When you find yourself searching for senior living options in your area, do you linger over independent living communities and wonder how they are that much different from living in your current home?
Independent living has come a long way in the past 20 years. Today, independent living senior communities look more like luxury resorts than a stereotypical hospital or clinical environment. These vibrant communities also offer a variety of high-end amenities and services you simply can’t enjoy in your current home.
Thanks to the impact of the baby boomer generation, independent living communities feature maintenance-free living and often include amenities designed to enhance retirement life, including coffee bistros, swimming pools, and nature trails. However, there are more benefits to independent living than you might initially expect.
Independent living is full of pleasant and healthy surprises, including these highlights that can make life a bit more convenient, healthy, and connected.
Who doesn’t love a little extra convenience in daily life? Team members at independent living communities are there to provide services that make daily chores disappear. It’s true: Life is more convenient in an exceptional independent living community, which means you have more time in the day to pursue things that you love.
You don’t have to worry about snow removal or lawn maintenance, but you can schedule your next haircut and blow-out at the on-site salon or drop off mail at the front desk instead of trekking to the post office. When you do want to run an errand out and about, you can choose to skip driving yourself and avoid the hassle of finding parking at your destination—just use the community’s transportation services and enjoy door-to-door service.
The conveniences don’t stop there. Although you can certainly cook in your independent living home, you don’t have to if you don’t feel like it. Instead, you can find healthy and delicious options on site in the dining room with your neighbors. Grab breakfast to go at the bistro on your way to yoga class, or meet up with friends on the patio for a glass of wine in the evening.
Nearly everything you need is at your fingertips, right down the hall or down the stairs. If you can’t find it, just work with a team member to see if it is a service or product that can be brought into the community.
2. Health and Wellness
Exceptional independent living communities are designed to create an environment that supports overall health. Services, amenities, and resources are easily accessible and can make feeling your best even easier.
Independent living communities are vibrant and busy with activities, programs, and events all designed to do more than just entertain you (though they do that too!). You’ll find health fairs packed with resources you can try out, along with on-site physician visits. Local healthcare professionals bring their knowledge to campus via health lectures and wellness series. You can ask questions about your high blood pressure or new medication regimen, as well as get information about new changes to Medicare, all without leaving your new home.
Looking to meet your physical wellness goals? Get your body moving with group exercise programs, strolling around campus with a friend, or taking a dip in the pool. The opportunities are endless, and you’ll find that you are more likely to stick with a movement regimen when you know your neighbors are saving you a mat at the next yoga class.
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3. Connections with Others
Have you ever felt lonely or a bit disconnected from others when living at home alone? You wouldn’t be the first adult to say so, and it could be negatively affecting your health. More and more research over the past ten years has demonstrated what many in senior living already knew: socialization and connecting with peers is an important piece of the wellness puzzle.
People living at home alone are more at risk for social isolation, even when they are getting out and about throughout the week. Increased isolation and feelings of loneliness are dangerous for mental and emotional health, as well as physical health. The National Institute on Aging reports that people who are isolated or lonely are at an increased risk for depression, cognitive decline, and even heart disease.
When you choose independent living, you are choosing to make socialization and connection a part of your daily routine. Even if you aren’t a self-proclaimed social butterfly, you’ll find yourself saying hello to neighbors in the hallway, chatting about your day with friends over dinner in the dining room, and even starting up a conversation with someone new at the concert in the courtyard.
Independent living residents touch base throughout the day with one another, whether during scheduled group activities or programs, planned trips around town, meals in the dining areas, or just strolling around campus. You’ll find yourself deeply connected to a peer group, which might be a good feeling you haven’t experienced in a while.
4. Family Relationships
Finally, independent living can end up making family relationships better. Unfortunately, family relationships can change for the worse as matriarchs and patriarchs get older. The added stress can negatively affect relationships between parents and children, as well as between siblings and even other members of the extended family.
Choosing independent living gives the whole family reassurance that you are getting the socialization and lifestyle you have always wanted and deserve. Family members will not need to transition to a caregiver role either, which can often add stress on you and your loved ones, in addition to straining relationships throughout the extended family circle.
Instead, family members can see you thrive in your new home all while enjoying the confidence that you are pursuing your best life with new neighbors and new opportunities. They can visit without worrying about completing caregiving tasks or helping out with errands and home maintenance, meaning your next visit will be more about connecting and catching up with one another.
Discover if Independent Living Is Right for You
Independent living makes retirement even better, thanks to services and programs designed to increase convenience, health and wellness, connections with others, and even improve family relationships in the long run.
If you’re curious what your retirement could look like in an independent living community, hear about it firsthand from a Cedarhurst resident!
You’ll catch a glimpse of all the perks your new home could offer on a day-to-day basis. Chances are, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see how this lifestyle can translate into better health, meaningful relationships, and overall wellness.