What to Consider When Looking for an Independent Living Community

Independent living is any housing arrangement designed exclusively for older adults, generally those aged 55 and over. While residents live independently, most communities offer services aimed at those who need little or no assistance.  You can, however, hire in-home help separately as required, such as through Happier At Home. It’s important to plan ahead and educate yourself so can find an independent community that is right for you. Especially during the times of the pandemic, Independent Communities offer more freedom for families to visit their loved ones.  

Independent Community living gives more opportunities for socializing and offers the benefits of a safe living environment.  Communities such as the Legacy Willowpond in Penfield do wellness checks twice a day, providing an added level of safety without imposing on independence.  The communities keep track of who is coming and going, and screen for Covid prior to entry.  Of particular importance is the security of being in a community during inclement weather.  Most have backup generators in the event of loss of power and also food reserves.

Some tips on what to ask when researching which community is right for you are as follows:

  • What is included in the rent/ ala carte: How many meals? Housekeeping? Transportation? Pull-cords for emergencies? 
  • Deposits, associated costs and long-term contract: Is there a community/entry fee or a deposit? How does this community compare in cost to others? How much notice is needed to cancel your contract?
  • Tour the community and see if it feels right to you: Are the staff and residents friendly? Do you like the feel of it?  Is it consistent with your culture?
  • What activities, clubs and are offered: ex/ fitness center, beauty salon, pool, book club, crafts, guest speakers, entertainment, movie nights, continuing education classes

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