Independent Living for Seniors

What are your options?

What options are available?

Is it time for you or a loved one to make the change?

As certain needs change, you or a loved one might find that the current living situation is no longer suitable.

Maybe the upkeep of the home is becoming too much or there is a need for connection within a community of other active adults who want to make the most of their golden years! Whatever the reason, new friends are waiting at a senior living option of your choice!

At Premier Senior Communities, we have created this guide to teach you more about independent living, what to expect, and why people across the United States are turning to this type of senior living year after year. 

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What is Independent Senior Living?

Independent living is a senior living community for older adults who are able to live on their own.

It’s closely related to a retirement community in which most residents are typically over the age of 55 and retired; many of whom may be living in a single-family home or apartment, but want to find a place where they can make personal connections and take advantage of senior-friendly conveniences that are nearby.

The home maintenance, yard work, laundry, and housekeeping are typically taken care of in an independent living community. When the resident does not have to deal with the common hassles of home ownership, they finally have time to enjoy doing the things they love.

Types of Independent Living

Age-Restricted Communities

Age-restricted communities are made up of townhomes, condominiums, single-family homes in a centralized neighborhood. There is usually a clubhouse that offers senior-friendly conveniences such as social activities, fitness center, and other services.


These types of apartment complexes have various floor plans and an array of service offerings for dining, transportation, outings, and social opportunities. Some may offer more or less amenities than others.


This long-term care community allows you to age in place by offering options for assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, and independent living.


Senior co-housing consists of private homeowners that may carpool together or work to manage their property and homes.


These facilities consist of one-bedroom or studio quarters with shared living spaces for senior residents to gather.

Assisted Living Facilities vs. Independent Living Facilities

Some people might think that all senior communities are like nursing homes, which are designed for people who require health care round-the-clock. However, there is a notable difference between independent senior living and assisted living communities that comes down to the levels of care offered. For example, assisted living residents are incapable of living on their own, whereas independent living residents are able to live their lifestyle without any assistance. Assisted living residents cannot physically and/or mentally care for themselves without some level of assistance for activities of daily living and general senior care.

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Who is Independent Living for?

Independent living communities are for active seniors who are able to live on their own, but want to be part of a community. If considering senior living, ask yourself or your loved one the following questions:

  • Can you or your loved one manage yard work, shopping, and housework on your own?
  • Can you or your loved one manage medication, health appointments, and an overall healthy lifestyle?
  • Do you or your loved one ever experience isolation or loneliness and want to spend more time with other like-minded older adults?
  • Do you or your loved one want maintenance-free living?
  • Are you or your loved one looking for increased security?
  • Do you or your loved one want to avoid in-home care as you age?
  • Do you or your loved one want continuous peace of mind?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then independent senior living can offer resort-style benefits to older adults with all different kinds of backgrounds. 

Features of Independent Living for Seniors

  • Social activities to engage the mind and spirit
  • Common areas that provide an opportunity to socialize
  • Ability to cook in your own kitchen, eat in a dining room with other residents, or enjoy nearby restaurants.
  • Transportation services
  • Exercise, health, and wellness programs
  • Walking trails, golf courses, and more
  • Access to a range of medical care services from caregivers (if the need arises)
  • Laundry and housekeeping
  • The peace of mind that comes with round-the-clock security

Paying for Independent Living

Once you look into your options, you may come to find out that independent living is not cost-prohibitive. Just like any other neighborhood or apartment complex available, there are a wide range of options to meet just about any need or budget.

Independent living costs will depend upon the type of senior housing you choose, which amenities you’re looking for, and where the facility is located.

As you research, keep the following items in mind:
  • If you are looking to own, the down payment on the living quarters
  • Entrance fees
  • Monthly mortgage or rent
  • Monthly fees for repairs, upkeep, and maintenance

There are many different ways to pay for senior living, including: 

  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Private health insurance, life insurance policies, long-term care insurance plans
  • Veterans’ benefits
  • Paying privately out of pocket

You may also be able to receive housing assistance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), designed for low-income senior citizens to live in facilities at relatively lower costs. 

How to Choose the Best Independent Living for Seniors

Now that you know what independent living is, it’s time to tour the facilities and decide which one is best for you or a loved one. These questions may be able to help you search for independent living near you:

What’s the average age of the residents?

The term “senior” can include a wide range of ages, so you’ll want to ensure that the other neighbors are around the same age group. In many cases, seniors-only communities are the best places to meet new friends!

What amenities does the facility offer?

For seniors that care about amenities, large clubhouses may offer a social place to gather or nearby gyms allow them to work on their fitness and health.

What social activities does the facility offer?

Is the senior an introvert or social butterfly? Make sure that the calendar of social activities are things that foster a sense of community and pique curiosity. 

How are meals handled?

Determine if the senior would like to eat in a dining room with other residents or cook in their own kitchen. If they prefer restaurant-style dining, look at the menu and ask about any diet requirements. 

Are pets allowed?

If you or a loved one have a furry friend, find out if you are allowed to bring them along.

What are the safety protocols?

Security should be round-the-clock, but be sure to ask about weekends, nights, and holidays. Not only this, you should also ask about safety measures and emergency services taken for pandemic response (such as COVID-19).

What’s covered by the monthly fees?

If possible, try to find out if there are any surprise charges before moving in.

Independent living is a big industry with a lot of senior living options.

Choosing the right community for you or a loved one can be overwhelming. Learn more at Premier Senior Communities to find out what to look for. Search for a community today!

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