What Are Independent Living Communities?
Independent living communities are housing designed for seniors 55 and older. Individuals live in their own apartment, but have access to amenities such as housekeeping, social activities, dining, transportation, and more. Independent living does not typically provide supervision or medical care.
In Metro Los Angeles, there are very few truly “independent” communities, although there are a few such a Palm Court and Holiday Villa East. The Village at Sherman Oaks, The Village at Northridge, The Variel in Woodland Hills, and Windsor in Glendale operate separate independent living wings co-located beside their assisted living quarters.
Senior living experts like Sarah and her team at Assisted Living Locators know which communities with an RCFE assisted living license have a good mix of independent and assisted clientele. They are scattered around the greater Los Angeles area. Among those that stand-out are Kingsley Manor, Belmont Village Westwood, Fairwinds in West Hills, Atria Tarzana and Brookdale Ocean House in Santa Monica.
For those who are set on moving to an independent living community, care services may be available on-site provided by independent care agencies, often co-located on the property. Residents contract with them separately and pay them directly. The facility is not involved in the management or administration of these caregivers. It is as if you were hiring a caregiver from an agency to come into your home.
Why Should Someone Move to Independent Living?
As elders age, they often become increasingly isolated. Spouses and friends may have died. Neighbors and the folks they have hung out with have moved away. Children are busy. Perhaps the senior is unable to drive anymore so activities outside the home are limited. We see too many older adults spending most of their time at home watching television and feeling depressed.
Social isolation is the number one cause of physical and mental decline. Engagement is key to keeping the mind active and the body moving. Even if your loved one is not particularly social, at an independent living community in the Los Angeles area, they still must get dressed and join others in the dining room for meals.
The same holds true with activities. We often hear "my dad is not going to do any activities." But you'd be suprised at how many of the elders we work with actually step out from their isolation once in a community to participate in at least some group activities, even if it is only going to a weekly concert.
It is our experience that your loved one should move before they need care. Often families wait too long before looking at for a senior living community for their loved one. Being active and making friends will help delay the onset of medical and cognitive conditions. It also will allow the person to better establish relationships that can last through any decline that may occur.
How Much Does Independent Living in Los Angeles Cost?
Independent living situations vary based on the lifestyle options that are important to your senior, property location and apartment size, so it is important to compare actual costs before deciding. You can find everything from studios to full two-bedroom apartments with kitchens. Two-three meals/day are included, as is housekeeping, transportation to doctors and activities. Some independent senior living options require an up-front fee, with monthly service fees and others are simply month-to-month. Prices start at about $3200/month for a simple studio in Los Angeles to $12,000/month for a two-bedroom in one of the top-tier, luxury communities.
Is Independent Living Right for my Loved One?
We have a bias towards the independent/assisted living model of senior living community instead of independent-only buildings. As seniors age, so do their needs. While someone may enter a residence without requiring any assistance, there are very few individuals over the age of 85 that do not need some sort of help, especially once they are dependent on a cane or walker. The Center for Disease Control reports 81% of injuries in the bathroom for seniors occur because of slips and falls during bathing and showering. Living in a building where caregivers are on-call in case of an emergency can greatly enhance quality of life for both the elder and his or her family.
Frequently Asked Questions About LA Independent Living
- Are apartments furnished? No, when you move into an independent living property it is as though you are moving into an apartment. You bring your furniture, and everything you need to make your place your home. We highly recommend bringing those items that are most cherished such as art, photos, a favorite chair - anything that evokes "home."
- Are there kitchens? Some places have full kitchens but most have kitchenettes, units with everything except a stove.
- Are there any communities with pools? There are a few communities that have swimming pools in Los Angeles but because of space limitations, the numbers are minimal. We'd be happy to tell you about where you'll find swimming pools in independent living in Los Angeles.
- Do I have to sign a lease? Most senior living communities in the Los Angeles area operate on a month-to-month basis. No long term lease is required. The resident only is required to give 30 or 60 days notice depending on the location.
Let the experts at Assisted Living Locators help you determine what's best for your loved one. Call us for help at no-cost to you.