What is Independent Living?
Independent living communities are geared toward healthy, active – and social – seniors who don’t want to worry about yardwork, house repairs and the expenses associated with owning a house.
55+ communities are a type of independent living community. Residents are typically younger and while these communities promote plenty of social opportunities, they don’t usually offer the range of services found in independent living communities.
Some independent living senior communities are exclusively independent, some are part of a campus that offers higher levels of care such as assisted living and memory care, while others are part of a Life Plan Community – or continuing care retirement community.
Independent living residence options are specially designed for older adults with features like wider entries, grab bars, security pull cords, etc. Living options typically include senior apartments, freestanding cottages or villas, duplexes, townhomes and condominiums, all in a variety of floor plans and sizes.
Services & Amenities
Independent living communities take care of all these wants – and then some. They typically offer services like maintenance, housekeeping, linen service, dining plans, scheduled transportation and security.
Amenities often include a fitness center, pools, multiple dining venues, beauty and barber salons, woodworking shops, art studios or crafting rooms and entertainment spaces such as auditoriums, game rooms and movie theaters.
An abundance of programming and activities are common on community social calendars – often with a heavy focus on wellness such as …
- Fitness classes that are adapted for seniors. Think yoga (and chair yoga), tai chi, balance and strength training, aerobics and water aerobics, dancing and more.
- Creative programs like painting, arts and crafts, cooking, music and writing.
- Learning opportunities include lectures, seminars and classes offered by lifelong learning institutes or local colleges.
- Social programs such as happy hours, wine tastings, a wide variety of clubs (gardening, book, walking, etc.) and
- Trips to local cultural sites, restaurants, sporting events, galleries and shops.
Independent Living FAQs
How to Find a Community that Meets my Needs?
Visiting multiple independent living communities is the best way to vet your options. Before you visit, print out this handy checklist so you can compare communities based on location, support services, wellbeing programs, dining and more! Get the Checklist.
Signs You’re Ready to Move
Are you tired of looking after your house? Craving social interaction? Worried about your health and the support you may need as you age? These are some signs that moving to an independent living community may be a great fit for you. More on the Signs of Readiness.
Is Independent Living Right for You?
Many people thinking about independent living find it helpful to start here. Get personalized results in about 4 minutes.Begin the Roobrik survey