Many older adults look forward to what the future may hold and how they can best create a lifestyle designed to meet their preferences.
If you’re growing weary of remaining in your existing home – with the continuing responsibilities that leave little free time – you may be searching for the answer to a very important question:
Would an independent living community be right for me?
A Checklist for Independent Living
How do you find the answer to that question? The following checklist can simplify the process and guide you in determining whether remaining at home or choosing independent living might be the best answer.
1. Is community life appropriate for you?
Would you prefer to live in a community where the amenities, dining and activities are all offered in one place?
A great advantage of independent living is that you’ll still have your own private home but easy access to amenities and the other residents if you choose. Ensure the community offers what you need – pets, access to nature or welcoming gathering places might be a few options.
2. Is the location right?
Do your retirement dreams include moving to warmer weather, to be near the mountains or beaches or where you can enjoy more time with your children and grandchildren? A priority item on your checklist for independent living is to ask where you want to spend your retirement.
Your answer will inform the search. Consider all options and the pros and cons of an area to discover the best location for you.
3. Will your residence feel like home?
When you move into independent living, this will become your new home and you’ll want to make sure you’ll feel welcome and comfortable.
When touring a community, visit your apartment or cottage or one that is similar so you can imagine yourself living there. Is this the right floor plan? Do you like where it is located within the community? Is there a patio or deck and plenty of natural light?
Download our complimentary guide Choosing the Right Senior Living Community: A Step by Step Guide for Making an Informed Decision.
4. Are there activities that you’ll enjoy?
Remaining active and engaged is beneficial to your physical and cognitive health. While communities provide a monthly calendar of events, you’ll want to make sure your favorite activities are included.
Consider these options on your checklist for independent living. If an avid golfer, is there a course on-site or nearby? If artistic, does the community provide an art studio or classes? A passionate reader or conversationalist? Ask about a book club or discussion group to join.
5. Will you have something in common with the residents?
Probably the number one question on every retiree’s checklist for independent living is – will I fit in? Paying attention during your on-site tour should provide clues with how well the community fits your priorities and preferences.
Ask about sharing a meal or participating in activities with the other residents to help determine any commonalities. Listen to your inner voice and intuition whether you sense the residents would likely be future friends.
6. Are there opportunities to meet your wellness goals?
You know the detrimental effects that a sedentary lifestyle can have on your health so you’ll want to ensure there are opportunities on-site to keep fit.
Are the community’s fitness and exercise classes tailored to meet the needs and preferences of older adults? You’ll want to find fitness options of interest to help keep you motivated. Do they offer games, activities and social interactions to keep your brain stimulated and in shape as well?
7. Are meals available and do the menu options meet your preferences?
You’ll have a full-sized kitchen in your independent living home but after a lifetime of planning and preparing meals, what about the times when you’re ready for a break?
Include the quality of dining venues and menu selections on your checklist for independent living. Does the food appeal to your palate? If you’ve been relying on frozen processed foods, imagine dining and once again enjoying the meal and company as well.
8. What are the costs for living in the community?
You’ll also want to know the costs of community life and what services are included in the monthly fee. Financial questions should be added to your checklist for independent living so you have a better understanding of whether the price of services is inclusive or à la carte.
You also will want to inquire about how and when payment should be delivered. Ask about any add-on services and their rates as well.
9. Will you feel supported in maintaining your independence?
As an active adult, you may be ready for an easier and more convenient lifestyle, but you’ll still want to maintain your independence. Your checklist for independent living should include asking if assistance is available or whether home care services can be brought into your home if needed.
Are there other services that can promote an independent life, such as transportation to medical appointments, shopping or entertainment if you are no longer driving?
Discover life at a Northbridge community.
If you’re considering senior living for yourself or a family member, we hope you’ll visit one of our communities. You’ll find a maintenance-free, activity-filled and engaging lifestyle to help support your wellness goals.
You’ll also discover many benefits in a Northbridge Senior Living community, including our Signature Program S.T.A.R. Club (Sharp Thinking, Active Residents) – which offers our residents several activities to participate in with others, including:
- Daily exercise group
- Walking club
- Tai Chi & yoga
- Nutritional classes
- Library and book club
- Museum outings
- Artists in residence program
- Multi-generational music
- Genealogy Generations
We’re here to answer any of your questions and invite you to download our complimentary guide Choosing the Right Senior Living Community: A Step by Step Guide for Making an Informed Decision. Please contact us if we can provide further information or if you would like to schedule a personalized tour.