What have you always wanted to do? Write a novel? Start a vineyard? Sell the plants you’ve been growing for the past few decades? No matter who you are or what you’re into, the next phase of your life is a great chance to refocus your attention on what matters most, especially if you’re retired and no longer raising kids (or grandkids).
Many older adults insist that they will never move out of their house, even when maintenance, transportation, and the overwhelming number of daily tasks begin to mount. Here’s the reality: Choosing an independent living community is a great way to optimize your life, ensuring more adventure, more social connections, and a low-stress, maintenance-free lifestyle.
Stereotypes about aging coupled with fears of a bygone era’s institutional nursing homes make some seniors reluctant to even consider moving to a community setting. However, today’s independent living communities are nothing like the options available to your parents or grandparents—they’re much better.
Today’s independent living communities provide all of the opportunities, activities, and resources you need, giving you the freedom to experience each day with less stress, plenty of privacy, and amazing food. The right community is the ideal launching ground for your next act. People choose our communities because they want to live longer, healthier lives in a setting that helps them remain independent.
What does independent living mean, and why should you consider it? Here’s how the right community can help you live life on your own terms.
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What Does Independent Living Mean?
What is independent living, anyway? Independent living caters to healthy, active older adults who want a more engaged and socially connected lifestyle. It’s not assisted living. It’s not a nursing home. Instead, it’s a place where older adults choose to live in community with one another, renting their own apartments and enjoying a vast array of activities, events, and amenities.
In Cedarhurst communities, everything is already taken care of for you. Home maintenance, landscaping, tending to that leaky pipe or that loud refrigerator, and other basic home care tasks become a thing of the past. You’ll no longer have to prepare meals and do dishes unless you want to. Stroll down to the restaurant-like community dining room to enjoy hearty comfort foods, health-conscious dining, and tons of delicious snacks.
Research tells us that people spend an average of 36-49 hours per month on home maintenance and 37 minutes a day on meal preparation. Added up, that’s more than 25 days a year! What would you rather be doing with that time? Independent living gives you the freedom to do it.
A World of Opportunities
Ditching home maintenance is just one of many benefits, though. You’ll also gain access to a dynamic activities calendar that may include classes like yoga, events like live music and game nights, celebrations, community gatherings, and even volunteer opportunities.
Whether you’re a quiet introvert, the life of the party, or somewhere in between, independent living can accommodate your ideal social schedule. For the shy among us, independent living helps break the ice, making it easier to chat with new friends. For the social butterflies, it’s possible to spend all day every day building a meaningful, nurturing community.
Should You Consider an Independent Living Community?
An independent living community could be a great choice for you if:
- You are in generally good health and do not need assistance with activities of daily living.
- You want to spend less time on cleaning and home maintenance.
- You crave new friendships and opportunities for connection.
- You want the freedom to travel without worrying about your home.
- You’re tired of devoting so much energy to finding fun things to do.
- You live alone and feel lonely.
- You want to know there’s help available if you ever fall or otherwise need assistance.
The Independent Living Lifestyle
The independent lifestyle centers your needs, whatever they are. In this way, there’s no single independent living lifestyle.
Some people spend all day hanging out with friends and taking classes. Others spend most of their time gardening, tending houseplants, or baking. And some relish the chance to quietly enjoy book after book without ever again having to listen to a leaky roof or worry about where to get dinner. You are in control, and you can do as much or as little as you like during your days.
Here’s a small sample of the perks you’ll enjoy in an independent living community:
Even if you love cooking, preparing three healthy meals (not to mention snacks!) every day can be exhausting. Cedarhurst offers delicious year-round dining inspired by seasonal fare, classic comfort foods, and residents’ cultural and dietary preferences.
You can cook only when you want, or never prepare a meal again—and forget about cleaning up. When you eat in our restaurant-style dining space or grab a quick snack to go, you’ll never have to wash a dish again.
Whether you want to learn new skills, become more active, join community events, or celebrate all that makes life grand, our calendar of senior living events is always full of opportunities.
When you live alone in a house, finding a fun time can feel like work. You have to choose something to do, recruit someone to do it with, and coordinate the logistical and financial aspects of the activity. In a Cedarhurst community, fun is literally just outside your door.
Friendship makes life worth living and gives it deep meaning. It’s also good for your health. Numerous studies, including one that spans more than eight decades, suggest that close and meaningful relationships are the keys to a happy, healthy life. People with close relationships live longer, have fewer health problems, and enjoy a lower risk of depression, anxiety, and other forms of psychological distress.
Sustaining friendships requires time and work, but in a community setting, it’s easier. You can meet up with friends just outside your front door whenever you choose. There are no more planning or transportation woes, simply fun times with people you love.
You don’t have to be in poor health to worry about what would happen if you needed urgent help. Everyone gets the flu, catches a cold, or occasionally requires additional physical support—and emergencies are more common than many of us would like to think.
If you currently live alone, an independent living community offers much more security than you can get in your house.
The Benefits of Choosing Independent Living
Independent living offers more than just a place to call home. It can improve your quality of life, your relationships, your sense of purpose, and even your health, empowering you to age better and more gracefully.
Better Mental Health
Loneliness is a public health crisis that can cause anxiety and depression in individuals, as well as a wide range of physical health problems. A community setting offers relief from loneliness and isolation. Access to more activities and better food can also inspire you to make healthy choices that improve your sense of well-being.
Better Physical Health
Exercise is a major predictor of well-being, but it can be tough to get started. With less stress and fewer obligations, you’ll have more opportunities to exercise. Walking trails, fitness classes, and other amenities can inspire you to get moving—and maybe to bring a friend. Healthy food that tastes delicious can help you meet health goals, and a lower-stress lifestyle can free time and space to focus on what brings you joy and improves your health.
A Higher Quality of Life
Some amenities—a pool, fitness center, large green spaces, event centers, meal preparation, and more—are just not easily accessible when you live in a house. But an independent living community puts it all in one place, so you can enjoy a higher quality of life, enriching your days with a range of activities that bring you joy.
Traveling can be difficult. You might have to pay someone to water the plants, check the mail, and check in on your home. In an independent living community, however, you just lock your door and go, confident in the knowledge that your home will be safe while you’re gone and your neighbors will be thrilled to see you when you return.
The right community makes it easier to remain independent by offering help only when you need it and support with daily stressors like meal preparation. The emphasis on wellness can inspire you to make healthier decisions that ensure you can thrive well into the next decades of your life.
An independent living community rolls most of the expenses of daily living into a single bill, providing predictability to your budget. You’ll no longer have to worry about home maintenance, either, which means more time, less stress, and fewer surprise expenses. Stress is a major predictor of health and well-being, and in the right community, stress takes a hike.
The Cedarhurst Difference
Cedarhurst has built senior living communities where people from all walks of life can thrive. Every resident is unique, and we build unique communities that cater to a wide range of needs—and we’re able to do so at a more affordable price point than you might expect.
Want to learn more? Download our free guide, The Insider's Guide to Independent Living Pricing.