Should you move to independent living before you need assisted living?

Should you move to independent living before you need assisted living

Many seniors feel there is no real reason to move into a senior living community unless they need the services and support of assisted living. Their thinking is that as long as they’re healthy and mobile, they should continue to live in their own homes. Moving into a senior living community feels like surrendering.

There are thousands upon thousands of seniors in independent living communities who will happily dispel that line of thinking. Aside from health considerations, there are solid reasons to relocate before you actually need assisted living. Here are the top ones:

You lose the constant, nagging worries — and the expense — of home maintenance.

Take a look around your home. Is everything in good repair, or are there small signs of neglect and deterioration? If you see those signs, that may mean you no longer have the desire or the energy to keep your home in tip-top shape. Perhaps it’s time to move, before your home investment begins to lose value. And a big plus: housekeeping is also included or available in independent living communities.

Everyday transportation challenges are overcome.

Maybe your driving isn’t quite what it used to be. Or maybe you’ve found yourself spending longer in the car to get to the grocery store and pharmacy and the places you can buy things that are essential to your lifestyle. Either way, an independent living community can radically shrink the distances you have to travel. Most furnish transportation; many have the products and services you need — including banks, stores, beauty and barber shops — onsite.

Cooking becomes optional.

Speaking of buying groceries, are you tired of cooking? Residents of senior living communities often say that the food is the best part. If you’ve become bored with cooking and cleaning up afterwards — and understand that a steady diet of take-out is probably not meeting your nutritional needs — you will love that delicious meals are included or available in independent living communities.

Your social life will blossom.

Are you beginning to feel more and more isolated? Has your circle of friends diminished and does your datebook have blank pages? Maybe it’s time to make some new friends. And one of the best places to make those new friends is at an independent living community.

First of all, the residents already living there are your peer group, which means no more trying to buddy-up to the young couple who moved in next door. Second of all, the social amenities and activities at most independent living communities are second to none. You’ll not only find companionship, but exercise classes, card games, painting classes and other arts and crafts and hobbies of all kinds, woodworking, movie nights, lunch and dinner outings, wine tastings, music, dancing and much more. Many independent living communities have clubhouses and swimming pools; some even have tennis and pickle ball and golf.

If you can’t make friends here, you can’t make friends.

The transition to assisted living is easier.

You’ve already made the “senior living decision” and probably discovered it was one of the best choices you’ve ever made. If at some point you need it, assisted living is the next step on the journey. Think of it as independent living with more personal services. In assisted living, you can continue to enjoy many of the activities and conveniences you’ve experienced in independent living, and now you know how fulfilling the senior living experience can be.

You may not fully understand this until you’ve made the move, but with independent living, you don’t give up your freedom and independence — you improve it. Independent living can translate to more convenience, enjoyment, peace-of-mind, and yes, independence, that you’ve experienced in a long time.