How Independent Living Improves Quality of Life

If you are like many people, you might worry that moving to an independent living community will detract from the quality of your life. You might be surprised to learn that living in a retirement community can actually boost your quality of life.

About Quality of Life

Quality of life is multi-dimensional, affecting your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness. As Merck Manual says, quality of life often depends on an individual’s health and the health care they receive. Quality of life is determined by many factors, including an individual’s:

  • Emotional well-being, particularly in regard to happiness and the absence of anxiety
  • Ability to carry out activities of daily living and enjoyable activities, such as hobbies
  • Close interpersonal relationships, especially with family members and friends
  • Participation in and enjoyment of social activities
  • Satisfaction with medical treatments and the financial aspects of those treatments
  • Control over personal finances
  • Environment, particularly if it is well-maintained, located conveniently and safe

Other factors can influence how you perceive the quality of your life and some can negatively affect health-related quality of life. Chronic pain, disability, reduced life expectancy, cognitive impairment and decreased functional status that prevents you from engaging in activities of daily living or hobbies can negatively affect life quality. Social isolation and lack of accessible medical care can also decrease quality of life for older adults.

Ways Independent Living Can Improve Your Quality of Life

Greater financial control

Independent living can provide you with greater control over your finances. This is particularly true for independent living communities in which you pay a monthly rental fee that covers your residence and the majority of services, versus a major buy-in fee. Communities that offer a number of affordable options, apartment floor plan choices and associated services and amenities give you extra control over your money.

Independent living makes bill payment easier too – you don’t have to worry about a flood of utility bills, lawn maintenance contracts, home repairs or other recurring costs.

Better living supported by an integrated wellness philosophy

The finest independent living communities embrace a wellness philosophy dedicated to improving quality of life and take special measures to help you stay healthy, active and socially engaged.

A truly holistic wellness philosophy focuses on the potential of each resident to achieve his or her goals through a personal wellness plan. Your personal wellness plan may include good nutrition and physical activity, ways to develop new social connections and strengthen the ones you already have, learning initiatives to keep your mind sharp and faith-based involvement, volunteerism and service that gives your life meaning.

Amenities and services at your fingertips

The right amenities and services can improve the quality of your life, especially when compared with those you have within walking distance of your current home. Amenities of some independent living communities feature chef-prepared meals served in a restaurant-style setting, concierge services, fitness and wellness programs, entertainment and education programs, a library and business center, beauty and barber salon and convenience stores – all within easy walking distance of your senior apartment!

All the aesthetics of a well-maintained home without all the work

One of the best things about living in a retirement community is that you get to live in a beautifully maintained home without having to do home maintenance.

Imagine never having to mow the lawn, shovel the drive or worry about plumbing!

Providing a pet-friendly atmosphere

Pet ownership can greatly improve your quality of life, but with all the challenges of living alone, it can be difficult to give your animal companion the quality of life it deserves. Finding a place to live that allows pets can be tough, and the thought of leaving a pet behind can be even tougher.

Many independent living residences are pet-friendly, so these communities welcome your pets and provide safe and comfortable outdoor spaces both you and your four-legged friend will enjoy.

Enjoy fine dining and nutritious meals

Good nutrition is important at any age, but many older adults find it challenging to prepare nutritious meals that taste good. The effects of aging, depression, isolation and limited income all make cooking challenging. In addition, many older adults are on special diets that restrict salt, fat or sugar.

Malnutrition negatively affects quality of life, according to the American Journal of Nursing, while increasing health care costs and increasing the risk of short-term mortality. Mayo Clinic says that malnutrition in older adults can lead to a weak immune system and increased risk of infections and weaker muscles and decreased bone mass that can lead to falls and fractures. Older adults who receive poor nutrition also have an increased risk of hospitalization and a higher risk of death.

