Choosing the Best Independent Living Community
Whether you’re preparing to retire, or already retired, planning for your future is a smart move.
Many seniors believe they’re too young for an independent living community. At Carnegie Village, we most often hear our residents say they wished they had moved here sooner.
There are many reasons for moving to an independent senior living community. You can eliminate home maintenance. You’ll have more opportunities to socialize. You can enjoy scheduled transportation, no matter what the weather. You can work out in on-site fitness gyms. You can participate in an activity every day. And you can dine on delicious, chef-prepared meals. The physical and emotional benefits of a community such as Carnegie quickly add up.
Do you like the location?
When you begin your search, decide on a neighborhood that’s ideal for you. You might want to be closer to family members or friends. Do you want to be close to your physician, bank, favorite stores and entertainment venues?
If you plan on keeping your car, location may be less of a priority. For those who prefer not to or are unable to drive, find a community that offers complimentary transportation like Carnegie so you can be chauffeured to appointments and outings.
Know your budget.
When you reside in an independent living community, you’ll save on home expenses such as mortgage payments, property taxes, home repairs, transportation costs and lawn maintenance. The savings increase when you consider you won’t be paying for homeowners’ insurance, upkeep and utility bills. Carnegie covers electricity, gas, water and trash removal.
Carnegie also covers:
- Three meals per day
- 24-hour security
- Full interior and exterior maintenance and repair
- Fitness center
- Exercise classes
- Transportation service
- Lifestyle and leisure programs and activities
- Emergency call system
- Trash collection
Costs will vary depending on floor plan square footage and in-apartment amenities such as a washer and dryer.
Services and amenities vary greatly across communities.
When comparing communities side by side, you may think they offer virtually the same services and amenities. But you should visit each community yourself. You’ll find nuances and qualities that make a big difference.
The ideal time to visit is at an open house or community event where you can taste the food and enjoy a free class or activity. You can get all your questions answered.
Does the chef cater to your tastes?
Most independent living apartments have a full kitchen or kitchenette, but many residents prefer to join the community at mealtimes to converse and socialize.
Independent living communities may provide a choice of meal plans. The best communities offer menu selections designed to suit various palates and dietary requirements. As you tour, ask to see sample menus and visit the dining areas and bistros. Look for foods you enjoy and consider the nutritional value of what’s being offered. Are the meals created in-house? Does the chef use local, fresh ingredients? Is there a range of entrée selections?
What kind of community culture is there?
One in three U.S. adults 45 and older are lonely, according to a survey by AARP Research. * The importance of staying social throughout our lives has been studied and shown that it keeps us emotionally, intellectually and physically healthier.
When you visit a community, take note of how friendly the staff and residents are. Don’t be afraid to stop to meet them and ask questions.
The residents and employees are key to your happiness at a community. An independent lifestyle offers you plenty of ways to develop new friendships and nurture existing ones. Through on-site events, clubs, classes and activities, the best communities are designed to offer seniors plenty of socializing opportunities.
At Carnegie, we often hear residents say they knew our community was right for them the minute they walked through the door. There’s a sense of belonging here. You’ll get a good feel for a community if you’re greeted with a smile and see residents busy in the course of their day.
The sooner, the better.
It’s never too early to start researching independent living communities. You may think you’re not ready to move into one, but that shouldn’t stop you from exploring your options now. Come see what it’s like. That way, if you decide to make a move based on an unexpected event in your life, you’re fully equipped with the important information you need to make a good decision, without the burden of pressure.
If you’re looking for help with the activities of daily living like dressing, eating or mobility, you’ll want to find a community like Carnegie that offers a full continuum of care including assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care.
We welcome the opportunity to consult with you personally and address your questions about our services, amenities, floor plans and community culture. Call us to schedule a convenient time for a personal tour or join us at a special event.