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Posted by Positive Aging SourceBook on 06/15/2022

Independent Living Communities: Providing security with no home maintenance

Independent Living Communities: Providing security with no home maintenance

Independent living communities are residential communities for active older adults who want an enjoyable lifestyle free of the worries of home maintenance. They are similar to any apartment, condominium or single-family development, except that they provide special services, including security. Most independent living communities are fully secured with staff members greeting and screening all visitors around the clock.

As many individuals at this stage in their lives are looking to pursue new hobbies and interests, the activities and amenities available at a community are a major factor for potential residents. Most independent living communities provide a full range of activities such as shopping trips, outings to cultural events, organized gatherings and an array of clubs. Some communities also have tennis courts, swimming pools and other amenities.

Independent living communities typically offer a variety of meal plans. Residents also have the option of preparing their own meals.

Most independent living communities do not offer health care services. However, some communities are affiliated with health care facilities that can provide such care when it is needed. Residents also have the option of purchasing home health care services from outside providers.

Most independent living communities are rental communities, but some are condominiums or single-family communities in which residents purchase their units or homes. Costs and services vary widely. In some communities, a monthly fee covers many services, while in others a fee-for-service system is used. A few communities offer subsidies based on strictly defined need. To learn more, contact your local Area Agency on Aging.

Consumers should carefully research the independent living community options in their target areas or neighborhoods. After requesting and reviewing information from communities, prospective residents should plan on-site visits to each community they are considering.

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