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What Is Independent Living?

What is Independent Living?

If you are searching for “what is independent living”, this post will help answer some of your questions. When you or your loved one is introduced to independent living, it is wise to know an assessment of what you are walking into.

Independent Living definition: Independent living communities, commonly known as retirement communities, senior housing or retirement homes. For today’s seniors with few, if any disabilities and need only limited help, retirement communities offer a wide range of mental, physical and social programs to enhance you or your loved ones golden years’ enjoyment. according to aplaceformom.com.

Independent Living Communities

We get it, we all will age, and when it begins to happen, it is time to start perhaps thinking about adjusting our living arrangements. Occasionally responsibilities can become too much. Then there is loneliness, which signals that they maybe could use some friendship with seniors their own age. An independent living facility could be the answer but, depending on your loved one’s situation, a retirement home may be better suited for them.

What Does Independent Living Comprise Of?

Independent living are residential apartments for seniors who are 55 years old or older. Senior housing will have a warm atmosphere, more compact living, and they are designed to help seniors get around easier and landscaping and/or maintenance is taken care of for them.

Typically, independent living communities offer its residents various activities and programs, other types of services as well as niceties. Independent living housing usually has a recreational center and/or clubhouse that allows seniors to socialize with other seniors. Independent living may also have community movie nights, arts and crafts, holiday turnouts, and other sorts of activities.

The retirement community may also offer facilities like swimming pools, exercise centers, golf courses, and a variety of groups and clubs. They also offer other services, such as on-site spas, daily meals, daily housekeeping, a chapel, laundry services, and beauty salons and barber shops.

Basically, independent living facilities are focused on those individuals who are 55 and older. They are created and designed to give an ambiance of independent living, but with help available when they need it. Hiring in-home aids is also a viable alternative for those who think that they may need it.

How Is Independent Living Different Than Other Senior Living Arrangements?

The primary difference between other senior housing and independent living is the level of care a resident may need. If the resident needs 24/7 assistance with daily routines such as cleaning themselves, getting dressed, using the restroom, eating meals, or if they have individual medical needs, the community caregivers are there for them.

Is Independent Living A Good Fit For My Loved One?

When a senior needs to make a change in their living arrangements, it can feel as if the sky is falling, like they are forfeiting all of their independence. Regardless, independent living is simply that, it’s about making it much more easy for them to stay independent. Knowing your loved one’s limitations are keeping them from leading a regular life, and facing that they could have a quality life with a little help will allow them to be independent longer.

To Help You Determine If You Loved One Would Benefit From Independent Living, Answer These 4 Questions:

Is your loved one taking care of their home as good as they used to, or is it getting harder for them to do?

Keeping their home clean is part of their dignity, but when they get older, it may become a little overpowering, becoming more of a hassle. As an example, they may have a home that has a yard that needs constant maintenance or extra rooms that aren’t used but still need to be cleaned. They may have issues getting to their home because of stairs or steep inclines, which stops them from getting out as much as they used to, which leaves them feeling isolated.

Their neighborhood maybe isn’t as safe as it used to be, which stops them from walking like they used to, or prevents them from getting out at all. They can eliminate some of these issues by hiring outside help or by doing some remodeling. If they are looking for independence without all the stress of maintenance, then they may need to move into an independent living facility.

Have they been connecting with their friends and family as much as they would like too?

Seniors who are isolated have an increased risk of depression and/or mental health issues. This can happen for various reasons, like becoming somewhat immobile, which can make getting around harder and/or not being able to drive themselves around.

Independent living facilities will provide them with a network of peers that their social life lacked, as well as provide socialized activities.

Is getting around getting harder for your loved one?

Is your loved ones home located where driving is difficult for them to get out and socialize or visit family and friends? If driving is inconvenient and they have to use public transportation, or it is hard for friends and family to get to them. They may even have difficulty getting to important appointments.

A lot of independent living facilities will offer alternatives for transportation for socializing or outside activities.

Is their and/or their spouse’s health declining?

Evaluating their health condition and understanding what their health might be like in the future is an important measure. If their current health condition can let them know what to expect down the road, you will also need to take that into consideration.

These conditions allow for planning for the future, which is a smart thing to do. It isn’t just their health to consider either, their spouse will need the same support, and you should plan their living arrangements together for the future.

Canyon Winds Offers Independent Living in Mesa, Arizona

Canyon Winds Retirement is an independent living facility in Mesa, Arizona. To schedule a tour of our independent facility, contact SLS Communities or for more information please call us today at 480-405-1129.

