Florida is America’s top retirement destination, and for good reason. Warm weather year-round, endless beaches and an economy built with the needs of older adults in mind make this living option irresistible. Over 40% of the state’s population is over 50, making it the state with the highest percentage of mature adults. The cost of living is also right around the national average, meaning the lifestyle it offers is still quite affordable.
This has created a high demand for senior independent living communities suited to the unique needs, tastes and styles of this population. Many of these communities offer high-end, resort-style services and amenities as well as a full continuum of care as residents’ healthcare needs change.
The state is home to over 850 independent living retirement communities, which offer many benefits. If you’re exploring independent living options in Florida, here are some essential things you should know about living in the state.
What Is an Independent Senior Living Community?
An independent senior living community offers them the opportunity to live in a community that is specifically designed for older adults and provides residents with amenities, services, and activities that cater to their needs and preferences. This type of living arrangement is perfect for those who are looking for a highly curated, maintenance-free lifestyle and socialization opportunities among like-minded older adults.
Factors To Consider When Choosing Independent Living in Florida
Before making the decision to move into an independent living community, it’s important for seniors in Florida to know a few things to ensure that they make the right choice for their needs and lifestyle preferences.
Types of Independent Living
There are various types of independent living communities in Florida, from month-to-month rentals and buy-in communities to continuing care communities. These living arrangements vary, and include apartments, condos, single-family homes and even shared residences.
Florida in particular has an abundance of senior living options to choose from, which can feel overwhelming. The state’s popularity with seniors means that you will have plenty of choices. One way to pare down your options is to consider what type of living situation is right for you. For instance, a continuing care community that offers Life Care can give you the comfort and security of knowing that your future care needs are already accounted for today. Alternatively, a month-to-month rental can give you more flexibility (albeit less predictability).
Independent living communities can also vary dramatically in price, depending on the type of community, location, and the services offered. Here, larger cities like Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa and Orlando may be more expensive than suburban communities (like Longwood). Rural areas will be cheaper, but may also not offer you access to the amenities and services that fit your lifestyle.
It’s essential to understand the total costs involved and what they cover. Is there an entrance fee? Does the monthly fee include rent, utilities and meals? What if you want access to on-site health services? Are those at an additional cost? Are there other premium services on-site that aren’t included?
Amenities and Services
Independent living communities offer a range of amenities and services, such as housekeeping, transportation, group activities, on-site salon and spa services, and much more. As mentioned above, some outings, off-site and premium services may incur additional costs.
Also be sure that you are choosing a community with amenities and services that are truly important to you. For example, a luxurious pool shouldn’t factor into your decision if you don’t see yourself taking advantage of it. That said, if you’re living in Florida, what’s life without a pool?
Florida’s year-round warmth, sunshine, fierce winds and thunderstorms can take a toll on buildings and outdoor spaces. Many independent living communities will tell you they offer a maintenance-free lifestyle, but you should still inquire about exactly what is meant by “maintenance.”
Which interior appliances will they service? Will they cover minor renovations before you move in, such as changing out carpets or putting up fresh paint? If there are outdoor gardening spaces, which parts are reserved for residents and which are maintained by the community?
There are many benefits to community life, and enhanced safety features are one of them. Ask about what safety measures the community has put into place, such as emergency response systems, gated access or on-call security members. Also ensure that you understand what the community’s protocol is in case of an emergency. How will you be contacted?
Independent living communities in Florida are a great opportunity to live maintenance-free, social and independent lifestyles. By understanding the types of communities available, costs, amenities, services, health care, maintenance and safety considerations, seniors can make more informed decisions about the next stage of their lives.
Independent Living Lifestyle Options at Village on the Green
Live comfortably year-round at Village on the Green in Orlando, Florida. Explore an 80-acre campus that is perfectly situated to the region’s major attractions and activities, while also close to the natural beauty of Spring Hammock Preserve and Wekiwa Springs State Park. Here, residents enjoy the freedom to spend their days immersed in novelty, nurturing long-held passions and forging new relationships. Best of all, they can enjoy all of the region has to offer year-round in Florida’s balmy climate.
Contact us to see what life is like here for yourself!