A Day in the Life: What to Expect in an Independent Living Facility

How's Your Life at Senior Living Community?

Many older adults want a relaxed lifestyle that allows them to pursue their favorite hobbies without the stress of maintaining a home. Independent living facilities make this possible by providing convenient services and amenities to help seniors live more comfortably.

Whether it’s an onsite beauty salon, movie theater room, or general store, these conveniences make aging easier by eliminating the worries of housekeeping and maintenance.


For many seniors, a move to independent living is based partly on the promise of delicious meals and eliminating food shopping and cooking. A well-designed dining menu can elevate mealtimes to a highlight of the day, especially when enjoyed in a restaurant-style setting where socialization with others is encouraged. When touring a community, be sure to ask about their menus and whether residents can participate in choosing daily choices or request specific dishes if they prefer.

Most CCRCs include meals in the monthly fees for independent living residents. It’s also essential to determine how the meal plans are structured—whether they include a fixed number of meals each month or if meal credits are available for residents to spend on a la carte meals and snacks at any time. If a resident chooses to upgrade their plan, verify what meals are included in the higher tiers.

Social Activities

The social activities in an independent living facility can help your loved one feel connected and a part of a community. Look for a full calendar of events that appeal to their interests, like book clubs, yoga classes, craft groups, and game rooms. Some communities also offer trips to local attractions, such as a museum or theater performances.

When visiting a potential independent living facility like Westminster Woods, ask to see the activity calendar and find out how much say residents have in planning activities. A sense of participation can make a big difference in your comfort level as you adjust to your new life. In addition to socializing, look for opportunities for your loved one to exercise or try something new.


In addition to a full schedule of social and recreational activities, independent living communities often provide transportation services for errands or community outings. They may even offer door through door service, with drivers picking you up at your home and dropping you off at the front door of your destination. Ask the community what options they have available. Many communities also partner with independent services that offer low-cost, non-emergency transportation for seniors. 

Convenience is critical in independent living; many services are included in the monthly fee. Ensure you know what is included so you can plan accordingly when choosing a community to move into. Sometimes, a facility’s cost may be subsidized through government programs, so ask about that. 


As the name suggests, independent living communities are designed exclusively for older adults. They usually feature housing units that are more easily navigated and adapted to seniors’ needs and amenities, services, and activities for residents to enjoy outside their doors.

Many independent living facilities build the cost of at least some of these amenities and services into their monthly fees. When researching a potential community, ask about what’s included in your membership fee. Other amenities and services may be available as an add-on option.