Independent living communities can provide delicious dining options and improve the quality of your nutritional intake. You can enjoy healthy chef-prepared dining served in a comfortable and beautifully appointed dining room, just a few steps from your home. The highest quality supportive living environments use seasonal, locally sourced ingredients to prepare meals that taste great and accommodate most special diets.

Opportunities for social engagement

Social interaction improves quality of life, but many older adults enjoy fewer opportunities to interact with like-minded people as they age. Independent living communities offer the chance to meet new people and build upon existing relationships.

Studies show that social participation improves quality of life. The authors of one study concluded their paper by saying that “activities that involve the art, sport and leisure subscale of social participation can result in quality of life improvement” for older adults.

In addition to the proven social benefits, research shows that independent living can improve overall quality of life for older adults. In fact, one recent survey mentioned by Senior Housing Forum showed that residing in an independent living community could improve quality of life.

Independent living provides an environment that improves the quality of life for older adults who desire the freedom and amenities of living independently without the hassles. For more information on how independent living improves quality of life, contact the experts at Pine Ridge Villas of Shelby. Our passionate team looks forward to sharing information about the many benefits of living at Pine Ridge Villas of Shelby, an independent living community in Shelby Township, Michigan.

Things to Consider when Choosing an Independent Living Community in Bedford, TX

Are you considering a move to a new community that will help you make the most out of the next chapter in your life? One with the time and freedom to pursue hobbies and interests and one that doesn’t include fixing every single entrée, mowing the lawn or worrying about upkeep on the house? If you are exploring senior living communities in Bedford, Texas, there are many considerations to keep in mind, such as the type of community, services, amenities, location and more. Below, we examine some of these considerations more closely to help you with your search for a retirement community in Bedford to call home.

What is Independent Living?

Many people who have found themselves at this same crossroads in life have chosen to move into an independent living community. An independent living community is a place where healthy, active older adults live in their own space (such as home, apartment, townhome or condo) and have access to all the amenities and services the community has to offer. Independent living communities generally have age restrictions, usually over 55. This translates into an environment that caters to the needs and desires of the older adult, where you’ll be surrounded by peers and many on-site conveniences.

Because independent living communities are for active adults, most residents live alone or as a couple without the need for additional care or support. As health care needs change, many residents choose to hire private caregivers to avoid the need for relocation.

Parc Place, an independent living community in Bedford, Texas, offers a retirement lifestyle that is both stylish and distinctive. Parc Place residents enjoy a unique and active lifestyle, one that engages the mind, body and spirit.

Services and Amenities

Independent living communities offer various services and amenities. Some are included in the cost of living in the community, while others are optional and may incur an additional fee.  Pricing structures vary from community to community. The services and amenities themselves can vary, as well; however, some that may be available include:

  • Housekeeping and laundry services
  • Community activities
  • Restaurant-style dining
  • Club houses
  • Gyms, fitness centers and/or fitness programs
  • Healthcare center
  • Swimming pool
  • Golf course
  • Computer rooms
  • Game/TV room
  • Movie theater
  • Security
  • Yard maintenance
  • Beauty salon and barber shop
  • Concierge services
  • Transportation services

Parc Place offers a broad range of amenities and services so you can enjoy the retirement you’ve worked hard to achieve. Our calendar is filled with many educational, social and entertainment events/programs. Residents also have access to a fitness center plus many fitness and wellness programs.

Our main dining room features one-of-a-kind ambiance, unsurpassed service and delicious chef-prepared entrées served in a restaurant-style environment. All food is prepared with seasonal, locally grown produce and fresh ingredients.

Determine which amenities and services are important to you and then locate an independent living community that best meets your needs and desires. And don’t forget about your four-legged companion. Parc Place understands the importance pets play in people’s lives and welcomes your furry friend to come and enjoy your new home with you. We even have a dog park, affectionately referred to as “Wiggley Field.”

