What is an Independent Living Community in Winston Salem?

Think of independent living as a housing arrangement for older adults, generally age 55 and older. The housing itself can vary drastically, from simple to luxury, to apartment-style to home-style. However, a common theme is the simplicity of the layout, which is essential for older adults. This means a more compact space that’s easier to navigate without any need for maintenance or yard work. 

While most residents in independent living communities live independently, there are other activities, amenities, and services to keep residents busy as well. Frequently recreational facilities or clubhouses are on-site to allow residents the opportunity to socialize with each other and partake in their favorite hobbies. This might include arts and crafts, movies, holiday celebrations, or even educational opportunities. There may also be other more expansive amenities such as swimming pools, golf courses, gymnasiums, tennis courts, and the list goes on — spa treatments, laundry services, beauty salons, barbershops, housekeeping, you name it. An independent living community in Winston Salem has probably got it. 

However, what independent living communities don’t have compared to say assisted living communities, is medical staff and care. This is because independent living is aimed more at older adults who don’t need help or assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs). But of course, your parent(s) can hire home help separately if they wish.

Now, like with any big move or change in life, it’s important to give your parent(s) enough time to adjust to it. By learning about the different types of independent living communities, and knowing why an independent living community is right for your parent, you’ll be able to help them make the right choice on where to retire. 

The Different Types of Independent Living Communities and Housing

As we said earlier, independent living arrangements can vary quite a bit. The cost, services, and amenities provided are the most significant differentiators. 

CCRCs: Continuing Care Retirement Communities 

If your parent is healthy now, but you anticipate potential health problems down the road, then CCRCs are an excellent option. The reason is that these communities cater to a range of different needs, from independent living to home nursing care. For instance, if a resident starts needing help with ADLs, then they can easily transfer to assisted living or a nursing facility within the same community. The main selling point of a CCRC is that you only need to join and become a part of one community for all of your current and future retirement needs. 

Low-Income/Subsidized Senior Housing

In the US, there are senior housing complexes for low-income seniors, subsidized by HUD, the Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

Retirement Homes

A retirement home or community is a group of housing units that are restricted for specific age groups, usually 55 or 62. The units can be anything from houses, condos, mobile homes, duplexes, townhouses, etc. You may choose to buy a unit and pay for other services (such as outside maintenance, clubhouses, or recreation centers) separately. 


Senior Apartments/Congregate Care Housing

Like with retirement homes, congregate care housing is often restricted by age in the same way. However, community services are included in the rent. This might consist of meals served in a shared dining room, recreational activities, and transportation services.

Independent Living vs. Other Senior Housing Options

The main difference between independent living and every other retirement option is the level of assistance for daily activities of living. If your parent requires care around the clock for eating, bathing, and dressing, then assisted living or nursing home care might work better.


So, is Independent Living Right For You? 

As your parent(s) gets older, they might feel like changing housing options means giving up some independence. However, the opposite is actually the case. As the name independent living implies, living independently will be more accessible because your parent or loved one will have easy access to the help that they need. 

Question 1: Are you able to maintain the upkeep of the home?

Everyone is proud of their home and the work they’ve put into it. But unfortunately, maintaining a home gets harder as you get older. Perhaps you have a large front yard and backyard that require a lot of maintenance, or you have extra rooms that are getting harder and harder to clean. A common concern among seniors is the feeling of isolation in assisted living. However, they should consider how they might be feeling isolated in their current situation. For instance, if they are unable to leave the house easily. This is sadly often the case if the house is on a steep hill or has many staircases. Or crime may be increasing in your neighborhood, so assisted living might be more desirable. 

Question 2: Are you still connected with friends and family?

Isolation increases the risk of mental health issues and depression. Lack of mobility in old age can lead to isolation, as you’ll have more trouble getting out of the house due to difficulty driving or just being able to move. As you get older, your friends and family might also be busier due to other commitments. While the internet can help with social isolation, there’s no replacement for in-person face time. 

Independent living can provide a much needed social aspect to a senior’s life as well as give them things/activities to do. 


Question 3: What is your health status? 

Your parent(s) must consider their current and future health. For instance, if they have a health condition that makes it challenging to stay active now and in the future, then they should consider their options carefully. Their spouse should also be considered in the equation as well – can they take care of everything if you are unable to, or vice versa? Is your parent still able to handle activities of daily living? What about finances, doctor appointments, and medications?

If the answer to these questions is no, then your parent or loved one should strongly consider either assisted living or an independent living community in Winston Salem.