Independent Living for Seniors: What Exactly Is It?

Finding the right type of living arrangements for your elderly loved ones can make all the difference in the world when it comes to their physical, mental and emotional needs. Independent living for seniors offers the kind of lifestyle that many people in their advanced age need—independence and freedom to do what they love without the stresses and hassles of taking care of a home.

Is independent living for seniors the right fit for your loved one? First, you need to know what independent living means for the elderly in your life. Then, you need to explore the benefits of it to make sure that it's the right choice for your family.

What is Independent Living for Seniors?

Independent living provides senior citizens with minimal or no special needs the freedom to get around as they please, enjoy the activities they love, and maintain the social lifestyle that they crave, all in a comfortable and supportive environment.

Housing types range from senior apartment facilities to freestanding homes, and the community provides either optional or all-inclusive household maintenance services like yard maintenance, laundry, and cleaning for residents. Independent living for seniors is a great option for older adults who don't require 24-hour supervised care.

Benefits of Independent Living

Here are some of the perks residents can expect when living in a typical independent living community:

Comfortable living. Regardless of the type of housing your loved one chooses, seniors can expect the perks of comfortable, easy, independent living. Depending on the community, residents can enjoy the day-to-day or weekly cleaning and maintenance services that they would otherwise have to deal with in their own home. They can also enjoy cozy, easy-to-manage living quarters that provide everything they need.

Recreational activities for every taste. A social life is one of the most important aspects of independent living for seniors. It helps to keep them active and social, engaged in activities with other residents in the community, and prevent cycles of loneliness and depression that often affect seniors. Different independent living centers offer various types of activities, including exploring the town or enjoying nature.

Peace of mind. No longer does your loved one have to worry about being home alone if an emergency arises. Most independent living for seniors includes supervision by staff who knows what to do and who to call when a medical emergency arises.

Independent Living: Major Factors to Consider

If you are looking at independent living centers with your elderly family member, keep in mind that cost, anticipated needs and type of communities are major factors to consider. Generally, independent living for seniors is paid for by the resident, so it's important that you and your family member budget and estimate costs, seeking communities that are within your price range. You must also determine whether your family member will anticipate higher healthcare costs in the future. This could direct you to the kind of facility that would be most beneficial for your senior.

Find independent living through Alternatives for Seniors, which offers a directory (in print and online) that specifically caters to the housing and care concerns of senior citizens and their families. Gain access to information from thousands of nationwide health and care facilities, including independent living, assisted living, nursing care, and more, without ever leaving your computer. Be social, too! Join our Facebook and Twitter community for the latest news and information on housing for the elderly.