Are You Ready?
The Freedom of Independent Living

Mow the lawn. Wash the windows. Pay the bills.

Older couple planting flowers.There’s an endless list of tasks that comes with owning and maintaining a home. But after a lifetime of raising a family and working hard, is it time for a change in your life?

For a growing number of Pittsburgh seniors, the answer is decidedly “yes!” as they discover the benefits of independent living. It’s a lifestyle choice.

“The biggest reason you should consider independent living is the freedom it offers to both you and your family,” says Kitty Collins, a vice president with UPMC Senior Communities. “Residents in our independent living communities often say they wish they had moved earlier, because they’re now free to pursue their hobbies and interests in the company of other like-minded adults.”

Interested in the theater? Love to shop? Fanatic about Pittsburgh’s athletic teams? Wish you could be part of a book club, walkers group, or volunteer organization? These are just a sampling of the activities you’ll find as an independent living resident.

Independent Living Means Choices

“Today’s support network for seniors is very different than it was 20 years ago,” explains Ms. Collins. “For young families in which both spouses must work, there’s just not enough time to keep up their own home, tend to their children’s activities, and help a parent.”

Many families of independent living residents at UPMC find that they no longer spend their weekends running errands and assisting with home chores. Visits mean quality time spent together; there are even rooms for family parties and game rooms for grandchildren to enjoy billiards, a hand of cards, or watch movies.

Some seniors worry that independent living means “giving things up.” At UPMC Senior Communities, the emphasis is on providing residents with the kind of valued amenities and support seniors want in their lives. These include:

  • Weekly housekeeping and laundry services
  • Onsite dining with freshly prepared meals (and the option of making their own)
  • Transportation services for shopping and appointments

“Our residents find that great flexibility awaits them at our independent living residences — from bringing their beloved family pet and having their car on-site, to furnishing their residence with their favorite furniture and decorating it with their own signature style,” says Ms. Collins.

With locations in neighborhoods throughout the Pittsburgh area, UPMC Senior Communities also gives independent living residents the opportunity to stay connected to friends and neighbors, and remain active in their faith and community organizations.

Making the Move Easier

Surprisingly, the hardest part of leaving a home for most seniors isn’t the memories they’ll leave behind. As one UPMC independent living resident says,“Memories are easy to bring along with you.”

But preparing to put your home up for sale can be daunting. In response to requests from prospective residents, UPMC Senior Communities has developed a variety of partnerships with reputable and high-integrity organizations that specialize in helping seniors organize, stage, and sell their homes, explains Ms. Collins. “These professionals help eliminate the hurdles and worries everyone faces when moving.”

You’re ready for independent living if:

  • You value your privacy and independence
  • You enjoy spending some time in the company of other adults your age
  • You feel more comfortable with the added security and safety offered in a community setting
  • Arthritis, vision problems, or other physical limitations sometimes complicate living at home
  • You welcome the thought of “hassle-free” living

In addition to independent living residences, UPMC Senior Communities also offers assisted living and skilled nursing options for seniors who need added care.

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