Retirement is a time for celebration and new beginnings. When the time they’ve planned for finally arrives, many seniors choose to make the most of their retirement years by moving to an independent living community.
There are a number of benefits independent living communities provide, but deciding whether or not an independent living community like Beacon Hill is right for is about weighing your care, social and future needs. Some older adults may find that they require a higher level of care, and opt for an assisted living community. Here are the differences between these two types of communities and some things to consider to decide which is right for you.
Independent Living Vs. Assisted Living
Residing in an independent senior living community eliminates the daily hassles of home ownership, such as lawn and home maintenance, while giving one the ability to enjoy a more social lifestyle. Independent retirement communities are more focused on creating an exciting, enriching, and extravagant lifestyle for residents through a combination of social programming, amenities, and other unique opportunities for indulging one’s interests among like-minded peers.
The biggest difference between independent and the care offered in assisted living is just that – the amount of care that you need to receive. Assisted living levels of care often includes assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing and grooming. While many independent living communities offer the ability to contract in-home care in addition to your monthly fee, assisted living provides these same levels of care as part of the predetermined monthly fee.
How to Know if Independent or Assisted Living is Right for You
Senior living communities aren’t right for everyone. If you’re considering an independent living community for your retirement future, here are some things to weigh before your final decision.
Your Personal Care Needs
Care needs vary from person to person. Use these questions to help understand if your care needs are a good fit for independent living.
- Are daily tasks manageable? If you can handle your day to day life without assistance or needing outside help, independent living is a good option. If you anticipate needing more assistance at any point, ask the community if they can connect you with in-home care services at your new residence.
- Do you want to live closer to someone who can assist in case of emergency? Some older adults are used to having other family members in the house, and the convenience and support of that can be a shock to lose as loved ones move away. At an independent living community, help is never more than the press of a button away. Residences are also constructed with the safety needs of older adults in mind, meaning they are generally more accessible than residential homes.
- Do you want to do away with daily chores? You worked hard for the relaxation retirement brings. If you want to up that level of relaxation, an independent living community can help. Regular maintenance and housekeeping services are often included in your monthly fee. On-site dining options also reduce food preparation time and cleanup, leaving you free to do more of what you love.
Your Personal Social Needs
If your main concern in your retirement years is filling up that social calendar, independent living is probably an excellent choice. Asking yourself these questions can help make the decision easier.
- Do you want to be close with your neighbors? For many, the appeal of an independent living community is the opportunity to connect with like-minded peers. Independent living communities attract individuals at a similar stage of life and provide a plethora of opportunities to get to know the residents around you.
- Would you like planned activities to opt into? Sometimes, the worst part of finding something to do is all the planning. Many independent senior living communities provide a social calendar flush with activities to choose from. Select the activities that interest you most, or look into starting your own social club!
- Do common amenities matter to you? The community amenities are one of the best parts of choosing an independent living community. From dining centers to gardens to bars, spas and more, you can find a unique amenity for pretty much anything you desire. Communal amenities are also an excellent way to meet your fellow residents and get to know each other better.
Your Personal Future Needs
If you’re considering independent living, you likely don’t require daily assistance with your everyday care needs. However, sometimes your needs change. Consider these questions to determine if independent living is a good long-term choice for you.
- Do you need in-home care? Some independent living communities will offer in-home care, and others won’t. If you anticipate needing in-home care at some point, clarify what level of help is available at the communities you are considering.
- Is it possible your healthcare needs will change? While you can’t predict everything the future will bring, you know your health history better than anyone else. If you are worried that your care needs might increase as you age, discuss your options with your prospective community before you move.
- Do serious health issues run in your family? Some hereditary diseases will eventually require advanced care. If you or your spouse have a memory care diagnosis, consider a community that provides assisted living or memory care services.
Healthcare is one of the biggest challenges we all face in our later years, and it can become one of the biggest costs for aging adults. That’s why it’s important to discuss all possibilities with the senior living communities you’re considering.
Explore Independent Living at Beacon Hill
Beacon Hill is a proud Life Care Community with a lively and active group of residents. Independent Living in Illinois has never looked better than it does at Beacon Hill. As a resident, you’ll have access to amenities like greenhouses, indoor swimming pools, a year-round market, libraries, a woodworking shop, and so much more. Schedule a tour today to see what your independent future at Beacon Hill could look like.