Tips for Easing the Transition into an Independent Living Community

Tips for Easing the Transition into an Independent Living Community


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Tips for Easing the Transition into an Independent Living Community

There comes the point when they begin to think of all the ways they can live well into the future for many seniors. This might include being active in their grandchildren’s’ lives and attending as many sporting events as possible. Or maybe they want to learn a new skill. Others might have an athletic goal for themselves, like participating in a 5K or 10K race. Perhaps they’d like to spend significant time volunteering for a cause they care deeply about in their community.

Whatever that means to each person, independent senior living also often involves moving to a retirement community. This might cause apprehension for some people, but it can be a smart decision. Many benefits come from moving to an independent living community, so let’s explore those now.

Benefits of Moving to an Independent Living Community

First of all, in a retirement community, you don’t have to worry about home upkeep anymore. That’s something that can take up a lot of your time and stress, and it can easily be removed by moving to an independent living community. Rest assured, though, that you’ll still have plenty of space to call your own and decorate and enjoy just the way you like it.

Another great benefit of moving into a retirement community is finding new neighbors who can quickly become good friends. The other people who live in your organization will likely share some of your interests and will be quite happy to get to know you. Before you know it, you’ll be out on a walk and run into someone doing the same. 

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, many independent living neighborhoods are still creating opportunities for residents to socialize. From happy hours over Zoom to virtual coffee chats, residents can even meet and socialize with new friends without gathering in person

Speaking of making new friends, retirement communities have no shortage of activities to encourage socialization and keep you entertained. From bridge clubs to book clubs to religious or volunteerism-based groups, you’re sure to find a group of other residents who are eager to enjoy activities together — both virtually (for now) and in person. With groups like these, it’s easy to ensure you’ll live well into the future.

Transitioning to Independent Living

Now, just because a retirement community is a great option, that doesn’t mean it’s always an easy process to transition to one. It’s exciting and has many benefits, but it’s still an adjustment. It takes a little time to get used to this slightly new way of life for some people. Rest assured, though, that there are things you can do to make your transition a little easier.

To begin with, keep your routines as much as you can. If you love to wake up early, have a cup of coffee, and then go for a walk once the sun comes up, make sure you prioritize that time. Sure, you might be walking in a new area, but by sticking with your routine, you’ll undoubtedly feel a sense of normalcy. This strategy is also vital as you begin to take advantage of the many activities and groups your retirement community offers. They’re an incredible benefit, but don’t overwhelm yourself by jumping in too quickly.

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You’ll also want to maintain your relationship with loved ones. While you’ll surely make new friends in your independent living community, remember to make time to call your existing friends and family to fill them in on your new adventures.

Prioritize your health. Get enough sleep, drink plenty of water, remember to eat your meals, and keep active throughout the day. When you fuel and care for your physical body, you’re also prioritizing your mental health, which is incredibly important during a major transition like this one.

Finally, get excited about this new stage of life. Decorate your room to make it your own, and find a few things you’re looking forward to as you get settled. As you begin to get excited about new things you’ll encounter here, you’re more likely to have a smooth transition to your retirement community.

For seniors looking to live well into the future, choosing an independent living retirement community can be an excellent decision. Not only can they eliminate some of the daily life stressors, but they can also enjoy more time doing things they love and meet new people who share those interests. Be optimistic and prioritize your health and routines as you make the transition to independent living.

Kristin Davenport
March 16, 2021
Kristin Davenport is the Director of Communications for Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS). Kristin leads ERS’s efforts to share stories that delight and inspire through social media, online content, annual reports, magazines, newsletters, public relations, and events. Kristin earned her BFA in graphic design from Wittenberg University. She joined ERS in 2014 after a 25-year career as a visual journalist and creative director with American City Business Journals. Her role at ERS has ignited her passion for making Cincinnati a dementia-inclusive city, and she spends time with residents as a SAIDO® Learning lead supporter. Kristin is the executive producer and co-host of the Linkage Podcast for ERS. Kristin and her husband Alex live in Lebanon, Ohio, with their two daughters. She also serves as a Trustee and the President of the Lebanon Food Pantry and is a board member for ArtScape Lebanon, where she teaches painting and has an art studio, Indium Art.

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