Over the last 20 years, the face of retirement living has changed dramatically. Today, more and more private and public care residences are re-directing their programs to support an active, aging population.
If you have good health, but are tiring of the day-to-day chores, a multitude of Independent Living housing residences are springing up all over North America, offering a wide range of accommodation, and hospitality services such as meals and housekeeping, as required.
Independent Living residences provide seniors with a lifestyle that can often be compared with a stay in a luxury hotel. The difference is that the stay doesn't end after a few days or weeks. Elegant décor, fine dining and regularly planned activities make this the ideal "getaway".
Residences will often host an in-house convenience store, library, pool, billiards room, craft room, exercise studio, lounge, and rooms for private functions. They may even have a guest suite that can be booked by residents for out-of-town visitors. Shuttle buses take those residents who don't drive to malls or on short outings.
Although they are very similar, there is a difference between Independent Living and Assisted Living. Independent Living residences welcome retired adults who are totally capable of managing their own personal care. Assisted Living residents have access to additional support services to assist with activities such as grooming, dressing, bathing or taking medications. In physical structure and basic amenities, however, there is often no visible difference.
Independent Living housing units typically provide a combination of private living space with a lockable door, monitoring and emergency support, optional meal services, housekeeping, laundry, and social and recreational opportunities. Housing units may be large or small in scale and may include rented, owned or life-leased options.
Residents with deteriorating health are candidates for Assisted Living, not Independent Living. Often a facility will have a combination of both assisted living and Independent Living suites. A resident who no longer fits the criteria of Independent Living will move to an Assisted Living suite but stay within the same facility.