Senior living options have seen a complete transformation. In today’s world, seniors who are moving to these communities don’t need to settle for the sterile, industrial setting and sedentary lifestyle like the generations before them.
Seniors have seen a major shift from traditional assisted living and nursing homes to senior independent living communities. Those who are still active and healthy can now maintain their lifestyles and freedom while enjoying an array of different amenities and support systems at a retirement community. Your age alone can no longer hold you back from a balanced, interesting, and active life.
The shift has occurred for a variety of reasons. Modern-day seniors tend to be more affluent and mobile than previous generations. They are living longer and staying healthy long into their golden years.
Today’s seniors have worked hard to provide for their families. They’ve experienced amazing things, led rich lives, and won’t settle for something that holds them back. These active seniors are simply not done experiencing everything life can offer.
Independent senior living communities provide a safe place for them to keep thriving. The communities take care of some of the daily chores so that residents can spend more time enjoying life. They give seniors an opportunity to live a great lifestyle without worrying about what the future might hold.
Top Reasons Why Seniors Move to Independent Living Facilities
There are many different reasons why individuals move into independent senior living communities. However, there are a few reasons that stand out among the others. They often make the difference when it comes to making a final decision.
Current Residents (Future Neighbors)
Socialization plays a significant role in choosing an independent living facility. Seniors move to these places so that they can meet other people of the same age and with similar interests. These opportunities for socialization can truly improve a senior’s quality of life.
Most residents quickly become friends with their neighbors and they get to see each other all the time at different activities and events. It is important for seniors that they connect with these neighbors, so it is a good idea to spend some time talking to current residents when touring the community.
Freedom and Security
The ability to come and go as you please is an important consideration for modern day seniors. Having a comfortable and private place to live is essential, but so are the opportunities to socialize on and off the property. Many residents enjoy long trips all over the world and they never have to worry about the maintenance and security of their home.
Most independent senior living communities also offer security services to reinforce safety within the community. No one likes to worry about whether their personal belongings will be safe while they’re away or asleep at night.
In today’s world, Independent senior living is actually pretty similar to living on a nice college campus. There are always things to do, clubs to join and activities to attend. Seniors love getting involved with meetings, classes and group activities because they allow them to continue learning about new things while also socializing.
While activities are very popular, independent living communities always give you a choice about which things to get involved with. If you would rather just stay in and watch a movie one night, no problem! You have the freedom to do whatever you want.
Help with the Household
One of the most popular reasons for moving to an independent senior living facility is to remove the responsibility of caring for a home and property. Most seniors living at home don’t need the space they have, and maintaining the property is a tiring and boring chore.
These facilities allow seniors to downscale, let someone else clean their residence, stop worrying about maintenance and take advantage of convenient dining. This frees up a lot of time for them to enjoy the things they love.
Trends in Independent Senior Living
There are quite a few interesting trends today when it comes to independent senior living. As we’ve mentioned, these places are evolving very quickly, and they’re significantly changing the way seniors live in the modern world. Here are a few trends that stand out:
What is happening to Florida?
For decades, Florida has represented the ultimate place to retire. Hundreds of thousands of seniors have moved there over the years to relax.
However, recent trends are showing that Florida may no longer be the beacon for retirees that it once was. Some seniors don’t like the idea of having to move back and forth every year to take advantage of the best weather.
Not only are more temperate regions gaining popularity, but independent senior living communities all over the country are seeing more and more applications.
Growing Interest in Technology Among Seniors
Seniors are growing increasingly interested in modern technology. Independent senior living communities are now providing a wider range of technological amenities to meet the demand for tech-savvy seniors.
Almost all of these communities offer Wi-Fi Internet access, and many feature computer labs with well-stocked software programs. Internet cafes also give residents an excellent opportunity to eat, drink, and socialize while they browse the web from their laptops or tablets.
Technological advancements are also having a major impact on the way seniors communicate with family and friends. Video chatting is very popular among seniors because it allows them to feel like they can be with their loved ones at any time.
The Adventures of an Active Retiree
Typical activities like card games, golf, bowling, and fishing are not the only things seniors love to do these days. Today’s seniors understand how important it is to stay in shape, work out and take part in active sports like tennis, softball and more.
Adventurous activities such as hiking, rollerblading, and kayaking are growing in popularity, and independent senior living communities are now offering activities like white-water rafting, skiing, skydiving, hot air ballooning, and hang gliding for the truly adventurous residents.
For those who find activities like that to be a little overwhelming, many facilities provide spinning classes, yoga sessions, Tai Chi training, Pilates and other fitness programs.
Common Terms to Know
Since the number of options available today can be so diverse, it’s helpful to know some of the common terms associated with independent senior living. You can then be more confident when researching different facilities.
Active independence is the foundation of most independent senior living communities. It is simply the idea that seniors should live at a place where they can maintain their normal lifestyles and follow their interests. Active independence means that there’s help there when needed, but there’s no need to restrict the resident’s freedom.
The Beacon Hill Model
Not too long ago, a community of seniors in Boston looking for a way to remain in their own homes for as long as possible came up with a great solution. Their model has become the example for other places across the country.
These places are member-driven communities that prioritize the active involvement of residents during the process of making decisions.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities, or CCRCs
CCRCs typically offer different levels of care. They may offer everything from independent senior living to skilled nursing care. This allows residents to stay in the same place as they get older and require more intense care.
When most people think of “all-inclusive,” they think of vacation resorts. This idea can also apply to independent senior living facilities where housekeeping, laundry, dining and many other services are included in the monthly fee. These amenities vary greatly from community to community.
Naturally-Occurring Retirement Communities, or NORCs
NORCs are a fairly new concept, and may also be called retirement villages. These communities occur organically as a group of residents in a certain area come together to make aging in their homes more practical. The Beacon Hill Model is an example of a NORC.
Senior housing is simply an umbrella term that describes all of the options available for senior living. These include memory care facilities, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, independent senior living communities and senior apartments.
Today’s independent senior living communities are regularly achieving a consumer rating around 4 out 5 on average. Modern-day seniors are obviously enjoying the benefits of independent living, and development firms across the country are building feverishly to keep up with the demand.
If you’re considering independent senior living, start by writing down your care needs and the things you want to keep doing in the near future. Then, think about what your needs may be 5–10 years from now. Finally, do some research and take a few tours of your top choices to find the best community for you.
Today, you can move to a senior community without settling for the sterile, industrial setting and sedentary lifestyle that previous generations experienced.