Climate

Climate often plays a role in some people’s decision when considering where to retire. Bedford, Texas, climate has much to offer retirees. After all, the average temperature in Bedford, TX, is 64.8 degrees. Texas also averages 235 sunny days per year compared to Arizona’s (the state with the highest number of sunny days) 286 and Florida’s 237. The average length of the warm season (freeze-free period of days) in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is 249 days. All these warm days give Parc Place residents ample opportunities to enjoy the garden, putting green and pool and spa area.

Local Activities

Although many independent living communities offer a calendar filled with activities, as an active older adult you may also choose to venture outside the community. If having activities and venues beyond those offered at the community is important to you, check out what is available in the city and surrounding areas where the independent living community is located. Some activities and venues that might interest you may include:

  • Museums
  • Art galleries
  • Hiking and biking trails
  • Botanical gardens
  • Sporting events, including major and minor league teams
  • Concert venues
  • Senior centers
  • Local clubs dedicated to your hobbies and interests

Parc Place is located in the very heart of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. This means you’ll have access to activities throughout Dallas and Fort Worth and many other cities in between including Bedford.

Now that you have more time on your hands, maybe you’d also be interested in volunteer work. Larger cities have more types of volunteer activities, which means more choices and opportunities to find something that really interests you. VolunteerMatch, which lists more than 850 opportunities in or near Bedford, TX, such as delivering Teddy Bears to hospice patients, mentoring kids at the YMCA, after school tutoring, helping a Girl Scout troop or being a Crisis Counselor. Other volunteer opportunities can always be found at local hospitals, animal shelters and numerous charitable organizations.

Hospitals and Specialists

Having nearby hospitals may be something you want to consider, especially if you have a health condition that may require immediate care. If you or your spouse are currently dealing with or have dealt with cancer, having oncologists and oncology hospitals nearby may be important. If you experience chronic pain, having a local pain management specialist is important. As you consider your current health needs and possible future needs, are hospitals and the specialists you need nearby and easily accessible to the independent living community?

For Parc Place residents, the nearest major hospital is Texas Health Harris Methodist, but many other hospitals are located throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Bedford also has a large rehabilitation hospital, Encompass Health, which treats a wide range of conditions including neurological disorders, arthritis, oncology, joint replacement, hip fracture, cardiac care, stroke and more.

Transportation

As you get older, you may find yourself not wanting to drive as much as you once did. This means that having access to transportation is vitally important. Most independent living communities offer some scheduled transportation but may not be at times needed or as frequently as one would like. Taking this into consideration, you might want to check into what other modes of transportation are available. Are buses, subways or trains conveniently located to the community?

Some transportation services for Bedford residents include:

  • The Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) provides bus, vanpool and Trinity Railway Express rail services
  • Catholic Charities Transportation Program provides rides to eligible clients for employment, medical, education and quality of life trips
  • Northeast Transportation Service (NETS) offers door-to-door transportation services to those who are disabled or those who are 65 or older for $3.25 per one-way trip. NETS may be used for medical appointments, socialization, employment, essential shopping and education purposes
  • For those who want to work, HEB Transit provides work-related transportation to Hurst/Euless/Bedford residents
  • Volunteers provide transportation services to routine medical appointments and quality of life drives for Mid-Cities Care Corps for older adults 65 and older and for those 60+ with a disability

Airports

Now that you have retired, you may be ready to do a little bit of traveling, or you want it to be easy for family and friends to come for a visit. This means that a nearby airport is important to you. The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex has several in the area including DFW International Airport, one of the world’s largest, and Love Field.

Independent Living at Parc Place

Parc Place offers an exceptional living experience for the active older adult, giving you the opportunity to live life on your own terms. Our on-site services and amenities provide everything you need for the life you have always dreamed about … one filled with social and learning opportunities, relaxation and so much more. To learn more about life at Parc Place, contact us today. We’ll be happy to discuss what Parc Place has to offer, what Bedford has to offer and any other questions you may have about retirement living in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

Independent Living vs. Assisted Living

When it comes to choosing the right supportive living environment, the choices can feel endless and start to be overwhelming. With so many different types of supportive living, it is difficult to know where to begin or what to choose. One of the best strategies is to make visits and see the communities in person. Prior to making visits, however, it is a good idea to compare and contrast all available options. Sometimes seeing the pros and cons on paper can go a long way towards helping you make your decision.

