Everything you need to know about caring for those you love.

What Is Independent Living?

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When people retire, they often don’t want to be burdened with the upkeep of their home, yard work, and they may need just a bit of extra help when it comes to the activities of daily living. Others may want to live in a community of their peers. This is what independent senior living communities offer. If you are searching for independent living facilities, or are wondering how to pay for them, then this will give you some information that may help you find just the right place.

Independent Living Options

When it comes senior independent living, there are a few options available:

Senior Apartments

This is the most common center for independent living. It is basically and apartment complex, or collection of apartment buildings, built for senior residents. This type of independent living facility is often the most communal and offers residents many different activities and amenities.

What Is Independent Living? Get Pricing, See Listings, And Get More Info

Housing Units

Some independent living communities offer residents housing in single-family homes, townhomes, duplexes, mobile homes, or condominiums. These communities are also set up to offer different activities and amenities.

Continuing Care

These independent living facilities offer more services by way of assisted living needs and skilled nursing.

Subsidized Housing

Low-income seniors may look at centers for independent living that the Department of Housing and Urban Development subsidizes. These communities have strict criteria for residents and may have long waiting lists.

People also refer to independent living communities as retirement communities, retirement villages, senior apartments, or 55 plus communities.

How Much Money Does Independent Living Cost?

The cost of independent living facilities varies due to several factors. First, the area in which the facility is located plays a significant role. For example, the average monthly cost of an independent living facility in South Dakota is $1,399.00 while in Massachusetts, the average monthly cost is $4,002.00.

Other factors that affect the cost of independent living are amenities, activities, the size of the living quarters, and prestige. This varies greatly. For example, centers for independent living in the state of Maryland range from $1,334.00 a month at the lowest and $9,050.00 per month at the highest.

This doesn’t consider other expenses such as food, utilities, amenities such as golf or tennis memberships, and activities such as field trips to shows or other places.

Paying for Independent Living

Programs such as Medicaid and benefits from Veterans Affairs do not cover independent living like they do with some of the other types of living facilities like nursing homes or assisted living facilities. They do help pay for in-home care if the resident qualifies, however, this goes towards the caregiver and not towards their rent or ownership.

Outside of personal funds that come from direct savings or retirement benefits, other ways to pay for independent living include:

  • Long-term care insurance that will pay out benefits to residents who cannot perform certain activities of daily living.
  • Cash in on life insurance policies at a certain percentage of the face value to help cover costs.
  • Get assistance from family members.
  • Section 202 housing for low-income seniors.

Independent Living Services

As independent living facilities are built for senior residents, many of them provide amenities that are popular with this group. You should make sure that your independent living facilities you are looking at have these: Most of them include the following:

Amenities at Independent Living Facilities

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    Internet access
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    Landline telephone and cell phone services
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    Social gatherings and activities
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    Remote controls for heating and air conditioning
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    Spiritual and faith based services
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    Exercise and fitness activities
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    Arts and crafts
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    Professional entertainment
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    Beauty and grooming services
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    Pet services

Of course, some communities offer many other amenities such as dining services, in house restaurants, and many more options. Include these costs, and some may bring additional charges.

Choosing an Independent Living Community

When you decide to move to an independent living community you want to get it right the first time. No one wants to have to move after getting settled in because something you overlooked. To help ensure that you choose the right community start by asking yourself, where do you want to live? You may have grown up in Minnesota but have always wanted to live in Florida. Or maybe, your children and grandchildren live in North Carolina, so you want to move closer to them.

Second, ask yourself what type of community you want to live in. Do you want an apartment style setting or a home? Do you want a community with lots of activities and amenities or would you rather stay to yourself?

Finally, you need to see how you get along with the other residents. You want a community where you can make friends and stay engaged, and the right type of people make all the difference.