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What is Assisted Living?

What is Assisted Living?

If you are searching for “what is assisted living” or “how much does assisted living cost, this post will help answer some of your questions. When you or your loved one is introduced to assisted living, it is wise to know an assessment of what you are walking into.

Assisted Living definition: An assisted living facility is a long-term elderly care alternative that provides personal care services such as meals, medication regulation, bathing, clothing and transportation, and laundry services, according to aplaceformom.com.

According to Dictionary.com, “assisted living is housing or living arrangements for the elderly, infirm, or disabled, in which housekeeping, meals, medical care, and other assistance is available to residents as needed“.

Assisted Living Communities

A lot of people see assisted living as being a win-win situation. A resident can have as much independence as they want, while also knowing that there are support and care services available if they are needed. Assisted living communities have been planned in order to provide a person with assistance with day to day living activities like bathing, dressing, grooming, etc. Some states allow assisted living communities to provide medication reminders or assistance. These communities are much different from nursing homes because they don’t provide any complicated medical services.
Our assisted living environment is quite appealing to both the families and our potential residents. Our community is able to offer a home-like environment with apartments that include either a one bedroom or studio model. Our kitchenettes will typically have a and small refrigerator and microwave.

Who Will Require Assisted Living?

Residents will usually be seniors who have begun to decline in health and are requiring assistance with one or more everyday living activities. Seniors who are desiring to live within a social environment with little responsibility as well as a place where necessary care can be easily accessed if needed. Statistics say, usually, residents are typically females within their mid-80’s.

Differences Between Assisted Living vs Nursing Home

People often use the terms “nursing home” and “assisted living” interchangeable. However, these two terms are very different.

The biggest difference between assisted living vs nursing home is the level of care that is provided. Nursing home residents need extensive personal care vs assisted living facility residents can still somewhat take care of themselves. It costs more to get assistance at a nursing home than an assisted living facility, due to the higher level of care provided by them. For example the average cost of assisted living is about $4,500 per month vs the average cost of a nursing home is around $6,800.

Assisted Living

  • Assisted living residents can still take care of themselves
  • Need assistance with cooking, cleaning tasks, and personal care
  • The monthly cost is based on the level of assistance you need
  • Reside in a private living space like an apartment or condo
  • Couples can live together
  • Some facilities allow you to have your own vehicle
  • High level of socialization, organized trips, etc
  • Medication management and administration
  • Costs less than a nursing home
  • Usually paid for out of pocket

Nursing Home

  • Nursing home residents need a higher level of care
  • Need assistance with getting dressed, restroom breaks, getting in/out of bed
  • Need frequent or daily medical care
  • Need to be checked on frequently
  • Less independence
  • Limited recreational activities
  • Private or shared rooms
  • No outside areas
  • Are not mobile without assistance
  • Cost more than assisted living
  • Predominantly paid for by Medicaid

What Happens When the Care Level Needs to be Increased?

Most assisted living communities will let their residents age within the community. They can do this because a lot of them have on-site care and if not, they can find local care providers to work with so that the residents can stay within the community as their care level heightens. This type of care that will be added to the rent and will vary based on the care that is required.

Types of Amenities and Activities in an Assisted Living Community

Usually, all assisted living communities will offer meals 3 times a day and help with laundry and some light housework. Based on the community’s location, a resident will have a way to get around to places such as the post office, beauty salons, swimming pools, fitness centers and more. There are also a lot of communities that will plan activities and events that a resident can be a part of which can range from concerts to arts and crafts. These communities can range from large campuses to small homes so the amenities will vary based on the type of community. Another thing that needs to be considered is that many assisted living communities to realize that pets are essential to some of their residents and will allow residents to have pets, as long as they can take care of them.

Are These Communities Regulated?

Each state has policies that will regulate and define what services and care are required for assisted living communities to meet the principles of the state. Usually, the state will set the regulations to make assisted living separate from other care facilities. Some states may even look after safety, food, providers and the care provided.

How to Pay for Assisted Living

Assisted living is usually paid using private funds, but there are some reservations. Check the insurance policy to see if the costs will be covered. If the resident is a veteran or is a veteran’s spouse, they may qualify for veteran’s benefits which will help pay for the community.

How Much Does Assisted Living Cost?

On average, assisted living costs about $3,600 per month depending on the types of services and size of the apartment you choose according to a post by 5 Star Senior Living titled, “How Much Does Assisted Living Cost?“.

