Senior independent living centers were designed to make the aging adult’s (55 and up) life easier but still give them the freedom to do as they please. If you’ve been considering it, you may be wondering what services they have to offer. There are a lot of great services offered such as transportation, wellness, and support services. We will go over all of them in this article, with the assistance of Canterbury Tower, a Tampa, FL senior independent living center.
The Difference Between Assisted Living and Independent Living
Assisted living and independent are very much alike. There are only a few differences.
Assisted living is for the elderly or aging who need help with activities of daily living such as bathing, taking medication, and household chores like laundry.
Independent living centers or communities are there to make their residents’ lives easier by helping with meals, providing transportation to doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, and giving them a place and time to socialize.
The main difference is that independent living facilities are for people who get around well and can do most things without assistance, while assisted living facilities are for people who have trouble performing activities of daily living.
Services Provided by Independent Living Centers and Communities
The services offered by independent living centers will vary from place to place, but as a rule they will have a place for residents to socialize, a dining area, and transportation services. There are also numerous others, including:
- Most independent living facilities offer dining services that may be included in your monthly fee or may be an additional cost. This can include cafes, restaurants, and help with cooking your own meals. This helps tremendously because it takes a huge task off your plate, leaving time to do other things (or just rest).
- Transportation is normally included in the amenities. Residents can typically get transportation to doctor’s appointments as well as grocery and personal shopping. This gives them a chance to get out and socialize with different people without having to drive anywhere.
- Wellness programs are offered in many independent living centers. This is great for seniors, as they should be in their best health, and being healthy and exercising are effective ways to achieve this. According to Brookdale Senior Living, these services often include weight control and nutrition advice.
- Social events are popular at independent living communities. They allow plenty of social time. Residents can have fun in their own community. Some of these events include dances, bingo, and more. These social gatherings can create a more engaging atmosphere and fulfilling lifestyle.
- If you are concerned that you may end up needing additional support services such as assistance with daily living, it’s important that the facility you are considering offers them. If not, you may want to consider an assisted living facility.
- Most senior independent living facilities include increased security in the form of surveillance cameras, security guards, and security gates. This provides peace of mind and an overall feeling of safety.
- Housekeeping is one of the many possible benefits that may be included. This helps tremendously because it takes some of the responsibility off the resident, making their life easier.
- Just like when you rent a house, your landlord is responsible for any repairs that need to take place, such as plumbing, electrical, etc.
How You Can Pay for an Independent Living Center
It can be quite expensive to live in an independent living center, in fact, according to RetirementLiving.com, it could cost anywhere between $1,500 and $10,000 per month, depending on your location, but most of the time it costs under $3,500. The cost could deter people from going that route; however, there are ways to help pay for an independent living facility.
Most people pay for the expenses out of pocket, while others must sell their homes and some personal belongings to afford it. You may also receive help from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the form of rent and bill assistance. Signing up for HUD assistance can be a long process, because waiting list times can stretch up to two years. Find out more about senior services offered through HUD at hud.gov.
How to Find the Right Independent Living Center
Do your research and explore all the benefits of each one to ensure you are getting exactly what you want and need. If one facility doesn’t work for you, maybe the next one will. You can be sure you are getting what you want by:
- Researching online: The internet is a useful source of information. You can find out almost anything on the internet. Search Google for nearby senior independent living centers and it should show everything close to you. From there, you may be able to view their personal websites to find out more detailed information.
- Calling around: Look up phone numbers of local facilities and call to find out more. This is a great idea when you have specific questions that won’t typically be answered on the website.
Whatever you choose, take advantage of all the services the facility has to offer. After all, you are paying for most of them already. Go socialize, have fun, and live life to its fullest in a place designed for your needs. Good luck!