If you have gotten to a point in your life where you feel like it’s time to make a change and start thinking about moving to a retirement community, you probably have some exciting times ahead. Independent seniors often find that moving to a retirement community is the best option for them since it provides them with the support that they need while allowing them to remain as independent and as in control as possible. But, choosing somewhere that appeals to you, is comfortable and affordable might be a daunting process. The aim of many senior retirement communities is to help the residents facilitate and continue their full lives, so they often focus more heavily on environment and amenities rather than the care provided.
What to Expect from a Senior Retirement Community
Senior living communities come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, with a variety of different services offered and various levels of care. Independent senior living communities like Brandywine allow seniors to live on their own just as if they were in their own home, while having access to support from staff when needed. Some communities have a range of amenities and services to help make your life easier and encourage you to socialize, such as a full-service community dining hall and regular activities that you can take part in with other residents.
Who Benefits Most from Independent Living Communities?
At first glance, senior living communities might not seem very different from assisted living services, as both are services provided for seniors who are not experiencing memory issues or do not require skilled nursing care around the clock. Both will promote an independent, active senior lifestyle and they usually tend to provide very similar amenities. However, assisted living tends to provide a larger level of care that is not typically included in independent living communities.
If you’ve decided that independent living is the right choice for you, what are some of the main factors to consider before choosing the best place for you to move to?
Don’t just consider the community in the retirement facility; consider what is around you in the local area. If you are religious, for example, you may want to move to an area that has a suitable church, synagogue, or mosque for you to attend. Consider any cultural pursuits, hobbies, sightseeing opportunities, entertainment, shopping, and exercise opportunities in the local area and make sure that you are moving to someplace that you will enjoy living. Remember; you’re probably not going to be spending all of your time in the retirement community, so approach it in the same way as you would buying a new home in any other area.
Some people move to independent living facilities only requiring a place to live. On the other hand, it might be important to you that there are ample opportunities to socialize and get to know your fellow residents. Many retirement communities have a wide range of amenities on-site such as libraries, gardens, hair salons, shops, exercise classes, laundry services, housekeeping, and recreational activities that you might want to get involved in. It’s a good idea to come up with a list of all the different amenities that you would like to have access to on-site, to help you choose the right community for you.
Some independent living facilities will simply provide you with your own kitchen while others have on-site dining facilities that you can take advantage of on a daily basis. If you would like to live somewhere that you have your meals served to you every day, or simply want the option to be there if there’s ever a time that you don’t feel like cooking, the dining services are likely to be an important factor for you when you choose a retirement community. And, dining services can vary too. Some communities have cafeteria options while others are more like a restaurant with dedicated chefs and waiting staff.
Exercise and Wellbeing
If you live quite an active lifestyle, you are going to want to choose a retirement community that offers plenty of opportunities for you to exercise and stay active. The best retirement communities usually have a wide range of physical activities to choose from, whether it’s an on-site gym, strength training classes, yoga, tai chi, and more to help the residents stay fit and healthy. Consider retirement communities with amenities such as swimming pools and exercise rooms that you can use at your leisure.
Different retirement communities will have various rules and policies when it comes to pets. If you do not have a pet and don’t plan to get one, you can probably skip this step – but if you have a furry companion by your side, you will want to make sure that they are as welcomed as you are when you move into an independent living facility.
If you have a car, driving is probably a large part of your independence and something that you will not want to give up when you move to an independent living facility. If you plan to keep your car, make sure that you choose a retirement community where parking is provided; after all, you don’t want to go from having all that freedom to being homebound or relying on public transport to get you where you want to be.
Support When It’s Needed
Many seniors who move to an independent living facility do not require much assistance. However, it’s always nice to know that help is on hand if you should ever need it. Check out the policies about the support offered by the community and find one that has the support you might need available, whether it’s medical help when needed or help with tasks like moving in or carrying groceries. You may want to consider moving to an independent living facility that also offers assisted living so that you can get the best of both worlds.
Choosing the right retirement community for you can be a daunting task. Start by making a list of everything that’s important to you.