The month of February has the distinction of being National Senior Independence Month, which is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the grit and resilience of many seniors like you!
According to the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and the National Center For Assisted Living (NCAL), which created this special holiday, this month should also be a time to evaluate your living situation. Determine whether or not adjustments need to be made to create a better, more vibrant lifestyle. Take note of the strengths and weaknesses in your daily routines and feel empowered to plan for the season ahead.
As you make your lists and research ideas, you may hear about independent living communities, assisted living facilities, and the concept of ‘aging in place.’ How do you know what’s right for you? To make an educated decision, you’ll need to understand each of these options, and we’d love to help.
Let’s start with independent living, which happens to be a specialty of ours.
By definition, independent living is for seniors who want to continue to live an independent lifestyle. Residence options include apartments, duplexes, townhomes, and condos – all in a variety of floor plans and sizes. This type of environment is designed to make life more comfortable and convenient. A few perks include:
Maintenance-free living: Independent living communities employ a full staff to take care of your housekeeping, laundry, home repairs, fresh home-cooked meals, and more.
Balanced budgets: If you select an all-inclusive community, you’ll benefit from having a single payment for nearly all living expenses. You won’t have to worry about utility prices fluctuating or unexpected and expensive repairs to your home. You simply pay a flat monthly fee for everything.
Safety and security: Many independent living communities are equipped with safety features such as emergency response systems and trained, on-site staff to provide peace of mind when needed.
Socialization opportunities: When it comes to social and recreational activities, on-site amenities can include fitness centers, beauty parlors and barber shops, pharmacies, banks, art studios, movie theaters, game rooms, and other entertainment spaces, allowing you to stay active, connected with friends, and enjoying the retirement of your dreams.
Transportation services: Most independent living options will provide complimentary transportation services, making it easier for you to get around and have easy access to services like off-site healthcare providers.
Continuity of care: An independent living community is not the same as assisted living, which we’ll get to in a moment. Most independent situations will provide a continuum of care with home health care partners in place. They can also offer quality resources should you need to transition to assisted living at some point.
Many assisted living facilities have the same features as independent living communities, such as meal preparation, laundry services, housekeeping, and transportation. There can also be planned social activities, exercise opportunities, and special outings. And, there’s typically trained staff on-site to respond to emergencies.
One of the most significant differences is that assisted living is designed for those with special needs who cannot safely live alone. Because of this, assisted living facilities offer customized support and assistance with daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, medication management, and mobility. They will have one or more full-time medical personnel, such as certified nursing assistants, trained to meet older adults' needs. However, this staff isn’t typically available around the clock like in a traditional nursing home.
Now that we’ve covered independent living and assisted living, which both involve moving, ‘aging in place’ is an option where you stay in your current home for as long as possible with the comforts important to you. This can be a great way to maintain independence and freedom, and it has been generating a lot of buzz lately.
According to a report by AARP, roughly 90% of American seniors want to live in their homes or community for as long as possible. And, it's becoming easier for seniors to live at home much longer because of services like home health care and advanced technology, such as medical alert systems.
It's important to note that remaining at home can also have challenges, including the need for expensive home modifications and additional support services. In such cases, an independent living community can provide a suitable alternative that balances the benefits of aging in place with the support and services necessary to maintain health and well-being.
Today, many older adults no longer see aging in place as having to stay in the same home where they've lived for decades.
One in four seniors is planning to move to a new home to accommodate changing needs that come with aging. To them, aging in place means taking ownership of their aging experiences and choosing a living situation that will accommodate their needs for years to come.
It will be important to consider what you want your life to look like as you age and make choices today that will allow you to have enjoyable experiences down the road. That’s perhaps one of the most independent things you can do today. Until recent years, your choices were either staying in your existing residence or moving to a nursing facility. Now, there's also the option of a worry-free, resort-style retirement community that offers the best of everything!
We’d love to take a moment to explain what you can expect at Resort Lifestyle Communities (RLC). We have nearly 60 locations across the United States and growing. So, it’s highly likely that you can find a community near you and your family.
All of our retirement communities are designed for independent, all-inclusive living. This means we offer all the luxuries you’d expect: beautiful accommodations, resort-style dining, around-the-clock concierge services, housekeeping, a fitness center, a travel program, and much more.
Another highlight is our full-time lifestyle director, who plans countless social activities. Because there are so many opportunities to engage with other residents, you may find that your social circle expands dramatically. These strong connections can provide a greater sense of belonging, which is important as we age.
Other benefits include our all-inclusive monthly cost, which covers rent, transportation, housekeeping, a travel program to visit and stay at any RLC location, and our Freedom Dining program. The dining program mimics the experience of a luxury resort. Professional chefs provide three wonderful, nutritious meals each day – meals that pair nicely with flexible hours, with snacks always available. We’re also a pet-friendly community, allowing your furry family members to move with you without extra fees!
Finally, RLC has on-site staff that assists through a 24/7 emergency call system for added peace of mind. And should the need arise for additional home support, you have the freedom to contract with their choice of providers. If someone needs help finding a service, each RLC community has relationships with fee-based, local home care providers to facilitate that search. So, we’re a great option for multiple stages in your adult life.
Does independent living sound intriguing? If you would like to tour one of our communities, we’d love to show you around. Meet a few friendly faces, walk through one of our apartments, sample our delicious food, and see what a worry-free resort lifestyle could look like for you. Simply click this link to get started: https://rlcommunities.com/communities/
Regardless of where you choose to live, we’ll always be here providing resources and support, and helping you celebrate independent living - this month and always!