As baby boomers continue to retire and the number of seniors who are living very active lifestyles well in to their 90s climbs, the need for independent living communities is more apparent than ever before.
This type of senior housing is designed to provide support for active older adults who are in relatively good health. They wish to be free of the burdens of home ownership so they can focus on travel, hobbies, friends, and family.
For many seniors, independent living is a budget-friendly option that helps them use their retirement savings wisely.
Costs of Independent Living
Because independent living communities vary widely, the costs of independent living vary, too. Depending upon the area of the country you live in and what type of services and amenities are included, the price range for independent living is generally between $1,500 and $6,000 a month.
A common type of independent living is an apartment. Most provide maintenance, repairs, yard care, snow removal, and trash pickup. Life enrichment activities and wellness programs are also standard. Some also offer meal plan options, transportation, and housekeeping.
Another option is a villa or cottage-style home. These are typically on the grounds of a larger retirement community. This type of independent living usually offers a richer variety of services and amenities. Examples include concierge services, travel programs, golf leagues, and more.
And then there is affordable independent living for seniors. These are typically apartments that charge a monthly rental fee based on an older adult’s income. While they tend to be less plush and offer fewer amenities, they do offer seniors companionship, security, and socialization.
Criteria for Independent Living
Unlike the assisted living industry that is more heavily regulated, the criteria for independent living is more relaxed. Because independent living communities typically aren’t licensed by the state or federal government, they tend to have fewer regulations than assisted living.
If the community serves meals, the kitchen will undergo inspections by the health department. The fire department will also evaluate the community at regular intervals.
Independent Living vs. Assisted Living
What is the difference between independent living and assisted living? It really comes down to supportive services. Residents in an assisted living community have 24/7 access to caregivers for support with personal care, toileting, walking, and medication management.
Some of the services that might be optional in an independent living community, such as housekeeping and laundry, are standard in an assisted living community.
Finding the Best Fit
If you aren’t sure what type of senior housing is the best fit for you or an older loved one, call us. We can help you compare the different types of senior living and evaluate which one might be the best fit.