Independent living communities offer a lifestyle with convenient amenities, accommodations, meals, social activities and transportation service, all of which are designed to simplify life for older adults. All these services and amenities are included in the monthly rent, making independent living communities a convenient and affordable option for many.
The benefits of community
In an independent living community, residents enjoy the freedom and privacy of living at home without the hassle of maintaining one. Friends live just steps away, and there’s never a shortage of things to do.
These are just a few of the benefits of living in a senior living community:
Create your own space
Feeling safe and comfortable in your home is essential to enjoying life, and everyone has a different idea of what the perfect space includes. To meet these varied needs, the best senior communities offer a variety of home and apartment options to choose from. Depending on location, Holiday by Atria communities offer everything from studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments to private cottages.
Holiday residents are encouraged to make themselves at home in their apartments with whatever furnishings and decorations they prefer.
Community is essential to healthy aging. Research shows that isolation puts seniors at risk for heart disease, stroke, depression and other medical conditions. Living in a community brings valuable opportunities for connection right to your doorstep.
Shared spaces in independent living communities typically include dining areas, activity rooms, libraries, fitness centers, worship spaces and outdoor gathering areas. Some communities also have amenities like salons, pools, gazebos, theaters and dog parks.
At Holiday, these spaces are utilized to host a full calendar of events. From art and fitness classes to birthday parties, we know that bringing people together is key to living well.
Freshly prepared meals
For many retirement community residents, freedom from grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning up after meals is one of the biggest benefits of community living. The typical dining experience at a senior living community includes three delicious, homestyle meals with table service every day. For snacks, special occasions and proud home chefs, many senior living apartments include a kitchen or kitchenette.
Older adults often eat less frequently, and their diets can lack variety. This increases their risk for heart issues, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and mental health issues. Independent living dining services help older adults maintain proper nutrition and variety in their diet.
The culinary teams at Holiday retirement communities are led by managers and dietitians who plan meals with the nutritional needs of older adults in mind. Menus include at least three entrée options and several healthy choices for every meal. The Holiday culinary team is passionate about making meals delicious and exciting. Residents’ personal tastes and needs are an important part of the meal-planning process, and residents are encouraged to suggest recipe ideas.
Living alone increases the risk of some safety concerns for older adults, including:
- Memory issues
- Medication mismanagement
Senior living communities offer many safety features you won’t find at home. When the unexpected happens, communities are prepared. No need to worry about food, supplies, icy sidewalks or power outages during severe weather. Holiday has proven disaster preparedness plans, abundant resources and staff to take care of it all. We also have extensive infectious disease protocols approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In addition to knowing they can lean on a caring community of staff and neighbors, Holiday residents have a personal emergency response device. Lively™ Mobile Plus keeps residents safe whether they’re on-site or out on an adventure.
Activities and events
Some people may have visions of bingo and bridge when they think of senior living communities. While those are great pastimes that you may find in independent living communities, there are a wide range of activities for any interest.
Holiday independent living communities are filled with residents who have varying interests and passions. Some enjoy fitness classes and walking clubs, while others love art classes and gardening projects. On any given day at Holiday, you’ll find bowling teams, knitting clubs and beanbag baseball tournaments. Events like live music, happy hours, entertainers and themed parties are all part of the lifestyle.
There’s always something going on, and plenty of people to do it with. If residents don’t see something they want to do on our calendar, we’re always excited to collaborate with them to create a new offering.
Cleaning and maintenance services
Housekeeping and maintenance are typically included in your rent at independent living communities. This makes it easy to estimate total costs for the month, saves you time in cleaning and home maintenance, and lets you decide how you want to spend your free time.
Holiday senior living communities provide light housekeeping and linen services to make life that much easier. Common areas in all communities follow strict sanitizing and cleaning protocols, and community repairs and upkeep are handled by a friendly and handy maintenance team.
Moving into an independent living community doesn’t mean you need to give up your car. You can choose to drive your own car or leave the driving to someone else. Senior living communities usually offer complimentary transportation service to medical appointments. In addition to helping with appointments, Holiday independent living communities also provide free scheduled transportation for community outings, shopping and errands.
The risk for car accidents increases with age, and Holiday residents have peace of mind knowing that if they stop driving, they don’t have to sacrifice attending local events or the convenience of getting where they need to go.
Independent living and assisted living – what’s the difference?
When you’re just beginning your search for a senior living community, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the amenity options and care terminology. Figuring out the difference between independent living and assisted living is often the first challenge people run into. Luckily, it’s an easy distinction – the key difference is in the level of care provided.
Assisted living community staff help with personal care services like getting dressed, bathing and administering medications, and staff are on-site around the clock. Some of these communities also have a physician or physician’s assistant that residents can hire for additional care.
However, assisted living communities are not healthcare facilities. They do not directly provide medical care or rehabilitation for people with health conditions. Older adults who need regular assistance with a medical condition may need to consider a nursing home; those with Alzheimer’s or cognitive issues may seek a community that offers memory care services. Some assisted living communities have a memory care neighborhood.
Unlike assisted living communities, independent living communities do not offer personal care services. The monthly rent covers housing, meals, utilities, maintenance, transportation service and events. Residents who need extra help with daily tasks can hire home health aides. These are third-party providers that can assist with bathing, getting dressed, managing medications and other daily tasks.
Some residents prefer to live in an independent living community and pay separately for only the assistance they need, rather than a set monthly amount. It can also be reassuring to residents to know that even if they don’t have care needs when they move into an independent living community, they’ll have access to care without leaving their community if it’s needed.
How much does senior community living cost?
The average monthly rent for independent living communities is $3,000, but cost varies widely based on location and amenities. These communities are usually more affordable than assisted living, which averages around $4,000 a month.
Independent living communities are less expensive because the rental rate doesn’t include the staff needed to help with personal care services. Independent living residents can use third-party providers of their choice for assistance, hiring them for as much or as little time as needed.
Paying for independent living
People typically pay for senior living with funds from real estate, Social Security and savings. Some use bridge loans to help cover gaps between selling a home and moving into an independent living community. Family and friends may also help cover monthly expenses.
While the initial sticker price may seem high, many senior living residents are surprised to find that bundled bills can save them money in the long run.
Is independent living right for me?
If you’re unsure if an independent living community is a good fit, ask yourself if the following statements apply to you:
- Privacy is important, but you also like to socialize with friends whenever you choose.
- You like the idea of letting someone else take care of grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning and maintenance, allowing you to focus on other things.
- You don’t need help with daily personal care like bathing, getting dressed and taking medications (though, you can always hire a home health aide if your care needs change).
- The simplicity of writing one check a month that covers rent, meals, utilities, maintenance, transportation service and events appeals to you.
- You like having the option to drive your own car or take complimentary transportation for errands, appointments and shopping.
- You’re looking for peace of mind when it comes to safety – whether in response to falls, emergencies, severe weather or the challenges of daily home maintenance.
- See for yourself
Touring an independent living community is the best way to get a feel for what it’s all about. There’s no obligation to sign a lease, and taking a virtual or in-person tour will give you a chance to view apartments and common areas and have your questions answered.