The term Independent Living is used generally to promote senior apartment style living. If you are independent, the two important questions to ask are:
Do you want to own or rent?
Do you want to change communities or move again if you need assistance?
Most of the clients that we work with prefer to rent because they don’t want to put the burden on selling property to others and more importantly they don’t want to have to make two moves but prefer to find a community where they can “age in place”. There are many choices for Independent Living options that provide a month to month lease as well as offer transportation and some basic services. Senior living options that offer services have a “Housing with Services” license from the State of MN. This typically means that some or all of the following services are available: dining, housekeeping, laundry and personal care. Staff may be available 24/7 but it is not required. An RN assessment is needed if you want care services.
“Housing with Services” buildings typically include a basic package of services and amenities included in the rent. What each community includes varies quite a bit. Here is a list of what might be included:
24-hour, on-site staff
Utilities: water, heat, electric, trash, sometimes phone, cable, internet
Transportation for shopping and healthcare appointments
1-3 meals a day, plus snacks
Not all “Housing with Services” offer staff 24/7. If you are looking for a continuum of care community where you can “age in place,” staffing around the clock should be a requirement.
If you want to own, then cooperatives and condominiums as well as townhomes are an option to consider. They require less home maintenance. When considering these options, you should have a plan for down the road if you need services. You will need to either bring in services as you age or make another move.
Independent Living, Get on a Wait List or Two
There are more and more senior living options being built around the metro. You would think there should be openings, right? Typically, when a new building opens, and if it is a continuum of care, independent living, assisted living and memory care being the most common, the independent living portion fills very quickly. There is more demand for independent living than supply. Typically, the 2-bedroom units go first. As people downsize from a house, they look for the larger square footage apartments.