Is Independent Living right for you?
For many older adults, the idea of moving into a retirement community may seem to represent a loss of independence. Not only is this concept untrue, but the mindset can hold people back from discovering housing options that provide them with more freedom as they age. If you or a loved one are considering making the move to retirement living and have some hesitations, it might be helpful to consider these questions:
How will your current living situation accommodate changing needs?
Aging comes with changes, both in terms of physical abilities and mental well-being. Although you or a loved one may not need assistance right now, it is important to think about how current living situations may benefit or complicate changing capabilities. Consider aspects such as physical layout – a home with multiple levels accessible only by stairs could pose a falling risk in the future. Additionally, living in a location far from amenities such as medical facilities, grocery stores, retail establishments and entertainment venues could be detrimental to everyday living and make maintaining a social life more difficult.
What opportunities would your new community provide?
In addition to considering what your current housing situation may lack, keep in mind the benefits of joining a retirement community. Residents can fully retain their freedom and have their own personal space, while appreciating housing and opportunities that are better adapted to their needs, both now and in the future. This could include access to nearby dining facilities and amenities such as exercise equipment, recreational supplies and technology. Many communities provide services such as housekeeping and maintenance as well. In addition to making day-to-day life simpler, improved social opportunities could prevent the development of feelings like loneliness and seclusion.
With basic needs provided for, seniors can be free to explore options that they might have have been able to prioritize in the past. For instance, perhaps you’ve been intrigued to learn a new skill or pick up a hobby, but didn’t have the time or resources in the past. Maybe you’d like to take the opportunity to travel, either jet-setting abroad or exploring local venues that are within more convenient reach from your new location. If you’d been concerned about adventuring on your own, you will likely find that neighbors within your community have similar interests and would enjoy participating as well.