Baby Boomers and Independent Living: A Perfect Match

By: Jody Smith

The graying of the baby boomer generation has begun, at least for older boomers, but most are a long shot away from needing care. Even so, some boomers have been attracted to the perks of independent living retirement arrangements.

Being able to take care of mowing lawns and shoveling snow, or being fit enough to trim the hedges, is a whole different thing from wanting to do these chores. Having plenty of energy does not mean you want to spend it on home maintenance.

Independent living targets people who are 55 years of age and older. The options have blossomed in recent years, offering apartments and houses, community residences, and self-contained homes.

If you like interaction and prefer to have your interests close at hand, independent living may appeal to you. Many living arrangements include recreational options like exercise classes, gathering areas to play cards, or pools.

Maybe you'd like to have your meals in the community dining room. No cooking, no cleanup-just drop in, eat alone or with your friends, and off you go to the activity of the evening.

Some independent living setups provide transportation for those who need it, or those who just prefer not to drive themselves. Having easy access to transportation may be key for many seniors who'd like to be out and about but are no longer able or no longer interested in driving.

The ability to get up and go can make all the difference in staying vital and interested in life, rather than being resigned to sit in a chair in front of a television set all day.

For couples where one person is quite healthy but the other is beginning to run into some age or health-related restrictions, independent living can be the support that allows both to stay involved with interests and loved ones, rather than being boxed into a caregiver/invalid relationship.

The advantage of looking into a transitional living arrangement like independent living is that you can scout around, ask your questions, and weigh the pros and cons of individual packages for yourself.

Consider the location. Do you like that part of the country? Does the climate suit you? Is the city too big or too small for you?

If you can go and visit a community, think about whether you like the people, the layout, the options provided. How easy is it to get where you want to go?

Independent living can make it easier to maximize your strengths, and garner support for any limitations you may be experiencing. For baby boomers, this may be just the ticket to make the most of their freedom.

Sources:

Independent Living for Seniors

http://helpguide.org/elder/independent_living_seniors_retirement.htm

What is Independent Living?

http://www.senior-community.net/independent-living.htm

Independent Living

http://seniors.lovetoknow.com/Independent_Living

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