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Independent Living & Assisted Living | July 19, 2013 | By Jonita Dixon

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Independent Living

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Independent LivingChoosing where to spend your retirement years is one of the most important decisions senior members of the society have to make. With a myriad of options to pick from – nursing homes, assisted living communities, and inter-generational retirement homes among others, this is no easy task.

Lately independent living communities have created a lot of interest among seniors. Their concept of limited assistance, has found acceptance among a section of the elderly population that is quite active and independent, and does not need round the clock intensive care. Seniors looking to enjoy themselves in the convivial company of like-minded people of their age are increasingly making independent living communities their homes.

However, as is the case with all good things in life, there are a few negatives to living in these communities as well. Here’s a compilation of the pros and cons of independent living, to help you figure out if independent living is the right decision for you or not.

The Benefits of Independent Living

Independent living has caught on with senior members who prefer convenient lifestyles, are looking to socialize and are in need of very little help from other people. Below are just a few of the benefits offered by an independent living community:

  • Socialization and Active Living – Many elderly people compare retirement years to college days. As it is during college life, retirement years offer seniors a great amount of socializing opportunities. You have a lot of time on your hands, and you can spend it just the way you want to – meeting new people or indulging in your hobby.

Independent living apartments/communities plan various activities, games and events to meet the needs of the residents for a great social life. Whether it’s going on a tour together to the countryside, watching movies in a community, teeing off at the nearby golf course, or going fishing, the staff of independent living centers ensures there’s always something to do for the members of the community.

  • Worry-free and convenient living – There are many housing options available to senior citizens under independent living, right from apartments/condominiums in one building to independent homes. Regardless of your choice of home, all independent living communities provide a built-in maintenance fee, which means that you do not have to worry about maintaining the interiors of your home or tending to your yard. So, you can forget about mowing your lawn or fixing the broken air conditioning.
  • Fully furnished homes – Many retirement communities that follow the independent living model include facilities such as television, phone, heat, internet connection, water and electricity in the monthly rent. So, in addition to enjoying the benefits of these, you are spared the hassle of paying a dozen bills every month!

The Disadvantages

Independent living has become very popular in recent times, but it does have its drawbacks.

  • No onsite medical assistance – Most of the independent living communities do not have in-house professional medical care available. This can lead to delays in providing medical aid to the residents.
  • Giving up you home – Moving out of your home to an independent living facility can be emotionally stressful. It’s important that you move into an independent home, only when you are prepared for it.

If you are considering independent living or assisted living options for your or your loved one, we encourage you to explore the options offered by Carlton Senior Living.