So you’re thinking about moving into an independent living facility? Fantastic! Independent living can be an excellent time for those fifty-five and older.
Independent living differs from assisted living, nursing homes, and other senior care options. It puts you in a community of like-minded people while maintaining your independence.
At the right facility, independent living can be engaging, fulfilling, and liberating.
When choosing an independent living facility in OKC, there’s much to consider. Here at Saint Ann Retirement Center, we’ve parsed the top things you need to know when searching for independent living facilities near you.
If you have any questions not addressed here, feel free to give us a call or visit the rest of our website. Saint Ann is also open to tours and visitations if you want to see us in person!
Things to Consider when Moving into an Independent Living Facility OKC
1. Take a Visit
Visiting an independent living facility is the best way to gauge whether you like it. The rest of our things to consider primarily stem from an in-person visit.
Phone calls and website scrolling are great, but you cannot replicate the experience of an in-person visit.
If you cannot visit in person, consider having a trusted person visit on your behalf. If possible, virtual tours may be available as well!
2. Do you Enjoy the Food?
Food is an often-overlooked but essential part of any independent living facility.
It’s what you’ll be eating every day. You better like it! So, have a meal! Meet with the cooks and food staff who serve you! Ask if they can accommodate dietary restrictions.
Also, ask where they get the food and the variety of meals. For example, the lasagna might be great, but if you have it every night? Not so much.
Don’t leave without checking the food!
3. Talk to the staff
The staff at an independent living facility will be the people you see daily.
When you arrive for your visit, you will likely have a staff member lead your tour. But take time to meet with staff who aren’t giving you the tour. There are food workers, facility maintainers, front desk employees, medical staff, activity coordinators, and managers throughout the facilities!
Each of these groups will contribute to your independent living experience.
Are they friendly? Do they speak highly of the facility? Are they friendly to other residents? Ask yourself these questions and make sure you get answers.
4. Inspect the Rooms
You’re sure to get a look at different room options on your tour. Some rooms are bigger than others, but most contain the same few properties: a living space, a sleeping space, a bathroom, and a kitchenette.
Some may have a full kitchen. If you’re someone who enjoys cooking meals for yourself, consider choosing this option!
Many come in a “studio” format, where doors don’t separate the sleeping and living areas. One-bedroom units will cost more than their studio counterparts.
How’s the temperature? If it’s not to your liking, can you easily adjust it? What kind of views do you get? Who are your neighbors in the open rooms you might move into? Do they seem friendly?
Before you leave, ask about the process of making maintenance requests. For a more realistic estimate, ask a resident how long it takes for maintenance to handle requests.
Also, look at common areas, fitness centers, computer rooms, and other amenity spaces.
5. Consider the Cost of Living
The cost of living can’t be something you overlook. Because of the specialized amenities, perks, and care, Independent living residences offer, they cost more on average than your typical apartment.
However, they almost always cost less than assisted living communities or nursing homes. Those cost more because of their personalized medical care and medication management.
Of course, the price varies at the location. Some may cost more because of the amenities they provide. If you don’t intend to use those amenities, you shouldn’t pay for something you won’t use.
Factor in the cost of living with your estimated retirement income and see how much you can afford. Additionally, consider that you may live there for many years.
6. Stay Close to Friends and Family
Choosing an independent living facility near close friends and family will improve your experience. It will be easier for them to visit you, and they’ll visit more often.
Independent living FAQ
Why do people move to independent living?
Independent living communities resemble a 55+ community with homes, but independent living is almost exclusively in apartment-style residences. You’re around similarly aged people, but independent living residents tend to be older on average than 55+ community residents.
Independence is a critical component of independent living. Of course, you do not have to participate in activities, but it is encouraged!
Independent living residences offer meals, daily events, and social activities to engage you. In addition, some independent living residences offer a nursing staff that can assist when needed, though they are often not specialized.
Independent living is for someone who wants to be in a community of similar people with the option to participate in community activities while having closer access to living assistance when needed.
What’s the difference between independent living and assisted living?
Assisted living differs from independent living because it focuses much more on hands-on assistance.
Nurses at an assisted living community are usually skilled, and there is typically an on-call or visiting physician. Daily living is more structured to fit your medical and personal wellness needs.
For example, you may have planned-out physical therapy sessions. In addition, a medical worker may monitor your diet to fulfill nutrition requirements. You can also have a nurse who assists you with medication management.
Assisted living is for someone who needs some medical and regular wellness attention from professionals while wanting a caring community of people to socialize with.
Here at Saint Ann Retirement Center, we hope to have given you some clarity about things to consider when choosing the best independent living facility in OKC.
A quick internet search for the “best independent living facility OKC” will yield dozens of results. Maybe even Saint Ann’s will show up. But at the end of the day, you need to choose the one that’s the best fit for you.
If you have any questions not addressed here, feel free to give us a call or visit the rest of our website. If independent or assisted living interests you or a loved one, schedule a visit at Saint Ann Retirement Center today!
Saint Ann Retirement Center offers the best senior living options for retirement in Oklahoma City. Assisted living and independent living accommodations enhance the lives of individuals looking for support and comfort and a variety of amenities to keep the community active and engaged. Saint Ann is owned and operated by The Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, a not-for-profit Christian organization.