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What You Need To Know About Senior Independent Living?

Elvis Elvis

I know the senior independent living market. I have been a licensed nursing home administrator since 1975 and have over $1 billion experience helping to plan, develop and or finance independent living retirement communities throughout the United States. Over $400 million of that experience was advising Bond Owner Committees how to evaluate proposals for communities that were in default.

Past vs. Present

Seniors used to be fairly independent in their ability to live during the 1970′s. They had pensions and for those who chose to come to a senior independent living community, it was a discretionary lifestyle decision to give up the yard and give up cooking every meal. It allowed them to enjoy their retirement years.

That is rarely that case anymore. The average age upon entry to these communities is much older. And the health status of most seniors coming to live in an independent living retirement community today is compromised. They are more likely to have canes or walkers, have occasional episodes of incontinence, and or exhibit early signs of dementia.

What You Need To Know About Senior Independent Living?

Is It Really Independence?

Today, the term “independent” is used more for a marketing spin. There is the illusion of independence. These seniors have an apartment, they may prepare some meals, and they may ambulate without assistance. However, the typical senior coming to an independent living retirement community is really not able to

  • maintain a yard,
  • get out and do the kind of shopping it takes to maintain a household,
  • cook and clean the dishes,
  • keep up the house,
  • drive a car,
  • and a whole host of other daily activities that independent living adults can do. Most elderly seniors today require some measure of assistance.

The goal is to provide that assistance in a way that leaves them the dignity of being in control and allows them the freedom to make those decisions that they want. It camouflages their need for assistance. Instead, the assistance provided is more like a “concierge” who helps an adult in an upscale hotel but there can be a big bill for providing it. Most of these communities are not all that financially sound.