Interested in moving to a retirement home or retirement community? Explore your options and learn how to make the best choice for your needs.
What is independent living?
Independent living is simply any housing arrangement designed exclusively for older adults, generally those aged 55 and over. Housing varies widely, from apartment-style living to freestanding homes. In general, the housing is friendlier to aging adults, often being more compact, with easier navigation and no maintenance or garden work to worry about.
While residents live independently, most communities offer amenities, activities, and services. Often, recreational centres or clubhouses are available on site to give you the opportunity to connect with peers and participate in community activities, such as arts and crafts, holiday gatherings, continuing education classes, or movie nights. Independent living facilities may also offer facilities such as a swimming pool, fitness centre, tennis courts, even a golf course or other clubs and interest groups. Other services offered may include onsite spas, beauty and hairdresser salons, daily meals, and basic housekeeping and laundry services.
Since independent living facilities are aimed at older adults who need little or no assistance with activities of daily living, most do not offer medical care or nursing staff. You can, however, hire in-home help separately as required.
As with any change in living situation, it’s important to plan ahead and give yourself time and space to cope with change. By using these tips, you can find an independent living arrangement that makes your life easier, prolongs your independence, and enables you to thrive in your retirement.
Types of independent living facilities and retirement homes
There are many types of independent living facilities, from apartment complexes to separate houses, which range in cost and the services provided.
- Low-income or subsidized senior housing
- Senior apartments or congregate care housing.
- Retirement homes/retirement villages.
- Continuing Care Retirement Communities
The key difference between independent living and other housing options is the level of assistance offered for daily living activities. If you require round-the-clock help with eating, dressing, and using the bathroom, or require regular medical assistance, other housing options such as assisted living facilities or nursing homes may be a better fit.
To read more about HelpGuide’s tips for coping with a move to independent living, click here.
Shire is proud to provide a range of quality, independent, personalised services to the retirement market – We look forward to being of service to you. To find out more about the services on offer by Shire, click here.