With so many options for senior living, it’s easy to get a bit lost in the terminology, which is why we’ve taken the time in other posts to dig into the differences between types of senior housing. Today we’re focusing on Independent Living – what that means for seniors in general, and what it looks like on the ground here at our LCB communities.
Generally speaking, independent living refers to residential communities built for people 55 and older who want the benefits of comfortable living without the stresses of homeownership, and who are able to function well unassisted. Some companies—like LCB—offer an Independent option on a campus that also includes Assisted Living and other services. This continuum of care allows residents to live independently and without the responsibilities of home ownership, while knowing should they need help for any reason, it’s right nearby.
These residences are typically a mix of apartments and common spaces, offering amenities, activities and services – dining and transportation options, for example, or fitness and recreation facilities. To get an idea of what the Independent Living option looks like at LCB, we thought we’d look at a typical day for independent seniors living at the Residence at Pearl Street in Reading, MA.
Seniors at Pearl Street wake up in private, secure apartments with full kitchenettes and living space. They can choose to make breakfast on their own, or be waited on restaurant-style in the dining room by the full-time culinary staff that encourages residents to share recipes and dietary preferences. After breakfast, they might join a group traveling to a local museum or lecture, work out on the fitness equipment, or take a painting class – it just depends on what they feel like doing and what’s on the activities calendar, which is different every day.
Lunch includes a mix of full entrees and lighter fare, and can be served both in the dining room and out on the patio, if the weather’s nice. Some residents might choose to hop the Pearl Street shuttle into town instead, to grab a bite to eat and get errands done. Afternoon options are apt to include a visiting lecturer, or a nature walk, a gardening session or a poker game. The 2:00 Happy Hour is hugely popular for unwinding with friends and sharing some laughs and conversation.
There’s also always the option of scheduling medical appointments on-site with visiting healthcare professionals, such as the dentist, podiatrist, or occupational therapist. Alternatively, residents might ask the concierge to book them an appointment at barbershop or beauty salon.
Evening doings after dinner could involve anything from reading by the fireplace, gathering for a movie or concert, or catching the Red Sox game on the flat screen. Snacks and drinks are available 24/7, so people who feel like staying up and chatting can do so comfortably.
Independent Living is meant to offer able seniors comfortable, secure living quarters that they don’t need to maintain themselves, and which give them the freedom to pursue a wide variety of enrichment and relaxation they perhaps hadn’t had time for before. For more questions about the Independent Living option, head to helpguide.org.