Today, let’s compare the differences between independent living and assisted living communities. Specifically, let’s consider seven questions and answers about each one:

Independent Living Communities

1. What is the required age for independent living residents?

For most independent living communities, there is no age requirement. As long as an individual can live independently on their own, they can enjoy the benefits of independent living. Independent living communities bring together individuals of a similar age and lifestyle who enjoy doing many of the same things in a comfortable, friendly environment.

2. Is an independent living community the same as assisted living?

Independent living is not the same thing as assisted living. While individuals who choose assisted living may be able to live independently, they often require some assistance with daily activities. Members of independent living communities do not require assistance with tasks such as cooking, bathing or transportation. However, independent living communities often offer some services such as dining and maintenance.

3. What assistance is offered in independent living communities?

The word “independent” in “independent living community” correctly implies full independence of mind and body. In other words, members of an independent living community virtually need no daily assistance with typical living activities (including, but not limited to: meal preparation, medication intake, personal grooming or housekeeping). Residents are free to hire individuals to help in these areas if they so choose, but the community doesn’t typically offer assistance. Most independent living communities do offer home and property maintenance benefits such as lawn care and snow removal.

4. Are regular activities offered at the community?

Every independent living community is unique and offers its own benefits, but many communities do offer regular group activities, programs and classes as an option for residents. Often, there is a general meeting building or area where members are invited to participate in social opportunities such as game tournaments, craft meet-ups or movie nights. Also, because many independent living communities are located in or near major metropolitan areas, it is common for communities to plan social trips into town for dinners or shopping.

5. What activities are available at independent living communities?

At an independent living community, you have the freedom to personalize your lifestyle. Independent living communities offer a range of activities and events so you can pursue a vibrant, active retirement. Take advantage of groups and clubs, catch a movie at the theater or tag along for a tour of a museum.

6. What is the typical living arrangement in an independent living community?

Most often, independent living communities are comprised of single-family homes or senior apartments. Commonly, these homes are energy efficient with open floor plans on a single level. Additionally, home owners pay a monthly association-type fee to help cover the costs of group amenities like a swimming pool or shuttle bus. Many communities provide security, as well, which is included in the monthly fee.

7. What are some of the benefits of an independent living community?

In addition to the things mentioned above, residents in independent living communities often enjoy the leisure of an atmosphere built around people and social or cultural amenities they enjoy. Often, residents are able to bike, dance, golf, swim or practice yoga without ever leaving the community.

Assisted Living Communities

1. What is the required age of assisted living residents?

The minimum age requirement for an assisted living community varies from place to place. Some communities require that a certain percentage of its members be 55 or older, but that doesn’t mean an individual cannot live in an assisted living community before age 55.

2. How does assisted living differ from an independent living community?

The simplest way to differentiate assisted living from independent living communities is in the word “assistance.” Assisted living communities offer an increased level of assistance to its members that is not found at an independent living community. Residents of an assisted living community are mostly independent and do not need assistance 24 hours a day.

3. What assistance is offered in assisted living communities?

Assisted living communities offer different levels of assistance, but most often, residents want a little extra assistance in areas of personal care (such as bathing or dressing, for example). Assisted living communities offer differing levels of care. Often this is reflective in the cost of living within the community and depends, in part, on the licensure of the community.

