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  • Melrose Meadows

Level of Care Series: Why Independent Living?

Let’s say you’re an older adult who loves to get out and do things. Spend time with friends. Enjoy dining in restaurants, heading off on a cross-country adventure …you’re not ready to slow down yet! You’ve got a life to live, and you’re going to live it to the fullest.

So why, oh active and independent older adult, would you want to move to independent living? Especially during COVID-19? Well, there are tons of reasons, but the biggest one we can think of is: CHOICE!

Independent living is the “lowest” level of care offered in senior living. Sometimes independent living is offered in a standalone complex or sometimes it’s just one level of care on a campus that provides assisted living or other options. But just because independent living is a form of “senior living,” it doesn’t mean it’s for “old people.”

Like we said, independent living is all about choice. It’s for older, generally retired adults who want a place that feels like home without the hassle of home-ownership. It’s for active, vibrant seniors who've decided they don’t want to deal with chores, grocery shopping, running errands or whatever else is holding you back from having the life they want. This ain’t your grandma’s nursing home. It’s a worry-free, carefree lifestyle, and after a lifetime of caring for others, you’ve earned it!

While the benefits, services and amenities you’ll find in independent living vary by community, here are the things that independent living residents at Melrose Meadows enjoy:

– A private apartment (one or two bedroom floor plans)

– Delicious, flexible dining options (be sure to try the chef’s famous beef tenderloin)

– Twice-monthly housekeeping

– Cable, internet and utilities

– Wellness and social opportunities

– Weekday transportation for errands or appointments

– Maintenance-free lifestyle

But best of all, you have choices. All independent living apartments have a full kitchen, meaning you’re free to cook, bake or host whenever you want. Each apartment has its own washer and dryer, so laundry is at your leisure. And, of course, you have the choice of what you want to do each and every day. No more home maintenance or yard chores…now you have the time to do the things you want to do.

Wondering if it’s the right move for you? Independent Living could be a great fit if:

– Dealing with household chores and upkeep is becoming difficult – or you simply don’t want to do it anymore!

– You want the companionship that comes from living in a community of your peers.

– You like the idea of having events, activities, wellness programs and social activities literally outside your door.

– You don’t want to have to cook ever again!

– You’ve found a place you like, and you want to ensure you’re well and able to enjoy it on your terms, rather than waiting for a fall or injury to take the choice away from you.

Speaking of falls and injuries - another reason to move into independent living is safety. Most family homes aren’t set up for healthy aging. Flights of stairs, narrow doorways, tripping hazards and slippery bathrooms can spell a trip to the emergency room. Falls are the number one accident that sends seniors to the emergency room. Did you know that many times, a doctor will tell a patient they can’t go back to their home after a bad fall? There is typically an emergency room visit, hospital stay and then a stint in a nursing home for rehab. Expensive, time-consuming and stressful. And if a doctor says it’s time to move – who knows if the place you like will have anything available? Don’t wait for a fall to happen – make the move before an injury leaves you high and dry – and in an urgent situation.

This September 23, we’re observing Falls Prevention Awareness Day. This is a great time for you or your loved ones to take a look at your living situation and take steps to ensure your safety. Here are a few things you can consider to make a living situation safer:

– Find an exercise program (like yoga or tai chi) to help maintain or strengthen balance.

– Review medications to see if dizziness or balance issues are a side effect (and speak to your doctor if so).

– Get vision and hearing checked – both are factors in helping avoid tripping hazards.

– Keep your home safe by installing grab bars in bathrooms, making sure rugs have non-slip pads (or remove them entirely) and clearing clutter from walkways.

When you’re considering your next chapter, consider a smart, proactive move rather than a forced reactive move. Senior Living is all about choice – make yours when you still have the option to do so.

Melrose Meadows offers Independent and Assisted Living in an all-inclusive lifestyle. Located in the heart of Iowa City, we’re happy to give guidance and advice – and maybe even a little tough love! We are welcoming visitors and new residents - call us for more info or to schedule your tour: 319-341-7893.

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