There might not always be an ideal time to consider moving to an independent living community. However, embracing the chance for a bright new chapter can help guide you towards making a thoughtful decision.
Although the decision to consider an independent living community might not be easy, many seniors find that they are happier in their new lifestyle.
One of the factors you can consider when deciding whether it is time for you or your loved one to join an independent living community is age. Considering people age differently, you can’t settle on a specific number as the ideal age to consider an independent living community.
What is the Right Age for Independent Living?
Age can be a deciding factor that families and seniors consider when considering when to move to independent living.
The average age of seniors in independent communities is 84 years, but you can also find seniors as young as 55 in these communities. People age differently and have different needs.
Although age is a crucial factor to consider in the decision-making process, it is not the only one. Other factors can help determine the right time to move into independent living.
Other Signs That It Might Be Time For Independent Living
Age is a critical factor when moving to a senior living community. But it’s not the only one. People age differently based on varying factors, and the need for independent living community services might present at different ages. Some of the other signs that indicate you should consider independent living include:
Change in function and mobility
If you or your loved one is sitting in the same place all day or having difficulty getting up and out of a chair, you might want to start thinking about how a new living arrangement might help improve your quality of life. These slight changes might significantly impact your quality of life, and an independent senior living community could change that for you.
Some changes in the house maintenance routine of your loved one can be key indicators that it is time to consider moving to senior living. Some of these changes are:
- Mail remaining unopened
- Food spoiling in the refrigerator or barely having food in the house
- Prescription medication being left untouched in the container
- The house isn’t as tidy as it once was, maybe with dishes pilling up in the sink
- Dents or scratches down the side of their car
As you age, your personality and general mood change. You might not notice it, but those around you will. If these changes are less-than-positive, you could benefit from living in an environment that brings out the best.
Why Do People Seek Independent Living?
Opting for independent living is about more than just age. It’s also about making smart choices for yourself and those around you. Below are some reasons why you or your loved one should consider moving to an independent senior living community sooner rather than later.
Leaving home maintenance behind
Senior living residents enjoy a maintenance-free lifestyle. It’s one of the valuable draws of an independent living community. The community has team members that do the mowing, landscaping, home maintenance, and housecleaning. As a resident, your life is more enjoyable without the burdens of home care.
You can focus more on things that bring you joy rather than worrying about the dishes or the broken faucet. Moving into independent living opens you up to a new world of possibilities.
Protecting your finances
Some seniors think that moving to an independent living community is too expensive. However, compared to the average home care costs, independent living might be the smarter choice. Not only are the rates more competitive, but they’re also more predictable. It’s easier to plan for your future care needs, and you will pay less than hiring a home care nurse to stay with you.
With a independent living community, you won’t factor in any adjustments or major reconstructions to match your current needs. Modifying your home to adapt to your needs can take up a chunk of your finances. With a independent living community, you save the money you would have otherwise spent on such modifications.
Safeguarding your health
Your health is your most valuable asset. Moving to an independent living community can go a long way in helping you improve your health. If your health deteriorates, you can transition from one level of care to another, like assisted living, without moving from the community. It saves you from getting used to a new environment and ensures you get the best care as your years and medical needs advance.
Boosting your social life
You might not have the energy to mingle all night, but that doesn’t mean your social life is dead in the water. Seniors can meet new people and strike deep bonds of friendship in independent living communities.
However, most seniors choose to age in place and can quickly suffer from isolation, which can contribute to depression and other negative impacts on their mental health. Communities provide structured social programming every day. Hobby groups, happy hours, holiday parties, and other live entertainment bring you fun and socialization. The sooner you move to independent living, the more opportunities you have to enjoy companionship and expand your network of friends.
Maintaining your independence
Many seniors think independent living communities take away their independence, but it’s the opposite. Moving to retirement communities can help you maintain the activity and lifestyle you want for longer than you might at home.
With many engaging activities, services, programming, and amenities, you have free time to spend it however you want while keeping your mind sharp and body healthy.
The Pros of Independent Living
Many families toss and turn over the decision to transition their elderly loved ones to an independent community only to find out they love it there. Choosing the right independent living community can make the decision easier and more appealing. A good community has plenty of benefits to offer its residents, including:
Exploration of self-sufficiency
At an independent living community, you can test your limits of self-sufficiency in a safe and sound environment. If you realize there are things you can’t do for yourself, professionals in the community will help you with such tasks.
Most communities offer many services, including laundry and housekeeping, allowing you to focus on self-care and other self-improvement activities.
These communities offer the perfect balance of self-sufficiency and assistance when and where you need it. If your care needs change, you can transition to assisted living. Most communities have the services housed at the exact location, so the transition is effortless and convenient.
Developing life skills
Just because you’re in your golden years doesn’t mean it’s time to stop learning. On the contrary, you have all the time to learn new life skills and hobbies, and senior living communities are perfect. In addition, most senior housing communities offer a wide range of activities and lessons that you can take up.
Some of the life skills you can pick up at an independent living community include:
- Stress management
- Transportation skills
- Cooking and nutrition
- Money management
- Effective communication
The list of potential life skills you can learn depends on the community you’re at, which is why activities are among the factors you should consider when looking into an independent living community.
Building character and confidence
You’ve spent most of your life empowering those around you. Your time at an independent living community is your chance to build self-confidence and character.
You get an even playing field with other older adults making the most of their time. It is time you create new bonds and friendships that will improve your confidence and help you become the best version of yourself.
The Right Independent Living Choice
Moving to an independent living community might not be an easy choice for you and your family. When you decide it's the right time, however, the focus shifts to finding the right community.
The right community provides a stimulating and enjoyable experience for you or your loved one, regardless of age. At Danbury, that is the difference. Delivering a stunning experience for seniors while ensuring a safe environment is our specialty.
With comprehensive amenities and services, you can enjoy your freedom without worrying about your next meal or tidying up your room. Contact us for advice on whether it is time to consider independent living, for more information on our independent living communities, and our full range of services.