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Why Now Is the Best Time to Move into Independent Living

A group of seniors pose for a photo in a park near downtown Chicago

Is there a “best” time to move into independent living? There’s no set formula to determine that, but before you decide you’re too young or too healthy, it’s important to understand what independent living is and how it could benefit you. 

What Independent Living Is — and Isn’t.

A common misconception is that all senior living communities only provide healthcare services for those who are very old, sick or frail. Independent living is about a lifestyle, not healthcare.

Independent living is actually a term that covers a variety of housing options for older adults. While some retirement communities are targeted to those ages 55 and up, the average minimum age requirement is 62. Residences, services and amenities are designed to make life easier and more convenient. Communities typically offer a wide variety of programs and activities as well as encourage resident-run clubs, committees and social events.

Six Reasons to Consider Independent Living Now

Some people worry that moving into independent living means they’ll lose their freedom and ability to choose for themselves. If you’re one of them, you may be surprised to see how it can actually enhance your life. What does it add?

  1. 1. Greater independence When you don’t have to deal with the hassles and costs of home maintenance, you have time to pursue things you enjoy. Restaurant-style dining frees you from cooking and cleaning up while adding delicious variety to your diet. And integrated senior health and wellness programs let you nurture your body, mind and spirit which helps you live better, and more independently, for longer.
  2. 2. Diverse opportunities Most independent living residents will tell you that their community’s program and activity calendar is so full of interesting opportunities that they can’t possibly do everything that’s offered. Learning, creating, socializing, traveling, arts and culture, outdoor activities, discussion groups all that and so much more are part of the independent living lifestyle. And everything is right at your fingertips.
  3. 3. An abundance of social connections Meaningful relationships are important at every stage of life, but maybe even more so as you get older. Isolation is a big risk factor for poor senior health, which is why the social benefits of independent living matter. With organized activities, interest-based groups, and friends and neighbors just down the hall or across campus, you’ll be able to strengthen your social circle with ease.
  4. 4. More control Many people think they’ll move “someday” but end up waiting so long that they no longer qualify to live independently. By choosing independent living at a Life Plan Community with a continuum of care, you’re making the decision about your future. You’ll have access to the healthcare you might need down the road. You’re not making a move at a time of crisis, and you’re not placing the burden of choice on your family.
  5. 5. Time to enjoy it all If independent living residents ever express a regret about their choice to move, it’s that they didn’t do it sooner. Making the move when you’re younger means you have more time to take advantage of all the opportunities that come with it.
  6. 6. Safety and support The COVID-19 pandemic has taught all of us how important it is to have a support network. When you’re an independent living resident in a Presbyterian Homes community, you have that network of friends and neighbors. You also have the support and expertise of trained team members who can adapt services and care to keep residents as safe and healthy as possible while helping them stay connected and active. (Did you know all our communities currently have a 95% vaccination rate?)

So when is the best time to move into senior living? If you want to enrich your lifestyle, the best time is now. Explore our family of communities to find independent living near you.