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When to Move to Independent Senior Living

December 8, 2021

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Halloween is always on October 31. Christmas is always on December 25. The Fourth of July is always — well, that one’s obvious.

The point is, there are some days on every calendar that are known and predictable. But have you noticed that when it comes to knowing when other really pivotal dates should be, the calendar is of no help at all?

For example, there’s no calendar in the world that will have the exact date circled that tells you when to move to independent living. That’s because there’s no such thing as an exact date. Knowing when you should make your move to independent living is a highly personal and very subjective decision — one that’s not based on the calendar, but on factors and reasons completely unique to you.

So instead of providing you with a date (impossible!), let’s look at what independent living means, and then consider 7 compelling reasons why now might be time for you to consider a move to an independent living community. 

What independent senior living is

Simply put, independent living is a living environment where older adults can continue to live self-sufficient, active lives, without the responsibilities of housekeeping, meal prep and home maintenance. They enjoy their private residence that they furnish and decorate with their personal belongings. They also have access to all the common space, activities, programs and calendar of events the community offers them. Often, an independent living community provides residents with organized transportation, as well as a variety of helpful and hospitable staff members ready and able to serve.

So now that you know what independent living is, how do you know when might be a good time to make your move into an independent living community

Reason #1: You’d benefit from being more active. Maybe you get outside and walk every day. Or you’re at your local gym three times a week. Or you have some friends who often bike together. Great! But you know you could be doing more. If you live in an independent living community, you’d have unlimited access to a host of wellness programs to keep you more physically active. You’d also have a community of friends eager to get out and get moving, anytime you are. 

Reason #2: You don’t eat as healthily as you should. Cooking for two — or one — isn’t easy sometimes. Who wants to dirty up a bunch of dishes, or throw out all the leftovers? But at an independent living community, you’d have your choice of nutritious chef-made meals prepared using fresh, local ingredients. You’d have an ever-changing menu, offering you a variety of comfort foods and seasonal dishes. You’d be able to enjoy your meals served to you by a hospitable culinary staff. And you’d never have to set the table or do the dishes!

Reason #3: You need a hobby or three. Many older adults find that after retirement, it’s hard to stay connected to their communities, their friends, and the interests they love. It may be harder to drive to their hobby shops or to their weekly club meetings. Friends who shared that hobby may have moved away. Longtime pals who once golfed or regularly played tennis have since given up the sport. The encouraging thing about living in an independent living community is you’re among interesting, engaged and like-minded people who probably share many similar interests with you. You might discover book lovers, sports fans, movie buffs, artists of all types, card players, avid birders — and a group, club or organization that fits those interests and many others.  

Reason #4: You’re still young and healthy — which is a great time to make your move. There really is no best age to move into independent living. But the best time in your life to choose independent senior living is while you’re healthy enough to enjoy it. Some older adults move a bit too late, when they’re growing more frail and close to needing care. Unfortunately, they’re increasingly unable to enjoy all the services, amenities, programs and community outings that make independent living so enjoyable. Many independent living residents will tell you they wish they’d moved sooner for these very reasons.

Reason #5: You wouldn’t mind giving up your household chores. Think about everything you probably do in any given week: laundry, dusting, vacuuming, scrubbing the bathrooms, cleaning the floors, emptying the dishwasher, changing your linens, etc. Depending on the season, you have different but equally taxing responsibilities: mowing the lawn, raking the leaves, shoveling the snow, changing the furnace air filter, cleaning out the gutters, and weatherproofing the house. Seriously: Aren’t you ready to stop taking care of all the household responsibilities and leave all that to the housekeeping and maintenance staff members at an independent living community? 

Reason #6: You’d love the security of having high levels of care close by. The remarkable thing about living in an independent senior living community like one of the Franciscan Ministries communities is you have higher levels of care available to you. So depending on the community you choose, you have assisted living, skilled nursing, memory care, rehabilitation, respite care and more available to you or your spouse, if you ever need it.

Reason #7: You know you’ll be among friends, and in the best of hands. For many older adults, loneliness and isolation often take a serious emotional and physical toll on their overall well-being. But when you know your independent living community provides you with opportunities to stay connected and engaged with others, it can be a very comforting feeling. 

The best age to move into independent living

If these reasons are resonating with you, one perfect next step is to find a Franciscan Ministries independent living community close to you. If you’re ready to enjoy a fully independent life, free from the hassles of home maintenance and housekeeping — and you’re already looking forward to the services, amenities, and opportunities to keep you more engaged — then contact us today.