Finding the Right Independent Living Home for Your Needs
Moving to an independent living facility is a significant decision that involves many considerations. Moreover, finding the right place to call your home after retirement requires research and takes time. It helps to know that the services vary across facilities and include diverse activities and amenities, such as freshly prepared healthy meals, housekeeping services, transportation, and more. However, they have unique features, staff, and prices.
As you consider different independent retirement homes, reflect on your needs, preferences, health condition, and lifestyle to make a wise decision. Consider your must-haves and ensure the community you choose offers them, so you do not have to sacrifice your essentials.
Learn how to make a checklist to find a suitable independent living facility so you can make an informed decision.
7 Essentials for an Independent Living Checklist for Seniors
Ask about Social Activities and Community Engagement
Most communities create a calendar of events and activities for their residents to keep them active and engaged. Inquire about the types of activities and how often they are conducted. Here are a few things you may consider:
- Do the activities seem engaging and fun?
- Are they aligned with your interests?
- Does the community consider individual residents’ likes and dislikes when arranging them?
- Can residents help with the planning and arrangements if interested?
- Are there clubs or religious meetings you would like to join?
- How often do the activities change?
Consider Dining Options
Most independent living communities provide three home-cooked meals a day. You may request to see a sample menu and ask the following to learn about the facility’s dining options:
- Do you cater to individual dietary needs, like diabetic-friendly meals and low sodium or carbs diets?
- Are there vegan and vegetarian options?
- Do you have a nutritionist at the facility?
- Are meals served at tables with wait staff or cafeteria-style?
- Can the residents cook in their apartments?
Ask about Transportation Options
Before moving to an independent living home, consider the following to determine if their transportation services are suitable for you:
- Can residents keep their vehicles in the community?
- Does the community offer transportation facilities to and from medical appointments?
- Do they have facilities for trips to stores and activities?
- How often are such trips made?
- What are other special transportation arrangements available?
Inquire about Maintenance and Housekeeping
A maintenance-free lifestyle is one of the top advantages of independent living. Most facilities of scheduled or regular room cleanings, including dusting, vacuuming, changing linens, and more. In addition, ask the following to learn about their upkeep and housekeeping services to see if they fit your needs:
- Are laundry services offered to the residents? What does it include?
- How often do they provide housekeeping services?
- Are these services included in standard rent?
- How does lawn maintenance work?
- What is the process for trash pickup in the apartment?
- What is the facility’s policy on emergencies, like electrical or plumbing problems?
Explore Community Amenities
Most independent living communities offer amenities that cater to the varied needs of their residents. Ask about features that matter most to you, such as a gym or fitness center, saloon, outdoor lawn and garden, entertainment or meeting room, and more. This will allow you to compare the amenities with your preferences and help you choose the right facility.
Evaluate Safety Features
When moving to an independent living home, safety is a top concern for seniors. Ask the staff about the planned protocols for different situations, including medical emergencies, power outages, fire outbreaks, natural disasters, and more. You can also ask them about the following precautions:
- Emergency alert system
- Accessibility features to prevent falls
- Security systems to avoid break-ins
- Staff supervision policy
- Evacuation plans in case of natural disasters and other exceptional circumstances
Talk to Community Staff
Communicate with the staff on your visit to understand how they treat and assist the residents. Get a feel for the facility functions and manages the daily activities. Ask how they hire their staff to understand the recruitment process. Check the staff-resident ratio to ensure all the residents receive good care.
6 Expert Tips for Independent Living Home Tours
You will be able to learn many things about a community when you take a tour of their facility. It is best to look for signs that it is operating well, which include the following:
- Welcoming and friendly staff
- Well-groomed, well-dressed, and happy residents
- Thoughtful infrastructure with senior-friendly features
- A clean building with an organized dining area and spacious, foul-free restrooms
- Engaged and active residents
- Residents who encourage you to move to the community
Ensure You Have Found the Right Independent Living Home
Once you evaluate your options through virtual or in-person tours, consider the following to ensure you have the right place to call your home in your senior years:
Review Your Checklist
Ensure the independent living facility you want to move into meets most of your needs. Re-examine the areas of concern, contact the staff again if you have any questions, and be sure about their services. In addition, ensure it is within your budget.
Trust Your Instincts
When taking the facility tour, see if you feel at home in the community. Consider your first impressions and pay attention to any uneasy feelings you get during the visit.
Do Not Settle
If none of the communities in your list feel like the right match or do not meet your crucial requirements, do not choose one without exploring all your options. Do your research to find a suitable facility, even if the search process takes more time than expected.
Why Choose the Holiday Independent Living Facility
The Holiday Retirement community offers well-equipped independent living homes for seniors with excellent amenities. Our staff will ensure you are safe, comfortable, and stress-free. We conduct fun activities regularly and offer fresh, nutritious meals, laundry and housekeeping services, and an on-site beauty parlor.