5 Tips for Selecting an Independent Living Community

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 20 June 2011

Diversity and variety among independent living communities translates to a robust offering of choices for consumers. While it’s good to have choices, the selection process might be overwhelming for those ready to make a move.

Once you’ve narrowed down the geographic location you desire, the list of options may naturally grow shorter. No matter the length of your list, though, there are a few key factors to consider when choosing an independent living community.

1. Size – Some independent living communities resemble small cities or college campuses given their sprawling layout, but there are cozier communities if you’re looking for something a bit more intimate.

2. Scope – Is the independent living community part of a CCRC (continuing care retirement community), which gives residents access to care services should the need arise? Or is it a free-standing facility where the responsibility/choice is up to you when you need more care?

3. Services – Are laundry & housekeeping services part of your monthly fee, or will it be charged a la carte? Is a meal plan included?

4. Stuff to Do – Maybe you’re moving because you want to meet more people your age or pursue new hobbies or activities. Maybe you just want low-maintenance living and care little about the social calendar. Most independent living communities boast a busy social calendar, but some leave the level of activity up to the residents and not a full-time employee.

5. Staff – When touring the facility, try to introduce yourself or strike up a conversation, because a happy, courteous staff is a good indication of a well-managed community.


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