Senior Center

Choosing Independent Living

By Daniel @ LivingSenior - July 30, 2013

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Independent living is the preferred type of senior housing for retirees who don’t want to live in their own home and want the socialization of senior housing, but don’t need constant medical attention. Seniors who can live in independent living should fit certain criteria, such as being able to perform activities of daily living on their own and not being medically fragile. The following criteria will help you decide if independent senior living is the right option for you.

Performing ADLs

One of the first questions you should ask yourself when deciding if independent living is right for yu, is whether or not you can perform basic activities of daily living. Activities of daily living (ADLs) include basic everyday tasks you would need to perform on your own with independent living. This includes housekeeping, cooking and eating, getting out of bed and walking, laundry, toileting, dressing, bathing, and personal hygiene. If you can do these tasks without assistance, you will do well with independent living. However if you can’t do them on your own, you might want to consider assisted living as an alternative.


As far as accommodations and living arrangements are concerned, independent living tends to offer more options as opposed to assisted or skilled nursing care. With independent living you can choose from a studio apartment, 1-2 bedroom apartment, condo or townhouse that is still in the senior housing community. Alternative forms of senior housing don’t usually offer these options.

Programs and Activities

You can also look into the various activities and programs available with independent living facilities. These are often the reason seniors choose independent living over living on your own and not in a senior housing community. With independent living, you can take advantage of indoor recreational activities like board games, computer room, and educational classes. You can also participate in outdoor activities like walking, hiking, and fitness classes. Take some time to look into the programs and activities available at local senior housing complexes offering independent living to see if this is a right fit for you.


The cost of living in an independent living facility is also going to be a factor. You may find it more convenient to sell your home and move into an independent living facility, benefiting from the many perks such as being able to socialize with other seniors and having access to things like transportation services and the many activities available. Find out exactly how much everything costs, including room and board and if any of the activities cost extra.