Supported Independence

Supported Independence

Image of two older adult friends holding each other. Looking for Care Assisted Living Resources - Is it time?

Supported Independence

The ability to remain as safely independent for as long as possible could be a great definition of “healthy aging.” But this does not mean that living alone, in one’s home without interaction, or any assistance is necessarily a “healthy” choice.

When thinking about “Independence,” it’s important to remember — we all need others.

  • Socially: We are social creatures who need the engagement of others to feel connected.

  • Physically: It is healthy and smart to ask for assistance when needed. Realizing that it may not be a good idea to climb ladders any longer, or that showers are being avoided because of a fear-of-falling is a necessary first step to true independence.

If fear is ruling your day then you are far from “free”

Image of a healthy older woman. Healthy aging resources.
Two Environments for Independence – Three Ways to Receive Help

  1. In-Home Personal Care

    Caregivers (either from an Agency or Private-Duty) come to the home to help with a large array of services. Some examples:

    • Housekeeping
    • Meal Preparation
    • Assistance Dressing / Bathing
    • Transportation / Escorting
    • Errands / Shopping
    • Companionship
    • Medication Reminders
  2. Independent Living

    If the existing home is too large, on multiple levels, has bathrooms that need extensive retro-fitting, or is difficult to maintain, a move into a community may be a good option. Often a small, simpler environment that is built for “healthy aging” is easier to manage and generally safer. The added bonus of an easily-accessible neighborhood of new friends is also something very positive to consider.

    1. More about Independent Living

  3. “Hybrid” or “Supported Independence” — Caregivers Hired for Occasional Help in IL

    Caregivers are allowed in Independent Living communities. These Caregivers are hired directly by Residents or Families. Rather than one-size-fits-all Assisted Living services (which requires the community to be licensed by the state), Independent Living can provide social opportunities, housekeeping and often, meal services, without the additional overhead costs that accompany Assisted Living.

    Because Caregivers can efficiently visit multiple Residents without travel time, often hourly minimums are waived. The overall cost (housing, food, amenities and care) may be significantly lower than in an Assisted Living environment. Note: Independent Living communities vary in services, packages and pricing. Hiring Caregivers also requires some management and oversight. There are companies that specialize in these types of programs.

Image of two older adult friends holding each other. Looking for Care Assisted Living Resources - Is it time?
More about Independent Living

From an apartment building (“+55”) that caters to older adults to golf-enriched, resort-style sprawling communities, there are many options when it comes to Independent Senior Living. It is probably a good idea to look for communities that offer choices for staying active, socially engaged and access to support services.

Independent Senior Living Communities

Independent Senior Living Communities are not licensed to provide care, however they do offer enhancements to day-to-day living that can reduce worry and enhance retirement. Dining plans are often included or offered at an additional cost. Some of these dining experiences are complete with beautifully appointed dining rooms, gourmet meals and room service.

  • Housekeeping — Regular house cleaning can be a real treat, as well as, a great part of injury or fall-prevention plan

  • Home Maintenance — The freedom from the constant burden of even small home repairs can be a huge relief. No more worry about strangers coming to the home. No more surprise maintenance bills or costly repairs!

  • Well-Designed — Often a smaller space that is one-level can be so much easier to manage. Old style tubs and slippery showers can be dangerous while newly designed spaces — complete with handy grab bars and fixtures — can help prevent falls and ER visits.

  • Never Alone — Most Independent Living communities have staff 24/7 and many feature emergency alert systems.

  • Concierge & Transportation Services — Coordination, scheduling and rides are often included. How convenient would it be to have groceries or medications delivered, or to be able to schedule transportation to doctor’s appointments?

  • Fun Stuff — Opportunities to engage, learn, exercise and connect are hallmarks of Independent Living communities. From gyms featuring easy-to-use equipment to outings, group travel, sporting events, art & crafts and happy hour… an active Senior community can offer a whole new world of fun and friends.
CCRC- Continuing Care Retirement Community

These communities are generally large and offer Independent Living, Assisted Living, often Memory Care and Skilled/Nursing Care on campus. “Continuing Care” or “Aging in Place” might offer a couple or single older adult the options of never having to move again.

Similar to a golf membership, many require an upfront fee in addition to monthly rent.

  • The Assisted Living community — including any Memory Care — is licensed by Social Services while the Skilled Nursing component is licensed and regulated by Health and Human Services.

  • The Independent part of a CCRC is not licensed to provide care, however the choice may exist to hire Caregivers or transition into Assisted Living.

  • The Independent part of the community often offers all the same amenities as any other independent living community.
Large Assisted Living Communities

Some Large Assisted Living Communities offer both Independent and Assisted Living apartments within the same building or on the same campus.