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When is the best time to move into independent living?

Independent living communities for older adults are ideal for retirees (or soon-to-be retirees) who want more freedom to enjoy life. Some people seek out this type of lifestyle as soon as they turn 55, others wait until much later. It all depends on your unique wants and needs. We’ve identified five main considerations that can help you decide when the time is right.

1. You’re ready to say “goodbye” to home maintenance chores.

It’s a fact of life. Home maintenance gets harder with age. Tools feel heavier, ladders seem taller, and the to-do list never ends. At some point, indoor and outdoor chores become a nuisance — especially if you need to hire help. It can be hard (and expensive!) to find good people that you can trust to get the job done right.

When you move into an independent living community, someone else does all that work for you. Your to-do list primarily includes fun activities with new friends and neighbors. There’s a lot more time for you do what you want to do. Not what you have to do.

Independent living communities are famous for having a busy social calendar of programs, activities and events. Go for a walk, play cards, join a book club, go to the fitness center, visit the salon or take a day trip. With all that newfound free time, the choice is yours!

2. You want to make a smart financial move.

For many seniors, moving out of the family home is a wise financial decision. One reason is that the sale of the home will free up money for the next phase of your life. This is especially true if your home is paid off or you have lived there long enough to accrue a lot of equity.

Another reason is that aging in place, in your home, may require renovations for your safety and mobility. Outdoor ramps, step-in tubs, easy-grab handles and other accessibility updates can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Independent living communities like Topeka Presbyterian Manor are built with these features in mind. You also enjoy a wide variety of onsite services and amenities that are calculated into your monthly fees. You will know exactly what you’re paying for and why.

3. You seek to improve your health and well-being.

Independent living communities offer several advantages for healthy living, beginning with restaurant-quality dining services. You can depend on delicious and nutritious meals every day, served up in a comfortable setting, among friends.

There will also be fitness and wellness programs to strengthen your mobility, balance and flexibility. All of which are essential to staying healthy and avoiding falls as we age. You’ll be able to look forward to a regular schedule of group activities to keep you moving, within a safe and clean atmosphere.

Daily exercise has been found to improve emotional wellness as well., Research studies report lower healthcare costs for physically active seniors diagnosed with chronic conditions and depression. Inactive seniors with the same conditions — but without depression — have costs that are twice as high.

4. You like to be socially active.

Being around other people has also been shown to boost our health. Loneliness can be increasingly dangerous as we age. We can become disinterested without a strong social network. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), isolation can also heighten the risk of dementia by up to 50 percent.

So, if you want a busy social life — with new friends and a full calendar of clubs and activities — you’ll find it at an independent living community. There is a special camaraderie that comes with being among like-minded people with similar life experiences.

Topeka Presbyterian Manor offers many ways for people to get together – from meals in our distinctive dining room to concerts and speakers to Bible study and worship to birthday parties and off-site excursions. There is no age limit on fun and friendship here!

5. You want to find a home for the future.

Many independent living communities are part of larger Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC). They serve as the entry point into a range of housing and healthcare options that include assisted living, rehabilitation and skilled nursing.

Moving into a CCRC takes the worry out of planning for the future. Comprehensive onsite services are already in place to provide for any short-term recovery needs, as well as longer-term health and personal support. You can enjoy life today with the peace of mind that tomorrow is covered.

Ready or not?

It’s never too early to start looking into potential communities that you might like to call home. You want to be prepared to make a move on your terms when you are ready.

Compare amenities, activities and housing choices. See what the surrounding area has to offer. Consult with a financial advisor about what you can comfortably afford. Visit in person to see what the facilities and grounds really look like. Meet the people who work there, say “hello” to the neighbors, and see what you think.

Understanding what’s available and knowing what you want — and need — will put you in a good position to make the right move.

Helpful Links

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Loneliness and Social Isolation Linked to Serious Health Conditions

Where You Live Matters: Community Living - It’s Healthier

Health Payer Intelligence:  Addressing Senior Physical, Mental Health With Group Exercise

Mass Mutual: Projecting the costs of aging in place

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