August 1, 2018

Many older adults believe that there’s no need to move to a retirement community until they require extra support from assisted living. However, there are plenty of reasons seniors choose to downsize to an independent living community early, while they’re still in good physical health. In fact, many older adults who move to independent living ask themselves why they didn’t downsize sooner!

If you’re considering independent living for yourself or an older loved one, it’s wise to start the downsizing process early. Here are a few reasons why downsizing to independent living is beneficial for the health and well-being of older adults.

Live in an easy-to-manage space

After children have left the nest, most seniors no longer need their home’s extra bedrooms and bathrooms like they once did. Downsizing is a great option for older adults who need less space and want to live in a home with less upkeep and maintenance. By downsizing to a more manageable space in independent living, seniors can reduce the amount of time and energy they spend keeping up with a larger home.

Less worry and stress

Some older adults fear that moving to an independent living community means they’ll lose a sense of freedom. In reality, independent living gives older adults the flexibility to enjoy the carefree, relaxing retirement they deserve. In independent living, services like housekeeping and landscaping are included, which frees up more time for residents to spend time doing the things they love instead of worrying about chores and other responsibilities of owning a home.

Security and safety

As we get older, it can become difficult and even unsafe to live alone in a larger home. Some homes may have obstacles such as staircases or slippery flooring that can become difficult for older adults to navigate. Seniors living alone may also experience feelings of isolation, loneliness, and depression. And unfortunately, older adults who live alone are often vulnerable to instances of crime and fraud.

In independent living communities, safety and security are a top priority. Retirement communities have on-campus security monitoring, daily “check-in” systems, as well as assistance available any time of day or night should an emergency occur. Residents and their families have peace of mind knowing that help is available at any time with just the push of a button.

More social engagement

Older adults living alone are at risk for social isolation, which can lead to adverse health effects such as depression, anxiety, and even an increased risk of mortality. By downsizing to a retirement community, seniors can experience the benefits of vibrant and engaging social life. In independent living, neighbors and friends are just a few steps away, and most communities have planned activities and programs to help residents stay socially connected throughout their retirement years. 

Prepare for the future

By moving to independent living early, families can prepare for a smoother transition to assisted living as their loved one’s care needs change over time. Moving to a continuing care retirement community where a range of senior living options are available on the same campus enables independent living residents to smoothly transition to assisted living when they need extra support and services. This way, older adults have access to the care they need without leaving the familiar campus or the friends they’ve made.

The idea of downsizing can be overwhelming for many older adults, especially for those who have lived in their home for decades. However, downsizing to independent living early allows older adults to experience a more carefree, relaxing retirement while they’re in good physical health. With convenient amenities, more safety and security, and opportunities for social engagement, independent living helps to make life easier and more enjoyable for older adults and their families.