What is Independent Living?

What is Independent Living?

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Seniors enjoying the pool at Arbor

Independent living offers a safe community designed to feel just like a private residence. Residents who live in independent living require minimal assistance with household and personal care tasks but enjoy opportunities to participate in events and programs that enhance wellness and build new friendships. Luxury amenities, a low-maintenance lifestyle, friendly neighbors and helpful services make life more convenient and a lot more fun.

At Arbor independent living communities, you’ll find beautiful, spacious homes with access to luxury amenities, helpful team members, and friendly neighbors. Enjoy transportation services, regular housekeeping visits, linen and laundry services, and a concierge team who is there to help take care of all the small and big details.

Independent Living: A Guide for Seniors

Life in Independent Living

Life in Independent Living

seniors taking a selfie at the bar

Independent living communities offer residents an active lifestyle without taking control over their schedule. You’re still in the driver’s seat. Here’s what you can expect from independent living:

  • Maintenance-free lifestyle. Say so long to household chores and responsibilities and hello to more time available to pursue your passions. Independent living communities take care of lawn maintenance, housekeeping, and other tasks on your behalf.
  • Inclusive rent. A predictable, consistent monthly fee covers everything from rent and utilities to flexible dining and access to community amenities.
  • Dining experiences. Restaurant-style dining experiences with friends featuring chef-prepared meals, providing many options made with seasonal ingredients.
  • A blend of privacy and community. Your independent living home is your own, and you’ll have all the privacy that you prefer. However, you’ll also have the opportunity to meet new friends who live right down the hall.

You choose what comes next at your independent living home. You might meet up with a friend for breakfast in their apartment before heading to the museum as a part of a planned excursion. Or you might choose to take a yoga class before heading to a live concert in the community. It’s your call. Read about how our seniors keep busy in independent living.

Guide to Keeping Busy in Retirement


How to Evaluate Independent Living Housing

seniors walking on path with yoga mats

Ready to begin your search for the right independent living community? Start your search by looking at these considerations first:

  • Location. Where you live is important, especially if you would like to remain in a certain city or neighborhood, or if you would like to be walking distance to shops and restaurants. While you might not find a community in your exact location preference, you can start your search in that immediate area.
  • Amenities and services. The independent lifestyle is rooted in access to amenities and services that enhance your daily life and health. Jot down a list of amenities or services you would like to see in your new community and find ones that check off most items on your list.
  • Security and safety. Peace of mind is a major perk of community living. Be sure you look for a community that offers a secure campus along with easy ways to find assistance in case of an emergency.
  • Floor plans and shared spaces. Look for a community that features multiple floor plans for your new home that suit your style and budget. Modern finishes and appliances are always good, as are shared community spaces that are spacious, clean, and inviting.
  • Friendly and helpful team members. Your independent living experience will rely heavily on the team that works there. During your phone calls, emails, and in person tours, be sure you get to know key team members to see if they seem genuine and have a heart for service.
  • Type of care provided. While independent living communities do not offer personal care assistance from caregivers, you still want to ask about personal services available and what levels of care are available on the campus should you need them. 

Taking a tour of a community can tell you a lot about what life is like there. But don’t just visit once. Return for a meal or to participate in an activity or program. You can also maximize your tours by understanding how to compare communities.

Get Our Evaluation Checklist

Independent Living Amenities

Independent Living Amenities

Seniors preparing plant based meal

Senior Health & Wellness

Independent living communities are designed to support residents as they work to achieve their health and wellness goals. Communities offer events like health fairs and wellness lectures, and there are clinicians such as nurses or therapists on-site.

How to Prepare for Healthy Aging

Arbor residents dining at on-site restaurant

Dining with Friends in Independent Living

Residents look forward to meeting with friends in our on-site restaurants. Our gourmet restaurant-style dining options are fresh, delicious, and made with seasonal ingredients, and they take the worry out of what to cook next. And while the food is outstanding, the company is even better. 

