Independent Living Schemes explained
Moving into an independent living scheme gives older people the best of both worlds at a time when convenience, comfort, and community really matter. The schemes offer an independent lifestyle without daily maintenance worries and with the added reassurance of care support if needed.
An independent living facility offers accommodation for an age-restricted community that’s designed to meet the needs of elderly people, often from 55 years+. Everything from the layout of the buildings and property to the services, activities, and events is senior-friendly.
Many older people move into these types of communities because they’re tired of performing upkeep around their homes, they simply desire more companionship or a better social life or just want peace of mind that they can stay in their own home as they get older with help if needed.
Why choose independent living?
• Each scheme offers care by professionals support to help you remain in your home for as long as possible
• can prevent or delay placement in residential care
• The scheme provides a secure environment
• It’s a great environment to make friends with people of a similar age with similar interests
• There are plenty of opportunities to take part in on-site activities
• Purchase modern homes that are low maintenance
What does it offer?
Every independent living scheme offers a different range of services and amenities. So the specific features of various communities largely depend on factors like their size and location. They may also cater to certain groups or types of seniors. However, some of the most common services and amenities include:
• Your own home – whether that be an apartment, house, bungalow
• Social activities and programs
• Security Surveillance
• Care support team
Additional features that you may come across include:
• Restaurants, cafes, and meal programs
• Manicured gardens
How Do I Find the Right Scheme for Me?
It’s important to start by considering both your present and future needs. You may be able to live independently right now, but where do you see yourself in five years? Will the care team be able to offer the support you need if and when you need it? Is the community pet-friendly, in a desirable area, or close to your family? Those are all important questions to consider.
As you tour through various independent living facilities, you may want to examine these four aspects more closely:
• Accessibility: Can you get around easily with a walker or a wheelchair (even if you don’t use one right now)? Are there appropriate handrails installed throughout the building and in the private residences? Are you close to public transportation? Are there any amenities within walking distance? Would you feel safe coming and going after dark? How is the property secured and monitored at night?
• What’s on offer: Do you have opportunities to take part in your favourite hobbies and activities? Are there opportunities for you to try new things? What kinds of outings and events are planned? Are there on-site amenities that are important to you like a fitness center or salon? What is the quality and range of food options?
• Atmosphere and people: Do you feel like you fit in with the community’s other residents? Are the staff friendly and helpful? Do you feel comfortable overall? What is the atmosphere like at different times of the day?
• Size and location: Are you looking for a community that’s large and luxurious or one that’s small and homely? Do you want to stay in your current area, or would you like to relocate? Would you be comfortable being closer or farther away from your family?
•Care Support – Make sure you check out the quality of the care support offered through the scheme, you may not need help now but you might in the future.
Independent living gives older people a safe and secure home with their own front door whilst also being surrounded by a like-minded community. There are lots of Independent Living Schemes throughout Central Bedfordshire and Care is Central offers care support to five in Ampthill, Leighton Buzzard, Houghton Regis, and Dunstable. Find out more at Central Bedfordshire Council.