What is Independent Living?

Autonomy with Assistance

Independent-living communities, often referred to as Retirement Communities or congregate-living communities, are specifically designed senior centers with the needs and interests of independent senior adults in mind. Such communities are planned and developed in an apartment- or condominium-like setting with 24-hour on-site supervision and care. Such being the case, most are age restricted and only permit elderly tenants who are of a certain age, usually 55 or 62 years and above. This age limitation also helps to foster a greater sense of community among the residents through shared likes and interests.

Independent living is most appropriate for active seniors who are still greatly able to care for themselves. For such individuals, independent senior living options can offer a rewarding and carefree lifestyle with the additional benefit of available senior care and senior services.

Features of Independent Living

While every senior community differs, offering a wide variety of amenities and services for those who live there, many senior living communities provide the following, either all-inclusively covered in the monthly rent, or provided as an additional fee:

  • Housekeeping services
  • On-site meal program, offering 1 to 3 prepared meals a day
  • Laundry services or laundry facilities
  • Club house / meeting rooms for socializing
  • Library
  • Chapel
  • Game room
  • Fitness center
  • Swimming pool / spa
  • Beauty salon / barber shop
  • Transportation services
  • A Service Coordinator to help acquire additional services

Our Independent Living Checklist can help you work through your senior living decision by providing guidance through a series of easy-to-answer questions about interests and lifestyle and health considerations.

Financial Matters

Like any housing situation, the cost for independent living varies by community, type, location, amenities offered, and so on, but the following guidelines are generally true for all senior independent living facilities:

  • Only private pay is accepted for senior rental communities. No federal or state programs exist to help cover associated costs.
  • Personal circumstances, likes and dislikes, desires and needs, differ for each individual seeking senior housing, so the rent cost will vary depending on the person and their interests and needs.
  • To get a true estimate of the cost of senior independent living, contact the communities listed on AlternativesforSeniors.com and inquire. A friendly associate will gladly assist you.

Other types of Active Senior Communities exist in addition to independent living. For those who may need extra care, there are assisted living facilities, such as residential care, continuing care communities, nursing and rehab centers and care for patients with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.