How to Choose an Independent Living Community Right for You
While many seniors believe they’re too young for an independent living community, we most often hear, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?” The reasons for moving to an independent senior living community are many. No more home maintenance. More opportunities to socialize with others. Transportation is provided – rain or shine. Cooking for one (or two) is a thing of the past. The physical and emotional benefits of community living quickly add up.
Ready or not – here are some of the things you should consider.
The Atriums is located in the heart of Overland Park. Many of our residents have lived in Johnson County for years and consider it home, but that’s not always the case. You might want to be closer to family members or friends in the area. If so, make sure the community is easily accessed by major roads and highways. Pull up a map and see where your potential senior community lies.
Decide what makes a neighborhood ideal for you. Do you want to be close to the hustle and bustle of city stores and entertainment venues? Or are you looking for a quiet residential neighborhood or charming countryside.
If you plan on keeping your car, location may be less of a priority. For those who prefer not to or are unable to drive, find a community that offers transportation so you can still go to appointments and outings whenever you like. Different communities offer varying levels of transportation services, so make sure to learn about important details including service radius and additional costs.
The money saved on home expenses such as mortgage payments, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, home repairs, autos, and lawn maintenance usually outweigh the costs of an independent living community. The savings increase when you include homeowners’ insurance, upkeep and utility bills which typically run about 3.25 percent of the value of a house.*
For example, rent at The Atriums Senior Living covers:
- All utilities
- Two meals per day
- 24-hour security
- Full interior and exterior maintenance and repair
- Fitness center
- Pool and water aerobics
- Transportation service
- Lifestyle and leisure programs and activities
- Emergency call system
- Trash collection
If value is your main priority, compare all floor plans and expect more square footage and in-apartment amenities to increase the monthly cost. Your move can become more cost-efficient if you take advantage of time-sensitive move-in incentives.
Services and Amenities
When comparing communities side by side, the list of choices may seem as though they offer virtually the same services and amenities. Visit each community to discover the nuances and qualities that make a big difference.
The perfect time to do this is at an open house or community event where you can taste their food and enjoy a free class or activity. You can get all your questions answered and even enjoy a meal during a personal tour.
Most independent living apartments have a full kitchen or kitchenette, but most residents prefer to join the community at mealtimes to relax and socialize.
You may have a choice of meal plans. The best communities offer menu selections designed to suit various palates and diet requirements. When you visit, ask to see sample menus and visit the dining areas and bistros. Not only look for foods you enjoy, consider the nutritional value of what’s being offered. Are the meals prepared in-house? Fresh ingredients? These important factors will sway your decision.
People often tell us they knew The Atriums was right for them the moment they walk through the door. You’ll get a good feel for a community if you’re greeted with a smile and see residents busy in the course of their day. A bright décor lends to the cheerful atmosphere.
One of the best things about a community is the people you’ll meet. Independent living gives plenty of different ways to find new friendships and nurture existing ones. Through clubs, classes, events and activities, good communities aim to offer seniors plenty of chances to get out.
Staying social throughout our lives keeps us emotionally, intellectually and physically healthier. Research from the National Institute on Aging indicates that social isolation constitutes a major risk factor for older adults. A national survey by the AARP Foundation shows that about one-third of U.S. adults age 45 and older reported feeling lonely. If you (or your parent) are experiencing loneliness or loss, being surrounded by a community of caring individuals makes a world of difference.
When you’re visiting a community, you’ll easily notice how friendly the staff and residents are. Don’t be afraid to stop, say hello and ask them questions.
The time to look is now
You may think you’re not ready to move into a senior community, but don’t let that stop you from exploring your options now. Come see what it’s like. That way, if you decide to make a move based on an unexpected event in your life, you’re armed with the information you need to make a good decision, unencumbered from pressure.
If you’re looking for help with the activities of daily living like dressing, eating, or mobility, you’ll want to find a community like The Atriums that offers assisted living instead.
So many times, seniors visit a Tutera community like The Atriums Senior Living and fall in love with the friendliness, the ease and the carefree lifestyle they discover here.
Visiting a Tutera community in person is the best way to compare location, cost, services and amenities, dining and community culture. So, give us a call to schedule a personal tour or join us at a special event.
—Cost estimate statistic: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College