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The Top Four Questions To Ask When Considering Independent Living

Smiling retired senior friends sharing digital tablet at nursing home.

Have you gotten a head start on planning your retirement? Maybe you’ve already reached retirement age and aren’t sure what the next step should be. If so, this is a point in life where many older adults begin thinking about how to make the most of the years ahead. 

With this in mind, it’s common for many individuals to consider moving to an independent living community. Needs and priorities evolve as we age, so it only makes sense that future living arrangements change along with them – and an independent living community may provide everything you’re looking for.

To help you better explore your senior living options, our Life Plan Community at Lake Forest Place is sharing the most important aspects of an independent living community you should look for and how to prepare to move forward. Learn everything there is to know about independent living and what to expect from the lifestyle with our expert tips below. 

What is an independent living community?

First things first. What is independent living? Sometimes referred to as “retirement communities,” independent living communities are made for active older adults, usually ages 55+, who are wanting to spend their retirement years worrying less about daily household maintenance and responsibilities and focusing more on their overall well-being.

Residents in independent living don’t need regular medical care or assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) that you’d find in assisted living or memory care.

You can find independent living at a stand-alone community or as part of a Life Plan Community like Lake Forest Place. The benefit of entering a Life Plan Community as an independent living resident is that if you ever need long-term care, you’ll have guaranteed access to a continuum of care without ever having to move.

What to expect from an independent living lifestyle

Just as the name suggests, you should expect to live a life that’s independent, with the freedom to choose how you spend each moment. You should expect the following from an independent living community:

  • Maintenance-free living
  • Transportation services
  • A variety of meal options and dining rooms
  • Endless opportunities for social activities, cultural experiences, wellness programs, and educational growth
  • Access to a well-appointed fitness center with individual and group fitness classes
  • Easy living with an overall improved quality of life

It seems simple, but independent living communities are not one-size-fits-all. As you dive into your research on different living options, we highly recommend scheduling personal tours of each community. This is a great way to experience how the community operates, interact with current residents, and make sure it offers everything you’re seeking for your future.

Next, you’ll learn the important questions to ask once you’re there. 

Top questions to ask before moving to an independent living community

1. Does the community offer care if I need it in the future?

You can’t always plan for changes in your health, but you can plan to move to an independent living community that makes access to different levels of care like assisted living or memory care easy. Ask what specific care is provided and how the process works if ever that time comes.

2. What is the cost of the community?

Is there a large entrance fee? Do you have to pay for the lifestyle upfront or monthly? Are you tied to a certain contract? Make sure you can afford the lifestyle without sacrificing all your savings.

3. What services and amenities are available?

You may be into sports and constantly on the go. Or you may be into more of a zen/relaxation mindset. Does the community offer programs that satisfy these interests? Also, how often are home maintenance and housekeeping performed? What other conveniences are provided?

4. How will my life become better?

This is when touring and interacting with current residents come in handy. They’ll be able to tell you firsthand what they love about the community, and you’ll see with your own eyes whether staff and residents are enjoying their time and seem to be happy.

Other important factors to consider are:

  • When were the most recent capital improvements made?
  • Is occupancy high or low?
  • What is the staff-to-resident ratio? 

Why is Lake Forest Place right for me? 

Independent living at Lake Forest Place means choosing to live each day for you. Our Life Plan Community provides:

  • Choice of Type A LifeCare contract or Type B Modified contract
  • One- and two-bedroom apartments
  • A full continuum of care services, including assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, and rehabilitation
  • Flexible dining program
  • Weekly housekeeping
  • Beautiful, expansive landscape
  • Full-service salon and spa
  • Wellness programs
  • Busy social calendar, and more rich opportunities to retire the right way for you 

Retire the way you want at Lake Forest Place.

At our Life Plan Community in Lake Forest, IL, discover an independent living lifestyle that’s an extension of the life you already have – just without everyday worries and maintenance. Live out your golden years the way you’ve always dreamed. We have an exceptional array of services and amenities and activities that suit every individual – and additional levels of care if they’re ever needed. Learn more about the endless possibilities for a fulfilling future at Lake Forest Place when you schedule a tour today.