When you’re an older adult, any housing change can seem like you’re losing your independence. However, as the name suggests, independent living is more about making your life easier than giving up your independence. Sometimes, acknowledging your limitations—that you’re unable to manage the upkeep of your existing home, for example—and accepting some assistance now may help you maintain your regular independent routine for longer.
Is independent living right for me? – 4 Questions to ask yourself
1. How easy is it for me to maintain my current home?
Maintaining a home may be a longstanding source of pride for you, but it can also become a burden as you age. Perhaps your home has a large yard which requires constant maintenance, or maybe it’s becoming more difficult to clean those extra rooms that are rarely used. If your home is difficult to access, such as on a steep hill or up several flights of stairs, it may be harder for you to leave your home as often you’d like, leading to more isolation. Or increased crime may mean that your neighborhood is now too dangerous to walk around safely.
Some of these challenges may be partially remedied by hiring outside help, remodeling parts of your home, or by other family members lending assistance. However, if you’d like a place that does not require a lot of maintenance and upkeep, independent living may give you more freedom and flexibility in the long run.
2. Is it difficult for me to connect to friends and family?
The more isolated you are, the greater your risk for depression and other mental health problems. You may have a difficult time getting out of the house, perhaps due to trouble driving or increased mobility issues. Or your friends and neighbors may be busy with other work or family commitments, or the neighborhood may not be easy to get around. While the phone and Internet can help, nothing can take the place of face-to-face human connection.
Independent living facilities can give you a built-in social network of peers, while many also provide structured activities such as sports, arts, or field trips.
3. How easy is it for me to get around?
You may live in an area where you have to drive to attend social activities, visit friends, and shop. If you find yourself less comfortable with driving, you may find yourself relying more and more on public transportation or family and friends to get around. It may be harder to visit others, go to activities you enjoy, or keep doctors’ appointments.
As well as onsite amenities, many independent living or retirement communities also offer convenient transportation options to outside activities.
4. How is my health (and the health of my spouse)?
It’s important to consider your current and future health. For example, if you have a health condition that makes it difficult to stay active and will most likely worsen with time, it’s good to consider your options carefully. It’s also important to consider the health of your spouse if you are married. Can you manage the activities of daily living, such washing, showering, and eating? Can you manage your finances? Can you manage medications and doctor appointments?
If you see needing only minor assistance with activities of daily living, independent living may be right for you.
This article was provided by Liberty Residence
250 Smokerise Dr.
Wadsworth, OH 44281