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Enjoy your freedom in beautiful British Columbia?
What is independent living?
Independent living homes are designed for self-sufficient, well, and, active seniors. While you will receive assistance in emergencies and with some daily tasks, the staff will not always be around you; independent living homes are not intended for those who need constant care. Unlike assisted living care, for example, you will be responsible for your day-to-day well-being.
Independent lifestyle often involves wellness programs onsite; there may be hobby rooms and fitness facilities, book rooms, walking trails and many other features of the home that create a wonderful community. Communal areas in these residences increase your social life and open up new activities and opportunities for growth. Homes may also have nurses on staff, especially if there are other care options on the site, such as long-term or memory care.
BC independent independent living seniors' communities
Why consider moving into an independent living home?
Let's consider how an independent living home is a better option than aging in your own home.
Many seniors try to remain in a home that was not built with seniors in mind. Many homes built in the mid to late 20th century will have a variety of problems that make them less than accessible. Stairs may have old railings, counters and other such household items may be designed under very old standards. Familiar furniture items like rocking chairs and other items can become hazardous. Common household amenities like floor mats and carpeting can also become hazards as you age.
Contemporary independent senior living homes are designed with safety and security in mind. Accessible features are everywhere, including ramps, handrails, adequate lighting, flat floors and many other modern design features. All of this works together to create a community of people with the same needs as you. Many people find that life is so much better than it is living alone in your own home; as they say, there’s nothing more independent than life in an independent seniors’ living home.
These homes offer a social aspect that cannot be appreciated until you go in and look at what it's like. This often has a way of reviving seniors' enthusiasm and giving them new life. One senior in Vancouver, Jean, says her move into a retirement home there, opened her up to community activities. "I'm not just sitting around, here. It seems like I'm getting out and meeting new people all the time." Improvements in well-being created by the lean, well-appointed independent living residences cannot be measured.
Other newly moved seniors proclaim a renewed joy of living. Jeannine moved into a North Vancouver retirement home and tells Comfort Life how glad she is to have moved there. "I hope to stay for ages… Friends, safety, my own place, good food and lots to do…. this is home."
Common features of independent living homes automatically make your life better. Communal dining rooms mean that you no longer have to prepare your own food (or even buy your own groceries), eat alone or clean up dishes when you are done. It's far more enjoyable to share a meal with peers and to have a good time while you are eating; some homes have outdoor dining areas where you can enjoy the natural environment while you eat. Housekeeping and other mundane tasks are also taken care of. Homes are designed for optimal comfort, both in communal areas and in your suite. All of this works together to improve your life immensely over living on your own.
What to consider when choosing an independent living home
Check out our checklist of things to look for in a retirement home. Here's a brief overview of things to consider.
- How much of my own furniture can I bring?
- What, if any, hidden costs does the home have?
- Does it have a good reputation? What do reviews of the home say? Do residents seem happy?
- What are the qualifications of management and staff?
- Has it been well maintained? How old are the buildings and/or homes?
- Do the services and amenities the community offers appeal to you?
- How many people live there?
- What is included in the cost? Are there any extra costs (i.e. laundry service, maintenance)?
Be sure to speak to a home’s administrators, staff, residents, and even residents’ family members for a complete profile of a given independent living home.
Of course, you will want to consider several options. Use the checklist to compare several homes; it's a great resource that will remind you of many aspects to look at, that you may not have thought of on your own. Make a list of your own personal preferences, must-haves and nice-to-haves then compare and contrast what individual homes offer.
Download The Ultimate Retirement Tour Checklist. It will remind you of things you may not think of on your own, with a comprehensive list of things to note. It's a personal guidebook to make your tour more focused and enjoyable, and the note-taking process much easier.
What makes British Columbia a desirable retirement destination?
If you are considering homes here from out of the province, B.C. is a particularly great place to live in your retirement.There is certainly a lot to do in British Columbia! Its two largest cities, Vancouver and Victoria, are full of cultural diversity, lively streets, and great shopping. And, its seemingly ubiquitous natural riches are great for hiking or if you merely want to be in a soothing atmosphere.
Further interior cities such as Kamloops, Chilliwack and even homes in towns as far north as Thornhill, offer lower cost real estate and all the beauty and relaxation you could want. Many of the residences listed here very appropriately brag about the spectacular views of local scenery you will have. BC's temperate climate also has beneficial effects for seniors and those suffering from ailments such as heart disease and lung problems.