When preparing to move, many people think of independent living and retirement communities as the same thing, when in fact they’re two distinct options with their own pros and cons. When deciding which is the right living arrangement for you, consider the amenities you need and the privacy you prefer.
Independent living is an option for people who can live independently but who enjoy having easy access to assistance and amenities. Independent living communities offer amenities like dining, entertainment, community programs and outdoor activities.
Housing options in independent living communities are varied, including apartments, studios and cottages. While the housing options offer the same privacy and independence you enjoy in your current home, you gain the added benefit of having trained staff members nearby to provide assistance 24 hours a day.
Maintenance-free Living: Perhaps the top reason that people choose to move to an independent living community is the freedom they enjoy when they no longer have to worry about daily chores and costs related to owning a home. The community handles tasks like yard work, painting and handling plumbing and electrical repairs that start to become things you have to do instead of things you enjoy doing.
Economic Benefits: The all-inclusive nature of an independent living arrangement makes bill-paying a straightforward affair. One monthly bill covers rent, utilities and amenities like cable and internet services.
Often, residents move to an independent living community from a larger home. Downsizing can help minimize the cost of utilities and maintenance. Independent living communities usually offer transportation services, as well, so residents can save on expenses related to owning and maintaining a vehicle.
Wellness Benefits: Residents of independent living communities enjoy wellness benefits like delicious, balanced meal options, as well as programs focused on exercise and health. Activities that promote social interaction and provide creative outlets also foster well-being.
Privacy: Independent living gives residents a balance of privacy and community. Beyond your private living area is an active community with many opportunities to meet neighbors. When you want to socialize, you can take part in the many community functions and events; when you’re ready for quiet, you’ll enjoy the privacy of your home.
Medical Assistance Limitations: Unlike a residential care facility, independent living communities don’t provide on-site medical assistance. If needed, residents can hire in-home help separately.
Coping with Change: It can be challenging to transition to independent living. While residents maintain their autonomy, it’s not quite the same as owning your home. At first, the memories connected to the house you are leaving can make it challenging to cope with the change.
Aspire at Belmont Bay is a retirement community in Woodbridge, Virginia. We have designed an ideal setting with resort-like amenities included as part of the 124 spacious retirement living apartments that make up Belmont Bay. Residents can choose from features like full-size kitchens and patios or balconies when selecting a home, to find the perfect fit for your lifestyle.
Retirement communities build upon the advantages of independent living facilities with additional amenities and options.
High-end Amenities: Our community members enjoy a wide array of benefits, including:
Wellness: Our staff embraces a whole-person wellness philosophy in line with the Salus by Solvere program. We seek to empower residents to achieve their goals and to live the lives they’ve dreamt of.
Community: Aspire at Belmont Bay not only offers physical amenities, but you’ll also find a close sense of community. Fostering a community-focused approach means we are inclusive, engaging and – most of all – fun.
Ease of Living: You’ll enjoy the benefits of leaving the duties of homeownership behind:
At Aspire at Belmont, you’ll enjoy a relaxing, positive experience customized just for you.
While the two living arrangements share similarities, there are distinctions in amenities, cost and customization levels to keep in mind while choosing which is right for you:
Residence Options: Independent living options are typically more limited than retirement community offerings. Retirement communities can feature a wider variety of living options with a greater amount of privacy. Independent living residences are usually less varied and less private.
Pricing Options: Independent living fees are more likely to be “all-in-one.” Your monthly rent might include meal services, housekeeping and transportation, for example.
Retirement community fees have more of an à la carte nature. Many community amenities are optional so that you can customize your experience. You may want to pay for services like dining and housekeeping, or you might prefer to take care of cooking and cleaning on your own. This can help lower costs.
Quality of Amenities: Both options include basic amenities. Tasks like yard work and snow removal are handled by staff. Both communities offer community programs and activities, as well, though the content can vary quite a bit.
Retirement communities tend to offer luxury amenities like swimming pools, on-site movie theaters, state-of-the-art gyms, gourmet dining and sometimes, concierge services.
Independent living communities offer attractive amenities to residents, too, but they are usually more simple in nature. Independent living residents can expect amenities like housekeeping, meals and community activities.
Community Participation: Whether you opt for independent living or a retirement community, you’ll find a focus on community activities. Staff work to provide opportunities for neighbors to get to know one another and to stay active.
The difference in community programs correlates with the difference in amenities. Retirement communities that focus on amenities like fine dining are likely to offer residents more upscale community activities. A retirement community might assemble a travel package to a far-off destination, for example.
Independent living community activities provide residents with social interaction and tend to offer more subdued group activities, like a board game night or an art class.