For many active, self-sufficient seniors who are looking to enjoy their retirement with limited daily responsibilities and plenty of opportunities for recreation and socialization, independent living is the perfect fit. These senior living communities feature private apartments of various sizes to fit each tenant’s needs, chef-prepared meals, onsite events, activities, and amenities, and maintenance and housekeeping services. Unlike assisted living, independent senior housing communities are intended for residents who do not require day-to-day help with activities of daily living.
Senior communities provide residents with opportunities for social, physical and mental engagement that are crucial to maintaining a high quality of life.
To find a community near you, search the AgingCare.com Independent Living Directory. Have a Care Advisor assist your family with making senior living arrangements. This service is provided free of charge.
Services and amenities offered in independent living communities enable seniors to lead a relaxed, rich and engaging lifestyle. Residents enjoy freedom from chores and responsibilities like laundry, meal preparation, maintenance and repairs so they can participate in social events, fitness programs, recreational activities, outings and the like.
The following services are typically offered, but can vary from community to community. Be sure to ask when touring.
Independent Living Community Services and Amenities Reference Guide
|Room and Housing|
One-bedroom, two-bedroom and studio apartments with basic housekeeping, maintenance/repair and laundry services.
Many apartments have kitchenettes, but full kitchens may be provided. Three or more chef-prepared meals per day may be provided in a community dining room.
Health services are not provided. Some communities share a campus with assisted living and/or skilled nursing accommodations, allowing residents to transition as their needs increase. Otherwise these services will need to be contracted through a home care agency.
Some communities may feature gyms and swimming pools and may even offer exercise programs and fitness classes.
|Social Activities and Services|
Common areas for socializing, a beauty salon/barber shop, library, computer room, TV room, garden area, book clubs, cooking classes, games and religious services are typically provided.
Some do allow small pets.
Provided at scheduled times for errands, appointments and outings. Parking is available for resident automobiles.
An awake staff is typically available 24 hours per day.
Family and friends can attend meals or stay overnight.
Most independent living communities require an initial, non-refundable community fee and then charge residents an inclusive monthly rate. This monthly fee typically includes the costs of rent and basic services such as housekeeping, laundry, meals and most utilities. Costs vary depending on the size of the senior apartment and the extent of services and special add-ons that are selected.
It is important to conduct research and take tours of a few independent living communities in order to properly assess the options. Look for inspection records and, while on tours, interact with residents and staff to better gauge the quality of the community. Be sure to ask about available services and amenities as well as whether these things are included in the pricing or involve additional fees.
Use this quick checklist to help you find the right community.
Room and board, services and amenities are typically paid for privately. However, some sources of funds or benefits may help cover the costs of senior housing:
Learn more about independent living with these articles written by elder care experts and experienced caregivers.