4. Are regular activities offered as part of the community?

Assisted living communities around the country continue to offer an increased number of meaningful activities and opportunities for their residents. One reason? Research continues to indicate that staying active contributes to overall health and wellness. Similar to independent living communities, assisted living communities often offer a general meeting area where members are invited to participate in social opportunities such as game tournaments, craft meet-ups or movie nights. Also, it is common for communities to plan social trips into town for dinners or shopping. Truly, the sky is the limit when it comes to activities offered in assisted living!

5. Is assisted living essentially the same thing as nursing home living?

This is one of the most common questions asked about assisted living. The short answer is no. Assisted living is not the same thing as living in a nursing home. The easiest way to differentiate the two is that assisted living is a type of housing that also provides some care, whereas nursing homes primarily offer care and also provide housing. They are not one and the same.

6. What is the typical living arrangement in an assisted living community?

Assisted living typically happens most effectively and efficiently in apartment-style housing. The aim of assisted living is to provide members with as much independence as possible, while still being available to help when necessary. Most assisted living communities offer some level of care in the following categories: activities, meals, transportation and security.

7. What are some of the benefits of an assisted living community?

In addition to the things mentioned above, assisted living communities offer members the opportunity to socialize and participate in regular activities while receiving the level of assistance necessary for daily life. Additionally, living in an assisted living community allows the cost of assistance to be lower than it would be if an individual lived alone or in a place where continuous medical care was provided. Assisted living provides many residents with the right balance between assistance and independence and sets them up for successful aging.

While there are similarities between independent living and assisted living communities, the two have distinct differences and choosing the right type of community is an important decision. Pine Ridge of Garfield is a vibrant independent living community located in Clinton Township, Michigan. Our community offers a range of amenities, services and programs to keep your mind, body and spirit engaged. Contact us today to schedule a tour, or visit us during our Welcome Wednesday Open House to learn more.

What Is an Independent Living Community?

If you’re looking for a new living arrangement for yourself or a family member, you may find that an independent living community provides you with the ideal mix of services and amenities to support your lifestyle. Among multiple supportive living options, independent living caters to individuals who seek a private residence without the burden of home maintenance, cooking, cleaning and other household chores.

Residents of independent living communities benefit from a variety of convenient services along with social opportunities, fine dining, scheduled activities, wellness programming and more. To assist you as you consider whether an independent living community may provide the perfect fit for you, we’ve put together some important introductory information. We invite you to read on to learn more about the many advantages of independent living.

An Ideal Solution for an Active Lifestyle

Most independent living communities offer services, amenities and programming designed to benefit individuals who can live on their own and tend to their daily needs without assistance. However, details can vary by location and type of community; take time to research all the available options before you make a decision.

Independent living serves as a great solution for individuals who wish to downsize to a smaller residence. With many convenient services available, you can leave chores behind and spend your time on the people and activities that are important to you. How you structure your lifestyle in independent living is your choice. Many residents continue to drive — although transportation services are available — and some continue their careers.

At independent living communities, you’ll find a variety of different types of living accommodations, from houses to apartment-style, private residences. Most independent living residents prefer a private apartment paired with access to a variety of elegant indoor and outdoor common areas.

Accommodations

Whether you prefer an inviting space filled to the brim with personal mementos or clean, elegant lines and minimalist furnishings, your independent living apartment will reflect your personal style and preferences. You’ll choose among a range of different floor plans customized with options like a den, patio or balcony, and you’ll enjoy elegant touches like crown molding and granite countertops.

You can select a floor plan that reflects your personal preferences. For example, you may choose a two-bedroom apartment if you need a little extra space for guests, a media room or an office. Or you may decide that a cozier, one-bedroom provides you with ample room to stretch your legs. Regardless of the type of residence you choose, you’ll benefit from downsizing and streamlining your living space as you enjoy the many amenities available in your independent living community.

 Services and Amenities

For many independent living residents, services and amenities serve as primary factors in choosing a community. Amenities vary among communities — and often are influenced by the local landscape and natural features. They may include meeting spaces, fitness centers and outdoor walking paths, landscaped grounds, beauty salons and barbershops, game rooms and dining venues.

