What Is Independent Living for Seniors?
Also referred to as retirement communities, independent living is specifically designed with people age 55 and older in mind. There is plenty to know about these communities, as they come in many different forms and offers plenty of services. Hermitage Roanoke, a Roanoke senior independent living community, has shared some details on independent living and the most important things to be aware of.
What Specific Things Does Independent Living Offer?
Most of these communities typically organize everything in apartments, but there are some that provide single-family homes, cottages, and condominiums. Being in close contact with people in the same age range provides individuals with more social interaction.
While it can vary from community to community, these locations typically have some sort of dining service and housekeeping, along with things like clubhouses, spas, pools, and exercise equipment, along with some basic emergency alert systems.
In addition to the general services, you can usually find a fairly independent and self-sufficient group of people. You can often find a beauty salon, barber shops, game rooms, along with fitness centers and even restaurants inside.
How Are These Communities Different from Assisted Living Facilities?
As the name suggests, assisted living is more for seniors that have trouble with day to day activities. This often includes individuals coming in to take care of those that are unable to do, giving the senior peace of mind that comes with not having to stress about basic maintenance.
When choosing between assisted and independent living, you need to ask yourself how well off your loved one is. Are they capable of taking care of themselves sufficiently? Or do basic things like laundry, making food, and so forth stress them out?
In the US and Canada, there are a quarter million of these housing units. This divided among 315 different communities with the single largest provider being the company Holiday Retirement.
How Much Does Independent Living Cost?
It can vary quite a bit and is usually tied to the average market value in the area, but most of these communities charge anywhere from $1,500 to $6,000 per month. There are also additional fees to consider, such a move-in fee along with any other services you might use.
Upfront fees you might be hit with can be things like the waiting list deposit and an initial assessment fee. Aside from this, everything mentioned before (such as housekeeping and laundry) will have costs, along with utilities, internet, and parking.
There are many things to consider, and all of it relies on how much you are willing to spend. As you can imagine, communities that offer top of the line services and are in pristine locations are going to have the highest costs.
What Are Some Alternatives to Independent Living Communities?
Age-restricted communities are similar to independent living, but vary only in that they usually requires individuals to purchase homes rather than just merely rent a space. Because these homes are often smaller, they are typically a bit cheaper than those in the surrounding area.
Senior cohousing is a relatively new type of senior community that allows private households to manage and socialize on common property. Many of these areas are made specifically for seniors so they can age in place. There are many federal and local programs that provide financial assistance to those seniors that might not be able to afford this housing. While it can vary, most programs are designed so that seniors do not have to spend more than 30% of their income on their bills.
Another options is housing through HUD programs. Short for Housing and Urban Development, HUD is a department of the U.S. federal government that provides living assistance to more than 900,000 seniors. This can be in the form of subsidies, public housing, or housing vouchers. If you are thinking about signing up for one, expect to wait a long time; waiting lists can go anywhere from two to five years. If you need assisted living, HUD doesn’t give you many options, as it’s more for independent seniors.
Independent living retirement communities are great for active seniors that wish to downgrade to something a bit more manageable. They offer plenty of services, with some of this housing being subsidized by the federal government.