Canyon Winds Offers Assisted Living in Mesa, Arizona

Canyon Winds Retirement is an assisted living facility in Mesa, Arizona. To schedule a tour of our assisted living facility, contact SLS Communities or for more information please call us today at 480-405-1129.

Written by webtechs

How To Find A Retirement Community In Mesa, Arizona

If you are searching the phrase “how to find a retirement community” or “retirement communities in Mesa AZ“, Canyon Winds can help! In this post we outline how to find retirement communities and questions to ask each facility you visit.

How To Find Retirement Communities In Mesa

You might think it would be tough at first, but finding a retirement community that fits your individual personality and lifestyle in 2018 is getting easier than ever. New retirement communities are popping up all over the place at a rapid rate. However, we know that choosing the right retirement home can be tough, and for that reason, we put together this guide to help you know what to look for. Read this guide to help you find a Retirement Community In Mesa you would love to call home.

  1. Check the location’s temperature. Climate is considered to be one of the most important factors when choosing retirement communities. Do some research about your destination to make sure you can handle weather changes. The average temperature in Mesa, Arizona reaches around 71.95°F, with a high average temperature of 86.4°F and a low average temperature of 57.5°F [1].
  2. Feel the vibe. Every community will have its own vibe or character. One of the best ways of figuring out the vibe of the community is to talk to the residents. This will also help you get to know your potential neighbors. This would also be a great chance to ask the facility director what kind of amenities and activities they offer. Canyon Winds offers a full monthly calendar of fun activities you can enjoy including Live entertainment, movies in our state-of-art theater and more.
  3. Plan for future medical needs. Health should be your first consideration as you age. Most communities in the Mesa will offer a variety of advantages, but not everyone of them can provide the right medical care for your individual needs. Before transitioning into a new community, check to make sure that all of your medical needs can be met in the future, whether your health declines or not. Canyon Winds offers retirement communities for nearly any stage of your retirement transition, independent living, assisted living and memory care with care givers on staff 24 hours a day.
  4. Determine Your Budget. You want to choose a retirement community that fits your budget. After all the long hard years to grow retirement fund you want to make sure your savings can cover retirement community costs. Seeking the help of a professional financial planner could be one way to find out. Some communities will have monthly fee increases annually. Be sure to ask facilities how often and how much they change their rates every year.
  5. Make a checklist. Having a checklist will help you remember what types of questions you should be asking retirement communities. Depending on the level of care you need, you will need a specific checklist for each of the different types of retirement communities. Feel free to download our help independent living checklist, assisted living checklist or memory care checklist.
  6. Take a look at the activity calendar. Every community will most likely have an activity calendar with a list of activities planned out for the month. Be sure to check and make the activities are ones that you would enjoy. Most communities will offer activities, like tennis, gold and swimming. Staying involved in activities is a great way to stay fit while and maintain good health. Canyon Winds offers many activities, including golf, swimming, live entertainment and more.
  7. Learn the rules. Most facilities will have rules and regulation that residents much follow. For example, some retirement homes do not allow pets. Others might have rules about smoking cigarettes or grilling food outdoors. It is wise to research the facility you are interested in to find out what rules they might have and if those rules line up with your lifestyle. Canyon Winds does allow pets and reasonable rules for residents to follow.
  8. Security and safety. Most facilities have care givers on staff around the clock to ensure the health and safety of residents. Furthermore, some facilities, like Canyon Winds for instance, offer gated entries for your security and privacy, as well as care givers on staff 24 hours a day in case of emergencies. We even provide free housekeeping twice a month and free laundry facilities.
  9. Local Tax Rates. Some communities are more tax friendly than others. The local tax rates in your area are an important consideration when thinking about investing in a specific retirement community. These taxes can be a burden to carry. Make sure and speak the facility owner or director so you know what kind of taxes or additional yearly fees to expect.
  10. Signing The Agreement. Before you sign the leasing agreement, be sure that you know what to expect from the community and that they community knows what to expect from you. If you’ve never lived at a retirement community before, you will be surprised to know that some facilities have rules about decorating your home, parking your car and more. Canyon Winds will let you know all of the rules upfront so you know what to expect before moving into our faculty.
  11. “Understand your financing options. For a senior purchasing the best retirement community, it is certainly possible if you are paying in cash. If it’s not the case, you should understand your financial options. This may include mortgage tax.” [2]
  12. Pros and Cons. Create a pros and cons list to help make it easier to choose a retirement home. Having a list of what you liked and what you didn’t like will make the decision a little bit easier. This way you can find out which facility works for your individual personality and lifestyle the best.

