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 and The Village at Northridge operate separate independent living wings co-located beside their assisted living quarters.
Most senior living properties that cater to independent residents actually have a full Residential Care for the Elderly(RCFE) license so that they are able to employ their own caregivers and provide service such as medication management and stand-by showering assistance, often the first two services required by older adults as they age.
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.
How Much Does Independent Living 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 $2750/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.
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.