Get the Facts: What Is Independent Living for Seniors?
What are your plans for retirement? Do you envision settling down, or are you excited to finally have the chance to try something new you didn’t have time to try before? Whatever your retirement goals, independent living is a great senior living option to achieve them.
At WhiteStone, we are a Life Plan Community (also known as a Continuing Care Retirement Community or CCRC) that meets seniors’ needs and wants through a wide variety of services and amenities, health services, and a well-rounded lifestyle.
Whether you’re a more independent, active older adult, someone seeking to leave the hassles of homeownership behind, or a tried and true planner anticipating changes in your health, independent living at WhiteStone covers all your bases.
Residents and their families find everything they need at WhiteStone, especially peace of mind. To get a better idea of independent living, read on to learn the different types of senior living communities that offer this lifestyle, the benefits that come with it, and if it’s the right fit for you.
What is an independent living community?
Independent living communities, sometimes called “retirement communities,” are community spaces for active, older adults, typically aged 55+, who want to spend their retirement years focusing more on their health, happiness, and overall well-being. At WhiteStone, the minimum age requirement is 62.
You may wonder what the difference is between independent and assisted living. Residents in independent living don’t need regular medical care, supervision, or assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) that you’d find in assisted living communities.
Independent living at WhiteStone is part of a Life Plan Community and, therefore, not a stand-alone independent living community. We’ll detail that further below.
We offer a lifestyle that comes with engaging social activities and events, wellness programming, well-appointed residences, and access to a full continuum of care if ever your health needs change.
Independent living amenities and services included in your monthly fee at WhiteStone include:
- Nourishing dining choices
- An indoor saltwater swimming pool and fitness center
- A community garden
- A woodworking shop and an art studio
- All seasonal home maintenance
- Access to additional, short- or long-term care services if they’re ever needed, like assisted living, memory care, rehabilitation, or skilled nursing
Independent living communities like ours that qualify as Life Plan Communities come with wonderful advantages over other options, but it’s important to understand every option out there to make the best decision for you and your family.
What to expect from an independent living lifestyle
Independent living is all about – well – living independently! You should have the freedom to choose how you spend each day, and can expect the following from an independent living community:
- Maintenance-free living
- Transportation services
- Several dining options
- A wide variety of social, cultural, and educational activities
- Access to care and wellness services
- An overall improved quality of life
It seems straightforward, but each independent living community is unique. We recommend scheduling personal tours and attending community events as you research different living options. These are surefire ways to experience how the community operates, interact with current residents, and ensure it fits your needs.
Types of independent living communities
These are the most common categories of independent living communities:
Life Plan Communities or CCRCs (WhiteStone)
These types of communities provide a combination of lifestyle options with care services all in one place. They typically offer different contract types like Type A (Lifecare), which guarantees health care at a predetermined rate with a larger entrance fee, or Type C (fee-for-service), meaning residents pay market rates for additional services as they’re needed.
Stand-Alone Retirement Communities
Stand-alone retirement communities usually set an age minimum of 55. These make a great downsizing solution, with residences like single-family homes, townhouses, or condominiums that can be rented or bought. If the resident ends up needing additional care, they’ll have to move from a stand-alone community to another facility that covers those services.
Rental communities typically require no entrance fee or a much lower-cost, one-time entrance fee. A monthly fee is paid subsequently based on your needs, with varying costs. Your typical monthly fee will usually include:
- Home maintenance and housekeeping
- Some utilities
Benefits of independent living communities
The general benefits of independent living communities include:
- Maintenance-free living
- A variety of floor plans customized to your preferences
- Access to a full, on-site continuum of care services if health needs should change, including skilled nursing, rehabilitation, memory care, and in-home care
- A major decrease in the stress of household responsibilities
- Concierge-style amenities and services made for your convenience
Is independent living right for you?
There are many reasons why seniors move to an independent living community. If you’re ready to pursue something new, meet like-minded individuals, and find yourself to be active and in good health, independent living is a great choice for your future.
Expand your lifestyle with independent living in Greensboro, NC
Now, with the addition of 67 new independent living residences and more ways to access different levels of care and wellness programming, our Life Plan Community is the perfect place to retire with confidence. Schedule a personal tour today and explore endless possibilities for a fulfilling future.