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If you feel overwhelmed by home upkeep, cut off from transport and social amenities, or simply want more companionship with others your age, an independent living community or retirement home may be a good option for you. While moving is always stressful, by planning ahead and giving yourself time and space to cope with change, you can enjoy your independence and thrive in your new home.
Independent living is simply any housing arrangement designed exclusively for older adults, generally those aged 55 and over. Housing varies widely, from apartment-style living to freestanding homes. In general, the housing is friendlier to older adults, often being more compact, with easier navigation and no maintenance or yard work to worry about.
While residents live independently, most communities offer amenities, activities, and services. Often, recreational centers or clubhouses are available on site to give older adults the opportunity to connect with peers and participate in community activities, such as arts and crafts, holiday gatherings, continuing education classes, or movie nights. Independent living communities may also offer amenities such as a swimming pool, fitness center, tennis courts, even a golf course or other clubs and interest groups. Other services offered in independent living may include onsite spas, beauty and barber salons, daily meals, and basic housekeeping and laundry services.
Since independent living communities are aimed at older adults who need little or no assistance with activities of daily living, most do not offer medical care or nursing staff. As with regular housing, though, you can hire in-home help separately as required.
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