Keeping Seniors’ Minds Healthy

Instructor helping senior in Yoga class at Arbor

Exercise Programs & On‑site Exercise Classes

Amenities like on-site group fitness classes and personal training support ensure you can get moving daily, doing something you love. Our fitness center calendar is packed with group fitness classes for every level!

How to Prepare for Healthy Aging

Seniors headed to Yoga class at Arbor

Engaging Activities and Events

Social wellness is just as important as physical wellness, and we make it easy to connect with new friends over shared experiences. Our vibrant monthly programming calendar is filled with events, trips, and excursions designed to meet your needs and preferences.

Keeping Seniors’ Minds Healthy

Transitioning into Independent Living

Transitioning into Independent Living

Housekeeping services at Arbor

Your move to independent living begins long before your official move-in date. Community staff members are happy to offer recommendations for local organizers, real estate agents, and movers who have experience working with older adults. You can also become familiar with the community and your new neighbors by scheduling time before your move to attend meals and programs at your new home.

Tips for a successful and low-stress move to independent living:

  • Work with a professional organizer or helpful family members to downsize.
  • Get involved with community life as soon as possible. You’ll feel more confident as you meet new friends and settle in.
  • Invite neighbors to your new home for coffee.
  • Participate in any programs offered for new residents.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for help from neighbors or team members.
Ready to Make the Move? Take Our Quiz.
Paying for Independent Living

Paying for Independent Living

Senior reading book at Arbor

Independent living at our communities seems luxurious — and it is — but it is also quite affordable. Our all-inclusive monthly fee covers everything from your rent and utilities to a flexible dining program and access to all amenities on campus. You can enjoy the financial predictability that comes with knowing your monthly costs and how those costs fit into your long-term plan.

Living at home comes with some obvious costs — namely mortgage, insurance, and utility expenses. In the right senior living community, these fees are all built into an affordable and predictable monthly fee. A retirement community lifestyle might even be less expensive than what you are currently paying — or at least offer an affordable alternative to consider.

Our retirement community cost calculator tool was designed to help you understand the costs of senior living as compared to the expenses you pay while living at home.

Understand the Costs of Senior Living with Our Free Calculator

The Benefits of Independent Living

The Benefits of Independent Living

Senior standing in bathroom at his home at Arbor

Independent Living Amenities & Services

Once you call an independent living community home, it won’t take you long to see the benefits of your choice. Independent living offers the opportunity to live a maintenance-free lifestyle, to meet new neighbors that turn into friends, to have the peace of mind that your home is safe and secure, and to have access to amenities and services that are created so you can achieve your health and wellness goals.

See for Yourself — The Arbor Lifestyle

Exterior of Independent Living homes at Arbor

Senior Living, Elevated

Independent living homes are modern, spacious, and full of natural light. There are multiple floor plans available to suit your style and budget.

Seniors enjoying an outdoor walk at Arbor

Nature Right in Your Backyard

Connect with nature by exploring any of your community’s outdoor areas. From serene walking paths to swimming pools to busy patios, there is always a place to breathe the fresh air.

See for Yourself — Schedule a Tour

Transportation services at Arbor

Wherever Your Day Takes You

Transportation services mean you don’t have to worry about traffic and parking if you don’t want to. Our skilled and professional drivers are there to get you to your errands or appointments in style.

Senior woman enjoying a wine glass at Arbor

Easy Access to Anything You Could Need or Want

A helpful concierge team is there to assist with the details that matter most, whether that means reserving your spot on the wine tasting trip next week or making arrangements to take care of your mail while you jet off on your next vacation.

See for Yourself — Schedule a Tour

Housekeeper cleaning a bedroom at Arbor home

At Your Service

Weekly housekeeping visits mean you don’t have to worry about deep cleaning your home. Let us take care of it while you grab coffee with a friend in the bistro or meet up with your walking club.

Seniors decorating gift bags at Arbor

Our Staff Is the Arbor Difference

Our team members aren’t just there to provide helpful services. They are there to get to know you and create joyful moments just for you. Our commitment to deep connections with residents is the foundation of what makes Arbor Company communities different.

See for Yourself — Schedule a Tour

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