With so many options available for seniors today, you may be confused about what independent actually is and isn’t -- not to worry, that’s why we created this resource!
Living independently, or independent living?
Technically, you could say that any senior living at home is “living independently.” Yet, there is a striking difference between living independently in a house versus independent living for seniors at a community like Veranda of Pensacola. Let’s take a look at some of the differences between “living independently” and “independent living for seniors.”
Seniors who live independently at home are still responsible for all the components (including costs) of home ownership or renting. Things like home maintenance and repairs, homeowner’s insurance, lawn maintenance, and even things like buying groceries and preparing meals.
With independent living for seniors, your loved one gets the flexibility of living on their own, oftentimes with the amenities and activities of a permanent vacation.
1. Independent living versus other types of senior living
Just as your loved one is unique, there are many different types of senior living to accommodate seniors with varying needs and wants. Here is a quick overview of some other types of senior living, and how they differ from independent living for seniors:
Many people think of nursing homes when discussing senior living options. You’ve probably had a relative or close person over the years who has lived in a nursing home. Nursing homes are full-time, 24-hour care facilities that accommodate seniors and individuals who usually have pretty extensive medical needs. These individuals are no longer able to care for themselves, and need medical oversight to stay healthy and happy. Many nursing homes have activities for residents; however, they’re dependent on the medical needs of residents.
The simplest definition of assisted living can be summed up as a residence for older adults and those with extra needs that provides various levels of nursing care, plus assistance with meals and housekeeping. Most assisted living communities (including our assisted living community here at Veranda of Pensacola) also offer a range of socialization, activities, amenities, and even outings, providing a rich and full life for residents (and peace of mind for their loved ones). Many seniors and their families enjoy choosing an independent living community for seniors that also offers assisted living. That way, as they get older and/or have increased needs, they are able to stay in the same community.
An option for seniors who need extra help around the house or have medical needs, home care provides a professional caregiver (or sometimes a nursing assistant or nurse, even physical therapists and occupational therapists) for a short time each day (or however long they are needed) to assist your loved one. Services offered can include simple household tasks and chores, or can expand into medical care. Options can be dependent on patient needs, as well as by location and company.
Seniors who either need or want constant companionship or care may opt for live-in care, which is literally a caregiver who resides with you or your loved one. This may provide some peace of mind; however, many families feel uncomfortable having a stranger in the home on a permanent basis.
Most specifically for specialized health conditions like heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s or dementia, specialized care is often offered at home, but may also extend to nursing homes and other facilities.
Who is a fit for independent living?
In the literal sense, independent living for seniors is a fit for seniors age 55 and up. In some cases, the time is right for a move into independent living once your loved one hits 55. Many seniors no longer want the stress and burden of home ownership, and are eager to shed them in order to live a free and independent life in retirement.
In other instances, there may be a great deal of planning that goes into determining the right time for independent living. Some of the factors to consider when planning include:
This is the most obvious factor, of course! We find that many seniors and families like to plan for a move to independent living for several years before they actually turn 55. This can help families make a seamless transition, and can also help prevent hitting unnecessary snags (like having to go on a waiting list).
Seniors with medical conditions that may worsen over time may want to look at the big picture when determining which independent living community is a fit. Or, for senior couples where one partner has more needs than the other -- health and medical conditions can make a big impact on planning. The earlier you plan, often the better when it comes to flexibility and options.
Upcoming expenses/selling a house
Selling a house can be a long and stressful process. Depending on finances, the ability to sell a house may impact your loved one’s timeline for a move to independent living for seniors in Pensacola, FL. Any renovations or work on the house that may be needed in order to sell can also majorly impact your loved one’s timeline.
Any financial situations or other costs that are impacting your senior loved one now (or in the near future) could also impact a timeline for moving into an independent living community for seniors.
A propensity for travel, certain hobbies or activities, a desire to skip (or do) chores or household tasks -- there are any number of lifestyle preferences that could impact both the timing of a move to independent living, or a choice in independent living communities for seniors.
What’s it like for seniors in an independent living community?
Talking about a move to independent living for seniors in Pensacola, FL and actually experiencing that move and new lifestyle are two different things. We always recommend that prospective residents and their families take a tour of our community (and any community they’re considering) to get a real feel for what life will be like.
But in the meantime, we can also help color in the lines a bit and give you a feeling for what it’s like to spend an “average” day in independent living for seniors in Pensacola, FL. In fact, let’s get even more specific and talk about what we know -- here’s what an average day could be like for a resident here at Veranda of Pensacola, FL:
Your loved one heads down to the dining room and picks some of their favorite breakfast foods to fuel up for a busy day. After breakfast, they head to the fitness center for some stretching before hitting the pool for some water aerobics.
After breakfast, your loved one grabs a book from the library and finds a quiet space in one of our lounges to enjoy a cup of coffee and a good book.
Your loved one heads to the salon for a quick hair cut and style -- they’ve got big plans this afternoon!
You and your kids stop by for lunch with your loved one - big plans, indeed. Everyone gathers around the fireplace in our reception area to play a game and enjoy time together before you head out for lunch.
When you drop your loved one back here at their Veranda of Pensacola, FL home, they sit down for a quick game of cards with some friends before heading back to their apartment for a rest before dinner.
Our fine dining room is offering a delicious stuffed Grouper or Butter Chicken -- your loved one loves how eclectic the menu is, working in time-tested favorites along with new cuisines to try! They enjoy dinner with some friends, and make plans for later that night.
After an evening stroll to help digest, it’s time for those plans!
Time to munch on some popcorn with friends while watching a favorite flick in the 42-seat movie theater.
Here at Veranda of Pensacola, FL, every day can truly feel like vacation. Choosing the right independent living for seniors also means peace of mind for you and your family.
How much does independent living for seniors in Pensacola, FL cost?
Considering independent living for seniors in Pensacola, FL means making important budget considerations for seniors and families. Understanding affordability and balancing your family’s budget is essential to help make the best decision.
In order to adequately budget for and examine the costs associated with independent living for seniors in Pensacola, it’s important to look at the complete picture. In many instances, the actual costs of independent living are on par with (at times, even less than!) the costs of home ownership -- with all the added amenities and luxuries.
Costs of living at home that are included (or significantly lower) with independent living include:
- Homeowner’s/renter’s insurance
- Property taxes
- Utilities (including electric, gas, sewer, and water)
- Home maintenance (including new appliances, repairs, and more)
- Car payment/gas
- Car insurance
- Homeowners association fees
- Lawn service
- Costs for amenities and hobbies that are included with independent living residency
A 1-bedroom apartment at Veranda of Pensacola starts around $3,000 per month, and we have a variety of options available to suit your living preferences. Be sure to call us to talk about your needs and what’s available at our independent living community for seniors!