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When Is the Right Time for Your Parent to Consider Independent Living?

senior couple smiling with their arms around one another

As our knowledge of the diet, exercise, and medical care needed to age well expands, seniors are staying healthier longer. In fact, if your parents are in their retirement years, they’re probably in relatively good health. Many seniors lead an active lifestyle into their 80s and beyond.

At this point, your parents will probably want to focus on travel, hobbies, friends and family. This is the best age to move into independent living. They may be unaware of how today’s senior living communities will help them get more out of life. They’ll be free from the burdens of homeownership, with more time to do the things they want to do. Robust activity calendars offer opportunities to socialize and make friends, and having a continuum of care on campus offers a plan for future health care needs. Your parents may also find that senior living is a financially friendly choice that helps them maximize their retirement savings. 

What is Independent Living for Seniors?

In an independent living community, your parents will live as they did before they moved in. They’ll have their own private residence and set their own schedule. The difference is they’ll have full access to services and amenities that can make their lives easier. For example, they won’t have to arrange or pay for fitness activities, house cleaning services, lawn care or 24-hour security —these are on campus and included in their monthly fee.   

When they’re tired of cooking or need to get to the store, they won’t have to drive. A short walk away are a variety of dining options, and they can choose to eat in a dining room, get it to go, or have food delivered to their door. At North Oaks, meals are prepared by our chefs and culinary teams and are simply outstanding. Communities like ours also offer regular transportation to shops, recreation and entertainment, so your parents can reduce paying for gas and car maintenance, or do away with the hassle of owning a car altogether.  

How Much Does Independent Living Cost?

It depends on the type and size of the residence that your parents choose. Costs will also vary depending on what services and amenities the retirement community offers and the residential contracts they provide. One of the easiest ways to find out is to crunch the numbers using our Senior Living Cost Calculator. Your parents will get a side-by-side report comparing the expenses of staying in their current home to a move to senior living like North Oaks. You can also read our article “How Much Does Independent Living Cost” for a breakdown of costs in Maryland. 

When Is the Best Age to Move into Independent Living?

It’s really more a state of mind than a specific milestone. If you’ve heard your parents say any of the following, it may be time to start a conversation about independent living.

“I’m tired of looking after the house.”

Your parents will find it harder to keep up with housework, yard work and home maintenance the older they get. They also probably don’t need as much space as they used to. Selling their home can also add to their cash flow, and with the current seller’s market in Maryland, they can do it quickly and for more than they’d normally expect.

“I’ve been thinking about the future.”

They understand they’re in good health right now. But they’re worried about what might happen if that changes? Will they still be able to drive? Climb the stairs safely? At a senior living community like North Oaks, their independent lifestyle includes a smart plan for future care. If they ever have a medical emergency such as a fall, or they simply need a little help as they age, everything is right there when they need it. It’s 24/7 support that gives you peace of mind too. Talking about this now is easier without the pressure of an illness or health crisis framing the situation.     

“I feel lonely sometimes.”

Treat this seriously. Loneliness can set in quickly after the death of a spouse or after family and friends move away. If you notice a change in your mom or dad’s mental health, mood or appetite, they could be coping with the effects of social isolation and depression. Moving to independent living in a senior living community would open up opportunities to socialize and make friends who share their interests.

“I’m worried about my finances.”

This is a common issue for seniors with limited retirement funds. The costs of owning and caring for a home add up quickly. According to Zillow, most U.S. homeowners pay nearly $10,000 a year for taxes, utilities and insurance, on top of their monthly mortgage. Then there are constant maintenance, repair and remodeling costs. There’s also the cost of long-term care to consider. The need for long-term care can arise when they least expect it, as a result of an accident or a sudden illness. Talk to your parents about senior living options where housing, services, amenities and health care are included in the monthly fee. 

The Good Life, Made Easier

We provide a quality of life your parents will be happy with if they make the decision to move. In a senior living community like North Oaks, they’ll find diverse opportunities to stay physically active, enjoy delicious meals, connect with others, and access the medical care they need. In fact, we often hear our residents say, “I wish I’d made this move sooner.” 

Contact us to schedule an in-person or virtual tour, and we’ll show you the active, independent lifestyle that our residents love.