The Benefits of Senior Independent Living Communities

by Adam Wilson

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Senior Independent Living is catch-all term to describe the services and specialization common to Retirement Communities, Retirement Homes, Senior Apartments and Independent Living Communities. All these housing options are designed specifically for healthy independent adults. Candidates who might benefit the most are those who want to maintain an active lifestyle with the same recreational, cultural and social activities they enjoyed while living at home, but without the housekeeping and home-maintenance hassles of home ownership.

All senior independent living communities & benefits cater to adults over age 55 who are entirely self-sufficient and able to live on their own, but desire the security, convenience and convivial atmosphere of group approach to active aging. The fastest-growing segment of senior independent living is adult resort communities centered around high-quality opportunities to pursue favorite sports or similar recreational passions. Benefits include ski-lodge developments on the mountainside and condo complexes sitting in the high fairway ruff of an 18-hole golf course.

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Regardless of setting or size, most senior independent living communities put a focus on social events, special interest clubs and shared recreational activities like group rides for road cyclists or open-mic nights for musicians and fiction writers. Whatever your passion or lifetime hobby, you can find a community somewhere in the country that caters to it.

Senior independent living benefits often come with additional common space amenities like swimming pools, spas or sauna; cardio and weight training facilities, a clubhouse or lounge available for parties, and libraries or book exchange programs open to all. Community benefits may also include laundry facilities, linen service, meals or access to meals, and local transportation services, but often these are a la carte, and residents will pay extra monthly fees or a per use charge for each service.

One service senior independent living communities don't provide is health aide assistance with activities of daily living. This is the key difference between independent living and assisted living. An assisted living center offers health aide assistance available 24-hours, will also provide, in their base monthly service, a least two daily meals, daily resident check-in systems, weekly housekeeping services, and medication management.

A senior independent living community may offer some of these benefits for an extra monthly fee, but health aides and medication management are considered healthcare, and independent living is not designed to deliver healthcare.

One workable solution to this limitation is for residents to contract with a private in-home health aide agency. Going this route will cost around $21 per hour for a health aide to meet the resident in their condo and provide requested assistance with household routines like bathing, dressing, transfers and administration of prescription medicines.