Are you living the retirement of your dreams? Do you have the time and leisure to pursue the pastimes you thought would fill your days after you left the working world behind? People often find the reality of retirement doesn’t quite live up to their vision of flexible, carefree days.
When freedom is what you desire, household chores, maintenance tasks, lawn care, grocery shopping, cooking and everything else that goes along with managing a household can feel like a burden. These expenses can also take a real bite out of your retirement budget. Another challenge might be that your social circle has shrunk. Finding friends to travel or pursue hobbies with might not be as easy as you imagined.
If you find yourself in this situation, it may be time to consider making a change. Moving to an independent living community might be the ideal solution. If you aren’t familiar with independent living, these communities offer residents a range of services and support, such as housekeeping, meals and maintenance, along with opportunities to socialize. They are designed to allow older adults the freedom to enjoy life on their own terms.
Evaluating Independent Living Communities
If you are interested in learning more and exploring your options, here are a few factors to keep in mind as you search:
- Life enrichment opportunities: Does the community offer a wide range of events and activities every day? Are there programs that nurture the body, mind and spirit? Will you have opportunities to join group outings to popular local and regional destinations, such as art museums, shopping centers and restaurants? Are there a variety of fitness classes to join? If you have a hobby or special interest that isn’t currently offered, is the community willing to try to add it to their schedule?
- Services and amenities: Give some thought to what is important to you in retirement. Are you looking for a place you can lock up and leave while you head south to get out of the Indiana winters? Ask if and how the staff can accommodate that. Maybe you’ve decided it’s time to cut back on your driving or hang up the keys completely. Finding an independent living community with a flexible transportation program is usually a good idea. If you have a furry friend who will make the move with you, don’t forget to ask if the community is pet friendly and what their pet policy is.
- Community staff: As is true of team members in any industry, the quality and experience of staff has a direct impact on customer satisfaction. As you research independent living communities and talk with staff, ask a lot of questions. At a minimum, you want to inquire about the experience of the team and how long the average team member has been with the community. Also find out whether the staff undergo background checks and what type of training is provided.
- Money matters: Since most of us have to stick to a budget, having a thorough understanding of the true cost of a community is essential. Equally important is knowing what services are—and aren’t—included in your monthly fee. These can vary greatly from one community to another. Another tip is to speak with a qualified financial advisor about your plans. Some of the expenses associated with residing in a senior living community may be deductible.
- Changing needs: One more consideration is to think ahead to the future. What happens if your needs change and you require more care? It might be beneficial to move to an independent living community that is part of a campus or organization that can provide additional services. You’ll have the freedom and social opportunities you desire now, but with peace of mind for your future.
- Reputation: Finally, ask around for feedback and insight about any community you are exploring. See if anyone you know has insider knowledge of it themselves or through a senior loved one. While you’ll likely find online reviews you can read, connecting with people who have personal experience with a community can be invaluable.
Visit an ASC Independent Living Community to Learn More
The best way to explore your options for retirement living is to schedule an in-person visit to a community. To find an ASC Independent Living community, visit our website.