When considering a move to senior living, independent living is often the first choice. However, independent living retirement communities may not be a good fit when seniors have chronic conditions, need daily help with personal care or medications, or have cognitive challenges that require special attention. Before making the decision to move to an independent living retirement community, consider the following.
Independent Living Retirement Considerations:
How is your health?
Being totally independent is one of the prerequisites for a move to an independent living retirement community. Since independent living provides no care, seniors with health concerns that require ongoing help outside of a doctor’s office may not be well suited. For example, if you need help getting in and out of bed due to a back injury, have mobility problems that require assistance, regularly mix up medications, or have a chronic illness it is likely not the right choice.
But if you are an active and healthy senior who wants to shed the cares and responsibilities of living in the family home and free up more time to travel or just enjoy a carefree lifestyle, independent living may well be the perfect solution. With amenities like chef-prepared meals, daily activities and events, and on-site conveniences such as hair salons and barbershops, free local transportation, and a variety of social possibilities, life in an independent living retirement community can be the best idea you ever had! Find out what you need to know in our blog, “5 Things to Look for in an Independent Living Community.”
How much help do you need?
A little help with weekly housekeeping or home repair and maintenance is one thing. Still, if you need more hands-on assistance with daily living tasks, you should think twice before choosing an independent living retirement community and consider assisted living instead.
Seniors and their families often choose assisted living because it provides care 24/7/365 for those who need help with such things as bathing and other personal hygiene, medication management, or assistance with mobility. Help is always nearby and as needs change can be adjusted to each resident’s requirements. But what you may not realize is that assisted living is not only comparable in cost to getting care at home it may even be the best choice financially speaking. Learn why in our blog, “Comparing Costs of Assisted Living vs. Home Care.”
Do you have a cognitive impairment?
The onset of memory problems or a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease can quickly alter what level of care you need now and in the future to live at home. Early on you may need help for a few hours a day, but over time the need will grow until constant supervision is necessary to keep you or a loved one safe, secure and well cared for.
As a result, an independent living retirement community will not be capable of providing all that is needed, instead, you should consider the many benefits of memory care. In memory care, residents receive specific therapies to help them maintain their independence as long as possible and are treated with respect and dignity. Just being in a community is also a plus because engagement and interaction with others stimulates the brain and may help slow the progress of symptoms. There are other ways memory care can help, as noted in our blog, “Six Ways Memory Care Improves Residents’ Quality of Life.”
Do you want to travel more?
Living at home has many pluses but when travel is on your retirement bucket list, ensuring the security and upkeep of a home when you are gone can really slow you down.
That makes moving to an independent living community a great idea because whether you are gone for a few weeks or all winter, you can rest easy knowing your home is not only secure but maintained. No more worries about burglaries, frozen pipes, or all the myriad things that can go wrong in your absence. That’s just one of the reasons for a move to an independent living retirement community, but find out more in our blog, “10 Ways Independent Living Communities Support Your Desired Lifestyle.”
Still not sure if an independent living retirement community is the right choice? Just give us a call! For more information about Countryside, please call Margaret Nagel at (517) 206-5000 or download our brochure to learn about our care levels, cost, and amenities.