3 Tips For Choosing Your Independent Living Facility

Posted on: 30 December 2015


Have you decided that the time is right to move into an independent living facility? While moving out of your home may be difficult, you'll likely appreciate all of the convenience and benefits that an independent living facility can offer. You'll have a built-in community with the facility's other residents. You also may get meal service, transportation, and organized group outings. Further, you'll eliminate many of the costs and maintenance requirements that come with home ownership. Not all facilities are the same, though. You'll want to make sure the facility you choose is right for your unique needs and desires. Here are a few things to consider as you tour independent living facilities?

What are the rules surrounding meal times? In most independent living facilities, you have a kitchen in your apartment or condo, so you have the ability to prepare your own meals. However, many facilities also offer group meals in a communal setting. If eating and socializing with your fellow residents is important to you, you'll want to make sure you understand all the rules around those meals. 

For example, ask if the meals are available at certain times and what happens if you miss that time. Find out whether it's assigned or open seating. Are the group meals well attended? Do they accommodate any dietary restrictions that you may have? Also, it may not be a bad idea to attend one or two meals before you move in. That way you can experience the meal for yourself and maybe even meet one or two residents.

What are the social activities? Most independent facilities will have a social calendar for the more active residents. However, having a calendar and having a vibrant social experience can be two separate things. First, you'll want to make sure the activities on the calendar are things that you're interested in. Also, having social events isn't much good if the events aren't well attended by residents. Ask to look at the calendar to see what types of events are planned. And then request to attend a couple of events so you can see if they're things you would enjoy. If not, the facility's social efforts may not be much benefit to you.

How independent are the facility's residents? You'll likely find that the word "independent" can have many different meanings depending on the facility that you visit. In some facilities, residents come and go as they please and even have their own cars. In other facilities, residents are reliant upon the facility's buses or upon family members for transportation and they may even have to check in and out of the facility.

Think about your lifestyle and what level independence suits you. Do you want to bring your car with you? Do you want to walk in and out of your residence without checking in with an administrator? If so, make sure the facility's rules align with your wishes.

For more information, visit some independent communities, like Brooke View. They can answer your questions and help you decide which facility is right for you.