May 11, 2021 —Do you envision your retirement years to be relaxing, with plenty of time to do the things you want to do? After all, that’s what you have been working toward for your entire career.
Independent living communities can help you achieve those goals. There are many retirement communities that offer independent living, but the task is finding the right community for you. Let’s take a dive into what independent living is, its different forms and what independent living is like in Chicago at The Admiral at the Lake.
What is Independent Living?
Independent living communities are designed for older adults who are still active and independent but want to take advantage of community living and the amenities that come with it. These types of communities usually include many opportunities, including social, educational and recreational activities.
Independent living offers residents convenient amenities that allow them to fully enjoy retirement. Some of the more common amenities include:
- Exercise facilities and a swimming pool
- Linen service
- Housekeeping service
Independent living gives you the chance to do the things you want during your retirement years without the worry of taking care of a home. Independent living residents have more time and opportunities to meet new people and try new things.
Types of Independent Living Communities
There are a few types of independent living communities to choose from. We are going to focus on three of the most popular types: 55+ (or age-restricted) communities, senior apartment communities and continuing care retirement communities. Let’s take a quick look at the differences among these three communities.
Age-restricted retirement communities allow you to buy or rent a home or apartment. Depending on the community, there is usually a swimming pool, fitness center, meal options, transportation and more available to residents. An activities director is usually available to help direct social and recreational activities for residents.
Senior Apartment Communities
Senior apartment communities are apartments on the private market, which means they are not required to accept younger tenants. These apartment communities have strict age minimums of 55 to 62 years old. Similar to the 55+ communities, a swimming pool, meal options and transportation could be available depending on the community you choose.
Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)
One of the most popular choices, CCRCs have almost the same amenities as 55+ communities and senior apartment communities, with an important exception.
The enormous difference is CCRCs include assisted living, skilled nursing and rehabilitation services on the same campus. These services are available to residents if and when they need them. CCRCs can have different housing choices, including apartments, cottages and houses.
And most of these communities are resident-driven, meaning residents take charge of the activities and events that go on in the community.
Independent Living at The Admiral
The Admiral at the Lake is a Lifecare (also known as a CCRC) community. The Admiral is one of the oldest nonprofit organizations in Chicago, providing independent livig, assisted living, memory support, and skilled nursing and rehabilitation to residents.
Independent living at The Admiral features luxury one- or two-bedroom apartments with many floor plans to choose from. Residents enjoy scenic views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan.
The Admiral is a resident-driven community, and there are plenty of activities to enjoy. Take part in creative, educational and social activities on-site and get to know your neighbors by joining any of the 50 resident committees and groups. Explore outside of The Admiral in the adjacent neighborhoods of the North Side of Chicago, filled with cultural pursuits, eateries, theatres and more.
Amenities include more than 26,000 square feet of common space throughout the community. Enjoy a dip in the pool or get creative in the art studio. Meet your friends in one of the two dining spaces at The Admiral. Best of all, you’ll never need to worry about home maintenance – it’s included, and housekeeping is available as well.
It’s Not Too Soon To Move
Do you think independent living may be a great option for you, but you don’t feel it’s time to make the move because you are still healthy and young?
Here’s a secret: That’s actually the best time to make the move!
Colleen Kearney, a social worker at The Admiral at the Lake, said it best.
“Independent living at The Admiral is an immense resource to live an incredibly active life. There are so many opportunities within The Admiral at the Lake and the surrounding community. And since this is a resident-driven community, there are so many opportunities to connect with other people.
“You also have the added benefit of the staff there to support you,” Colleen said. “There are many added resources that you wouldn’t get living at home.