As 2020 draws to a close, you – like many of us – may be taking the time to think about how you can improve your life in 2021. Perhaps you’re already thinking about certain New Year’s resolutions, or hopefully planning for summer vacations that won’t be disrupted by COVID-19. As you’re thinking about the possibilities that lie ahead, here’s something else for adults of a certain age to consider: moving to independent living.
“Moving into an independent living community is something that more and more active, independent adults are considering these days,” says Angel Van Horn, Community Relations Specialist at Abe’s Garden Community (formerly Park Manor), the most trusted retirement community in Nashville, TN. “They’re seeing that this type of lifestyle provides numerous benefits and freedoms that they just can’t get living on their own in a family home.”
Angel says that there is a seismic shift underway in how older adults think about senior living. “Today’s communities are nothing like the communities twenty, ten, or even five years ago,” she says. “As the Baby Boomers continue to reach retirement age, they’re demanding more from their senior lifestyle, and communities are rising to the occasion.”
With all that being said – is senior living right for you? The answer may surprise you.
“Many of today’s seniors are moving to independent living before they ‘need’ to,” says Angel. “That’s actually a really good thing, as it means that retirees are able to leap into their perfect lifestyle while they’re still healthy, active and able to accomplish everything they want. Not only do they enjoy their lifestyle today, but they also can feel confident that they’ll remain independent for as long as possible because they’re living in a community designed for healthy aging.”
If you’re still wondering whether you want to move away from your family home and embrace the independent living lifestyle, here are some signs that may indicate it’s time to start packing boxes and making your retirement bucket list.
1. You’re tired of dealing with home maintenance.
Owning your own home is wonderful, especially if it’s a home that you’ve lived in and loved for many years. However, there’s no denying that owning a home is a lot of work and a lot of money (even if you’re mortgage-free). Everyday tasks like keeping the yard tidy, shoveling snow, cleaning gutters, trimming trees, or fixing leaky faucets may be things you’re just tired of doing. And let’s not forget the big oopsie that can come from homeownership like leaky roofs, broken furnaces and other things that always seem to happen in the middle of the night. Then there are utility payments, homeowners insurance, HOA fees, and property taxes … add up all the money and time you’re spending, and you may be shocked. This is why moving to independent living can be so refreshing and surprisingly affordable. No more will you have to deal with chores (not even cleaning your house) or home maintenance. With professional staff on-site 24/7, you’ll never have to worry about even changing a lightbulb. Suddenly, all your time is freed up to do the things you want to do, not the things you have to do.
2. You’re ready for someone else to handle the cooking (and washing up).
Know the secret ingredient that makes any meal instantly better? Knowing you don’t have to do anything except enjoy it. Everyone loves a healthy, gourmet meal, and that enjoyment gets ramped up to 11 when you don’t have to grocery shop, plan, cook, serve or clean up. Dining has become a touchstone of upscale senior living these days, and many independent living communities offer restaurant-style dining that rivals what you’d find in some of the best restaurants in town. At Abe’s Garden Community, our chef de cuisine, along with entire culinary staff, creates delicious meals filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, locally sourced ingredients (often from the onsite garden) and ever-changing options. They even take special requests. And you still have the option of cooking in your own private independent living apartment if you’d like to host friends or family for a gathering. (Or you can have a meal catered in – it’s up to you.)
3. There are still so many things you want to learn and do.
Retirement is your chance to start a new chapter and do something you’ve always wanted to do. Have you ever wanted to study art? Learn a new language? Perhaps go back to school, or even start a new career? Independent living provides you the platform to jump-start your dreams. Not only does the maintenance-free lifestyle mean you no longer have chores, but independent living communities also have robust life-enrichment programming with regularly scheduled classes, activities, events and more. And if you don’t see anything on the calendar that strikes your fancy? The life-engagement team will be happy to help you achieve your goals in any way they can.
4. The idea of convenience is very appealing.
Wouldn’t it be nice to know that when you want to take a trip, your home will be safe and secure – and you won’t even have to ask someone to keep an eye on your house? What about being able to walk to the salon or the fitness center? Having so many amenities and services on site is a big draw of independent living communities. Many things are located on campus, but even if they aren’t, the community transportation service can shuttle you in style to wherever you want to go. 24/7 security means that you never have to worry about your or your home’s safety. It’s the convenience of an all-inclusive resort … and you never have to leave.
5. You’re ready to expand your social circle.
Living on your own can sometimes be a little lonely, especially if friends and family have moved away and you’re no longer interacting with co-workers on a daily basis. Having friends simply makes life better and more enjoyable. It should come as no surprise that many retirees move to independent living because they want the experience of having instant friendships with a large group of their peers. In independent living, you’ll become a part of a community of like-minded individuals who are ready to embrace this new stage of life to the fullest. You can be as social as you’d like – making friends is as easy as walking out your front door. With committees, activities, events and meals, widening your social circle is more than easy – it’s natural.
If you have more questions about how independent living can benefit you or a loved one, please call us at 615.277.1107.