When you move to independent living, the community you choose should do more than meet your basic needs. It should exceed your standards for comfort and convenience, and offer opportunities that allow you to grow, explore, and continue to pursue all the parts of life you love the most.
Every retirement community will vary in the different types of independent living services and amenities they offer. We’ve compiled a list of the top independent living services and amenities to look for when you’re visiting a senior living community.
The maintenance-free lifestyle is one of the main reasons older adults move to an independent living community. Look for a community that offers independent living services that include regular housekeeping, laundry, and all household maintenance and repair. The community should also provide 24/7 security and an emergency response system, and offer regularly scheduled transportation to residents.
Great Floor Plans
The physical footprint of a community will affect whether residents live in buildings with everything they need under one roof, or if they’re based on a campus where housing and independent living amenities are spread out over a larger area. The residential floor plans will vary accordingly from apartment homes, duplexes or townhomes to freestanding homes such as villas or cottages. Choosing a smaller apartment home will offer a cost savings advantage because of the smaller square footage. It’s also easier to lock up and leave if you intend to spend only part of the year there. A larger apartment or freestanding residence feels more like a traditional home and will have more space for your belongings and entertaining guests.
You may intend to keep cooking for yourself, but having a variety of places to eat within the community will certainly be convenient and fun. Choose a community that offers a dining room where you can enjoy table service and a restaurant-style meal, as well as a more casual setting where you can grab a sandwich or enjoy coffee with a friend. Check the dining plans and menus and make sure they fit your tastes and preferences. Some communities also offer an area to gather for Happy Hour or other social get-togethers. A range of dining venues means mealtimes are less likely to be crowded, and you can satisfy a craving or try something new without having to drive to a restaurant.
Health and Fitness
You’ll find it easier to keep up a regular exercise routine with independent living amenities such as a fitness center and swimming pool on-site. The community should provide opportunities to work on your fitness in group exercise classes or one-on-one with a professional trainer. If you like exercising outdoors, find out if the community has walking or cycling trails, or offers special memberships at local golf courses or other sports facilities.
Physical fitness isn’t the only marker of successful aging. If a community is truly invested in the health and wellness of its residents, it will offer senior-focused wellness programming as part of its independent living services. These programs should allow you to support the multiple dimensions that make up your overall health: physical, emotional, mental, intellectual, social, spiritual and vocational.
Activities and Events
Will you be able to tap into a calendar of social events, community activities and clubs, or will you be responsible for your own fun? Most communities offer a variety of activities, so make sure you find the majority appealing. These days it’s also common to find independent living amenities such as a billiards or games room, multipurpose auditorium for guest speakers and concerts, and even a woodworking and hobby studio.
Find a community that offers a hair salon/barbershop on-site. While you may have a favorite salon elsewhere, it’s handy to have these services a short walk from your door when you need a special hairstyle or are ready for some pampering. Some salons offer nail services, massage therapy and other spa services within the community hub. And because these independent living amenities are available only to residents, it’s easy to book an appointment.
Choosing the Right Independent Living Community
As you evaluate independent living communities, consider how their services and amenities will directly benefit you. Think about how you’ll spend your time in the community after you move in, and make sure the community you choose helps you reach your goals. You can read about the top five steps to choosing the right community here.
At Sedgebrook, we believe retirement is a time to take advantage of life’s opportunities and keep growing. We provide an independent living lifestyle with an exceptional selection of services and amenities so you can enjoy the comfort and convenience you deserve. Contact us today to tour our community and learn more about what we offer.