Independent living is an amenities-based residential option that provides a full service community. Unlike assisted living facilities or memory care facilities, independent living facilities don’t include medical service or skilled nursing attention.
There are a variety of styles and levels of independent living facilities. For example, there are some that are considered “Full service communities” that typically provide meals in a restaurant setting, housekeeping, transportation and various social activities. While there may be wellness programs, there are typically no care options available, unless they are licensed as another kind of independent facility called a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly. There are still other independent living facilities that are more basic and provide minimal amenities.
Today, it is becoming increasingly common for independent living facilities to be part of a larger living campus that also has housing arrangements for individuals who need assisted, memory-based, or more comprehensive care. This serves two purposes: for residents, it provides them various levels of care they can graduate into should their health require it, and for operators it provides a way to expand the appeal and profitability potential of their facility.
Consultants can work with independent facility operators to increase or enhance their facility’s offering by incorporating some of the following programs and services:
- On-site Home Health Agencies (HHA) – provide direct services and ancillary support service to low-income senior housing projects. Access to home health aides is the major component of supportive services HHAs can supply.
- Fall Prevention Programs – Senior Consulting, LLC, and its affiliates have conducted research to develop programs in fall prevention; these programs are usually the most utilized by residents that often avoid participation in community sponsored programs.
- Expanded volunteerism of area youth – senior living residents greatly benefit from a solid connection to other generations and a chance to impart their knowledge, wisdom, and support to others.
The goal of successful independent living facilities is to help seniors enjoy lives full of education, recreation, and social activities with other seniors in an affordable fashion.