Independent living communities typically provide a variety of services to help make life comfortable and convenient for residents. In your community, you may enjoy transportation to outings and local appointments, as well as housekeeping, snow removal and landscaping, home maintenance, campus-wide WiFi, some included utilities and anytime dining. In addition, communities may offer 24-hour security, including staff members on-site as well as emergency call systems.

At independent living communities, team members work diligently to maintain a safe and comfortable environment. In addition to security services, team members also make sure hallways and common areas are clear of any debris that could cause hazardous conditions, and they regularly check the status of safety features such as lighting and handrails.

Recreation and Activities

Individuals who live at independent living communities have access to a wide variety of scheduled activities, events and resident clubs. No matter your interests, you’ll find like-minded individuals in your community, as well as a range of opportunities to get involved and meet new people.

Within the community, scheduled activities may include musical performances, lectures, classes on a variety of topics, fitness and wellness programming like yoga and tai chi, art exhibits, games, special events, holiday celebrations, religious services, movies and social opportunities. If you enjoy a hobby like woodworking or knitting, you’re likely to find a group to join. You can also get involved in the greater community through volunteerism; your independent living community’s activities staff can connect you with opportunities in your area.

In addition, communities often schedule off-site events, including day trips to museums, performances, shopping and tourist attractions throughout the region.

Healthcare

Independent living communities generally do not provide healthcare and personal care services included in the monthly service fee or rental fee. However, if you are recovering from an injury, illness or surgery — or if you develop chronic health problems — you may decide to hire in-home assistance in your independent living residence. In some communities, home health assistance may be available through the community, while in others you may secure care through an outside agency.

By choosing to have a home health provider assist you within your residence, you may be able to remain in your independent living community instead of moving to another type of community, such as assisted living. Guidelines for using home health services vary by independent living community.

Costs and Fees

When you compare the costs of a move to independent living versus remaining in your current residence, be sure to consider everything that your monthly fee includes. While the monthly fee or rent may exceed what you currently pay for rent or mortgage, remember that your independent living fee may include transportation, activities, housekeeping, landscaping, maintenance, security, meals and other services.

When you choose to move to an independent living community, you may simplify your finances. Rather than paying separate fees for a health club membership, utilities, home maintenance, yard work and meals, you simply pay your monthly fee that covers nearly everything you need to live comfortably. If you need assistance within your residence due to health concerns, you should expect to pay additional fees. However, you may save money by paying only for the care you need rather than moving to a community that provides additional care as part of the fee.

In most cases, independent living is not covered by insurance — including long-term care policies or Medicare. However, if you contract for home care, insurance may cover at least part of the costs. Most people fund a move to an independent living community with their existing income, by selling their home or by tapping into retirement funds or other savings.

Choosing the Right Community

If you believe that an independent living community will fit your needs and preferences, consider visiting several communities in your desired area. By visiting in person, you can get a feel for the community, and you may be able to see available floor plans. In addition, you can speak to some residents and team members, and you can enjoy a meal during your visit.

Feel free to ask any questions that you have; a move to independent living is a big decision, and you should feel comfortable with the choice you make. Consider asking questions along the following topics:

  • Services and amenities included in the monthly fee
  • Contract details
  • Dining options
  • Transportation
  • Activities and social opportunities
  • In-home healthcare or personal care assistance
  • Security procedures and staffing
  • Policies regarding visitors and pets

Create Your Ideal Lifestyle

At Pine Ridge of Plumbrook, you’ll enjoy an active lifestyle and freedom from the chores associated with homeownership. Customize your own beautifully appointed, private apartment residence and select among a range of helpful, supportive services — paying only for those that benefit you. Experience an array of exciting activities, make new friends and enjoy delectable, chef-prepared dining every day. To plan your visit to our Sterling Heights independent living community, please contact us today.