Independent Living grandma

10 Factors to Consider When Choosing Independent Living

If this is your first time looking at independent living communities, you may have a lot of questions running through your mind. Maybe even some concerns as well. Rest assured, these feelings are normal. While we are not experts on independent living facilities, we have done our fair share of assisting families and individuals during these kinds of transitions. Realty Unleashed understands how emotional moving from a familiar home into an independent living facility can be. That is why we know the importance of being great co-pilots so this change can go as smoothly as possible. We have assisted many families during this process. There is no doubt it is challenging, but there is nothing like the peace of mind in knowing you are where you need to be. We are here to offer you ten essential things to keep in mind when choosing your new community.


You might have a general idea of where you would like to reside. Do you go to a particular swimming pool every day? Are your grandkids in a specific neighborhood? These are the types of things you will want to consider. Location will be important to your daily routine outside of wherever you might be living, so you will want to ensure that your independent living facility can cater to that!


What can you afford, and will you be able to sustain this price for years to come? Is food included in the cost, or is that an additional cost? Are there any hidden fees you will have to incur? The price of an independent living facility will vary based on things like community type, services, location, and whether or not you need home care assistance, to name a few.


This is a big question that needs answering before you make any decisions. There are different layers to independent living facilities, which means each facility will have unique expectations. Be sure to ask about privacy, when visitors are allowed, items that are or are not allowed, etc. You want your new home to feel as comfortable and normal as possible. Take some time to find the right accommodation for you based on the level of comfort you need.


Cute pet

Do you have a beloved furry companion that is coming along with you? Make sure that wherever you are looking to settle down allows pets. On the other hand, if you have allergies to certain animals, you will want to stay away from pet-friendly facilities. Luckily there are plenty of different options that support either lifestyle.


Most independent living facilities have an entertainment or program coordinator who arranges fun events, activities, and outings for residents. But if you like to do things on your own or with other friends, check into what is available within or around your community! For example, if you are looking for independent living in Edmonton, and you love going to the north end YMCA to swim, try looking in that area.


If you are still enjoying driving, see if there is parking available for you. Also, is there an added cost for a parking pass? This is something you will want to look into before you make a decision! If you are no longer driving, ask what the facility offers for shuttle services and how often or how close public transportation is. 


Modern kitchen

Wherever you decide to live, food will be a considerable part of your life! If you enjoy cooking, look for a facility that has kitchenettes in the suites. If cooking isn’t important to you, there are plenty of facilities that handle the cooking for you! Take a look at the facility’s meal plans or food options provided that will work with your diet. 


It can be difficult to know the nature of an environment unless you’ve spent a reasonable amount of time there. The culture in the independent living facility you choose will be significant to your time spent there. How are the residents spoken to? Do the staff engage with them in a friendly, warm way? Do you have access to the type of freedom you need to go about your day? Take the time to talk to staff and residents and ask them their opinions. See if there is an opportunity to sit in on a meal, activity or event! 


Whether you lean toward being more introverted or extroverted, you will want to be aware of the facility’s size. The size of an independent living facility can also impact what kinds of services they have available. Facilities with a more resident population will naturally have a greater selection of amenities and activities. If you are someone who prefers a quiet environment with fewer people, a smaller facility is what you’ll want to find.


Suppose you have checked these boxes but still feel uncertain which independent living facility to choose, ask for testimonials or references. You might be able to talk to previous residents who have since moved or families of residents for their reviews. This step will likely ease your mind with any lingering questions!

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