Questions to Consider When Choosing an Independent Living Community
Do you daydream about leaving behind the responsibilities of managing a household? For people who can live independently with minimal support, communities that offer an active lifestyle are a compelling option.
If you live on your own or with a partner, you may find significant advantages in moving to a community. From supportive services like transportation to friendly neighbors and an array of social activities, independent living communities provide the ideal setting for pursuing your passions.
We have compiled the following list of questions — and answers — you may want to consider as you choose a community.
What exactly is an independent living community?
Independent living communities offer a welcoming environment for individuals who wish to take advantage of a variety of services and amenities. While independent living communities generally do not offer healthcare, they provide many supportive services that free residents from the burdens of homeownership and allow them to pursue their hobbies and interests.
Housing options and pricing vary among communities based on location, services offered and other factors. At Preston Place, you can choose among one- and two-bedroom apartment floor plans with options like a balcony, den or patio. No matter the floor plan you choose, you’ll enjoy features like hardwood cabinets, granite kitchen countertops and 9-foot ceilings.
Independent living communities are best suited for people who can live on their own but choose to give up the responsibilities of home maintenance to focus on the things they enjoy.
How does it differ from other types of supportive living?
Independent living communities offer a variety of services to individuals who can live safely and comfortably on their own, without significant assistance. The services and amenities in independent living communities are designed to provide residents with maximum comfort and convenience as they enjoy their time as they wish.
Unlike some other types of supportive living, independent living communities do not offer medical services or included access to nursing staff. In some independent living communities, residents may wish to hire their own assistance for temporary medical needs or personal care, but the services typically are not offered through the community.
If you or your family member need significant help with daily activities — including dressing, bathing, eating and taking medications — you may wish to explore supportive living options that offer care services and routine medical assistance.
What services are provided?
Before you select an independent living community, you may want to consider the specific services offered and whether they meet your needs. Depending on the community you choose, you may have access to convenient services including transportation to appointments, shopping and scheduled programs and events. In addition, you may enjoy chef-prepared meals, housekeeping, maintenance and landscaping, 24-hour security and some included utilities.
In an independent living community, you also can take advantage of a variety of wellness programming, including exercise classes, a fitness center and walking trails. A full calendar of social and educational programming includes performances, discussion groups, classes and an array of activities.
What amenities do communities offer?
Amenities in independent living communities can vary, and you should choose the community with features that make you feel at home and that best complement your preferred way of living. You may enjoy multiple dining venues, such as a formal dining room, coffee bar and private dining room.
Your community also may include elegant common areas, including a library, art studio, business center, billiards and game room, theater, beauty and barber salon and beautifully landscaped outdoor areas.
What’s the cost to live in an independent living community?
Costs for living in an independent living community can vary significantly depending on location, services offered, type of residence and other factors. Some communities offer a monthly rental fee arrangement that covers nearly all the offered services and amenities. Other communities offer a-la-carte fees that allow residents to choose among services. As you consider communities, think about the services you will need to help you enjoy the highest possible quality of life.
In addition, some communities require significant entrance fees before you can become a resident. By choosing a community that does not require a large buy-in fee, you gain flexibility and control over your budget and financial future.
Medicare typically does not cover costs associated with residency in an independent living community. Most residents fund a move to a community with their monthly pension, retirement benefits, savings or proceeds from the sale of a home.
Where is the community located?
Before you choose an independent living community, consider your feelings about the surrounding area. Is the local region one that you already know and love? If not, is it somewhere you might enjoy calling home?
Think about how far the community is from your friends and family members, and consider how far you would need to travel to visit the people who are important in your life. In addition, take a look at the attractions of the area and consider how they mesh with your personal preferences. If you enjoy seeing local attractions and going on social outings, will you find plenty to do? For people who thrive on staying active, a variety of attractions such as shopping, dining, museums, sporting events and performances provide options to keep life exciting.
What activities are offered?
Independent living communities offer a wide range of programming to please the varied interests of a diverse resident population. Whether you are interested in fitness, art, travel, current events, games or simply socializing, you’ll find a wealth of options for pursuing your passions and new interests.
Before you make your choice, consider whether the community offers programming that includes all the dimensions of wellness — such as social, spiritual, mental and physical. By moving to an independent living community, you free yourself from the chores of home maintenance, and you free your time to pursue the things you care about. Within your community and in the local area, you should find plenty of activities, events, attractions and social opportunities to help you keep your body, mind and spirit healthy and active.
What types of individuals live at the community?
In any community you choose, you’ll want to get to know your neighbors. You may find it advantageous to learn prior to your move about who lives in your preferred community. If possible, ask about residents’ average age, the breakdown of women and men and how many residents are single or part of a couple.
To get a feel for the overall community and the ease of making some friends, consider at least one visit. During your time at the community, try to speak to as many residents as you can; ask for their feedback and opinions as you plan your move. By getting to know residents, you can learn more about the community you’ll call home — and you may make some new friends in the process.
What are the most important considerations?
Independent living communities differ in their locations, the amenities and services they offer, the residents who live there, the fees they charge, the types of meals they serve and the activities you can enjoy. All these factors should play a key role in your decision. Most importantly, you should feel comfortable in the community. You should find it welcoming, and you should be able to envision yourself leading an active, fulfilled life there as you make new friends and spend time pursuing your passions.
Preston Place is an independent living community in Plano, Texas — only a short drive from area attractions, dining and shopping. Surrounded by a beautiful landscape and architecture, Preston Place offers exceptional customer service, elegant amenities, delicious meals, stimulating activities and much more. To experience our community for yourself, please contact us today to plan your visit.