For some people, even the thought of moving from their family home is difficult. Home ownership is often directly tied to our feelings of self sufficiency. As we get older, any housing change can seem like we’re losing some independence.

It is useful to look at whether the maintenance and drudgery of a single family home is really helping us live the life we want today. Are we staying with the status quo out of habit or obligation rather than passion or pleasure. For most of us, there comes a time when it makes sense to take an honest look at options for a different style of residence. Independent senior living communities are a great option.

As the name suggests, independent senior living is all about making your life easier. Sometimes, recognizing what you want to do with your day and potentially acknowledging your limitations can increase your independence and maintain it for longer by eliminating some of the tasks that are more difficult or dangerous to do in our later years (shovelling snow, yard work, housework, gutter cleaning to name just a few).

Making the decision to move can be challenging. The answers to the following four questions may help you decide if community senior living is a fit you?

1 Are you finding it difficult to maintain your current home? Maintaining a home may be a long standing source of pride, but it can also become a burden. Perhaps your home has a large yard which requires constant maintenance, or maybe it’s becoming more difficult to clean those rarely used extra rooms. If your home is difficult to access, such as on a steep hill or up several flights of stairs, it may be harder for you to venture out as often you’d like, leading to more isolation. Increased crime may mean your neighborhood is now too dangerous to walk around safely. Some of these challenges may be partially remedied by hiring outside help, remodeling parts of your home, or by other family members lending assistance. However, if you’d like a place that does not require a lot of maintenance and upkeep, independent living may give you more freedom and flexibility.

2 Are you finding it difficult to connect with friends and family? You may have a difficult time getting out of the house, perhaps due to trouble driving or increased mobility issues or your friends and neighbors may be busy with other work or family commitments, or the neighborhood may not be easy to navigate. The more isolated you are, the greater your risk of depression and other mental health problems. While the phone and internet can help, nothing can take the place of face-to-face human connection.
Independent living can give you an easily accessible social network of peers, while many communities also provide structured activities such as sports, arts, or field trips.

3 Are you still able to get around easily? You may live in an area where you have to drive to attend social activities, visit friends, and shop. If you find yourself less comfortable with driving, you by having to rely more and more on public transportation or family and friends to get around. It may be harder to visit others, pursue activities you enjoy, or keep medical appointments. As well as onsite amenities, many independent living communities offer transportation options to outside activities and appointments.

4 What is the status of your health (and/or the health of your spouse)? It is important that you consider your current health as well as your future health. For example, if you have a health condition that makes it difficult to stay active and will most likely worsen with time, it’s vital to consider your options carefully. At the same time, it is also important to consider the health of your spouse or partner. Can you manage the activities of daily living, such washing, showering, and eating? Can you manage your finances? Can you manage medications and doctor appointments? Do you anticipate this changing in the foreseeable future?

If any of the these questions impact your day-to-day life or gets you thinking… independent living may be right for you.
Talk to a loved one or get in touch with a professional to help you through this process. It will only benefit you to collect information early to make a plan for your future best you!


Three myths about independent living:

Myth: Moving to community living means losing independence.
Fact: Independent living is about preserving your independence for longer by making life easier. You’ll enjoy the privacy of your own home (not just a single room), filled with your own furniture and possessions, and spend your days as you choose. All you lose is the stress of home maintenance and upkeep.

Myth: Moving away from your current neighbourhood means there’s no one around to help during an emergency.
Fact: Independent living community usually have 24-hour staff who can quickly and easily provide help if you ever need it. Most also offer safety measures to help make you feel more secure in your living space, especially if you live alone!

Myth: Moving to an independent living community means giving up hobbies and daily activities.
Fact: Most Communities offer a wide range of activities and social events. Many residents find they are more active and socially satisfied after they move in – becoming healthier, happier and less isolated.

If you have questions about senior living options, costs and an aging in place lifestyle call 403-369-6000 or email
Tina Cameron has over 20 years of experience with The Manor Village Life Centers and
The Statesman Group of Companies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *