Independent living communities are specially designed for those seniors who are healthy, active and able to live their lives without necessarily being assisted by others. These communities consist of homes, condominiums, apartments and mobile homes for residents to maintain an independent lifestyle. However, there are some communities that offer only minimal services like building and ground maintenance, plus security. These are actually not different from residential enclaves, except for the age restriction to those over 55 years of age.
Independent living communities generally provide safety and security, with easy access to a local community of banks, shops, theaters and doctors. There usually are medical services available on an as-needed basis, wherein the resident receives higher Medicare and insurance reimbursement. There is no minimal requirement for meals that are served here; you participate when desired and are billed according to actual participation. The monthly fees usually include utilities, appliance repair and replacement, concierge and 24-hour staff, and range from $500 to $1,500 per month. The rates depend on the location of the community. The communities have activity calendars, which range from plentiful to sparse, depending on the age and resources of its residents.
The criterion for enrollment in an independent living community is that the person should be over 55 years of age. The person should be healthy enough so that any medical or personal care provided by visiting nurses or home health aides is sufficient. He or she should also have the capacity to keep in touch with doctors, with the help of family and friends, and not with the assistance from trained staff. Of course, if the resident needs more amenities in the community, he or she should be able to pay for it. So if financial means are limited, he or she will have to accept the limitations and choose a subsidized facility instead.