed to make your home more accessible, so that you can live there longer. Contact us today to learn more.

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