Independent Living: Choosing a Lifestyle

January 4, 2024
Independent Living: Choosing a Lifestyle

Living in Wisconsin brings great excitement and anticipation with changing seasons; vibrant colors on the trees in the fall, long and warm sunny days during the summer months, the beauty of fresh fallen snow and ice on the trees during the winter, and the budding of new flowers and green grass each spring. But a change in seasons and weather also brings thoughts of yard work; shoveling, cleaning, gardening, and keeping up a house that may seem bigger and more overwhelming each year. Many seniors find themselves torn between keeping their home with all the fond memories and the practical need for downsizing to something smaller—and the thought of change is scary.

For seniors who are still independent and caring for themselves, Assisted Living may not be the next logical step. However, there is another option to consider. Independent Living is all about a lifestyle that offers social opportunities and a sense of community without the hassles of upkeep that come with owning a home. The words Independent Living describe a range of options from simple apartment living in a 55+ community to an apartment complex with services and amenities such as meals, activities—sometimes even transportation—offered daily. Seniors can choose a community that fits their needs and has all the features and amenities they want at this point in their lives.

Even after the decision has been made to make a move, mixed emotions, doubt, and even second thoughts may linger. Is this really the right time? What about the memories of happy years in the house? Listening close, there are still sounds of laughter and familiar voices from times gone by. This is a natural reaction and by embracing it rather than avoiding the conversation, families can find great joy in this process of preparing to make another important, exciting life change.

At this point, it is so important to take time to reminisce and remember the many good times in the home. Take time to pull out the old photos and go through the carefully packed boxes tucked in the attic for safe-keeping. No doubt, there will be laughter and tears! Seniors, friends, and families alike realize the memories will always be with them – in their hearts and in their thoughts.

Feeling alone in the decision-making process is hard. But as with all milestones in life, others have experienced the same feelings. And for most seniors who make Independent Living their home, there is one piece of advice that is shared over and over: “I wish I had made the move sooner.”