Posted .November 02, 2015
1. The Turning Point to the Meaning “Retirement”
Independent living is retirement living with a fresh twist. Retirement communities first appeared in the 1920s, and were dubbed a society where “older people didn’t have to see younger people work.” Frankly, most retired seniors still wished they could work. Soon, Florida became best known as host to a growing, active middle-class group of retirees and in their wake, golf courses tripled in the United States. With technology developments, leisure time now had an exciting new meaning for active seniors.
2. What it Takes to be an Independent Living Resident
Independent living is the ultimate goal for aging adults. Whether they remain in their own home or move out of the neighborhood, independent living is a personal decision and one also dictated by funds. However, most seniors who are fully able to take care of themselves, will not wake up one day and suddenly move out of their homes of 40 years. It takes a certain mindset influenced by: 1) the passing of a spouse along with the refusal to live a sedentary, reclusive lifestyle, and 2) proactive thinking, particularly by those who plan for their retirement and want to be in a home environment that will accommodate their needs as they age.
Of all the senior living options (and there are quite a few), independent living is the least supervised by the state for understandable reasons. This type of residence offers similar protection as any residential home, therefore a list of restrictive rules are not applicable here. One of the protections offered for independent living residents is controlled architectural design (called universal design) built to provide suitable living quarters for people with diverse physical abilities.
4. Sub-Levels of Independent Living
- Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs): offer three levels of care under one umbrella. As your needs change, you have the option to move from independent living to assisted living to skilled senior care.
- Retirement Communities: provide a broad range of homes from condos to mobile homes for rent or for sale.
- Senior apartments: offer the same amenities but on a smaller scale
- Subsidized housing: offer the same amenities and only a portion of the rent is paid privately
5. Independent Living Trends
Architectural designs and services for seniors are continually changing to keep up with the new appreciation for and outlook on retirement. More sophisticated social programs, augmented with advanced technology are targeted for seniors like Baby Boomers who vow never to stop having fun