What To Look For In a Retirement Community

Know what types of questions you should ask and What To Look For In a Retirement Community by using this checklist .
Facility Highlights

  • Is the location of the facility near things you might need a regular basis (Shopping, etc)?
  • Is the retirement home close by for visits by friends and family?
  • Is the community located near entertainment complexes?
  • Can residents access medical care easily?
  • Does the community offer transportation to and from appointments?
  • Did the staff greet you with a warm welcome when you entered their facility?
  • Do the residents appear to be socializing or do they seem content?
  • Do you notice the staff addressing the residents by their names?
  • If the staff professionally dressed, welcoming, outgoing and friendly?
  • Do you notice staff members treating other members in a professional manner?
  • What percentage of the facility is occupied?
  • Does the facility have a waiting list and if so how long until a unit will become available?

A Look Inside The Community & Common Areas

  • Does the community offer a floor plan that is easy to follow?
  • Do rooms, hallways and doorways offer walker or wheelchair access?
  • Does the community have elevators for seniors that have difficulty using handrails or stairways to assist with walking?
  • Do the floors have carpet or non-slip flooring for safe walking?
  • Does the community have clearly marked exits, sprinklers and good lighting?
  • Is the facility properly cooled/heated, clean and free of odors?
  • Are common areas clean, comfortable and attractive?
  • Is there a patio, garden or courtyard for visitors and residents to enjoy?
  • Does the community offer security and care givers on staff 24/7 in case of emergencies?
  • Are there a variety of types and sizes of units available?
  • Do they have single units and double occupancy apartments for sharing with others?
  • What can you bring from your home and is the residence furnished or unfurnished?
  • Can the residents decorate their rooms and is there storage space available?
  • Is a 24-hour emergency response system accessible from the unit with own lockable door? [3]
  • Do bathrooms have handicapped accommodations for walkers and wheelchairs?
  • Do all units come will cable TV and telephone access and is there an extra charge for that?
  • Does the apartment or condo have cooking element/sink/refrigerator?
  • Can residents smoke cigarettes in public areas or their units?

Finances, Contracts & Moving In

  • What do you need to know about the moving in and out process?
  • Can the facility provide you with a statement of responsibilities and rights of residents?
  • Does the facility have a contract that discloses supportive services, personal care, accommodations, healthcare, fees, as well as move in and move out provisions?
  • Find out about payment arrangements and if residents can only rent their apartment or own it?
  • How much does the monthly rent cost? How often does rent increase and why?
  • What happens if you run out of money or payments can no longer be made?
  • Is there an corporate, private or government programs available to help you cover costs?
  • If additional services are needed, can the facility accommodate for these new needs?
  • Are there common procedure to pay for additional care services such as physical therapy or skilled nursing care when they are needed during a temporary amount of time?

Personal and Health Care Services

  • What personal or health care services are available? Who will provide these services and what qualifications do they have?
  • In case of a medical emergency, what are the procedures?
  • Are there dedicated staff or procedures for providing additional care services in case of a temporary need?
  • Are personal laundry, linen service and housekeeping included in the monthly fees or do you have to pay additional for those? Are laundry facilities convenient to access?
  • Are physical therapy, barber or beautician services available on site or close by?

Recreation and Social Activities

  • What type of individual/group activities are offered?
  • Does the community offer scheduled trips to and from other events off-site?
  • Can the residents of the community participate in outside activities in neighboring communities?
  • Does the facility provide supplies for games and social activities, like cards, gardening, crafts and others?
  • Does the facility offer worship services on-site or can off-site arrangements be made?
  • Are fitness facilities on-site or do they offer exercise classes to keep you fit?
  • Can the residents have pets in their units? Does anyone else at the facility have pets?


  • Does the facility provide meals? If so, how many meals per day?
  • Can residents get involved with the menu planning and can they request special foods?
  • Does the facility have a nice dining room that appears relaxed and social? Do residents seem to be enjoying their food?
  • Is there any flexibility in the dining schedule? Can you receive snacks in-between meals?
  • How many meals does your monthly fee include? If a resident was to become sick, can special accommodations be made or would tray service be available?
  • Are residents allowed to have guests or visitors dine with them for free or is this an additional free? Do they offer private dining rooms for special occasions or events the residents might desire?

Knowing the right types of questions to ask your potential retirement community will help ease the worry and stress about transitioning. Take you time to figure out what type of facility works best for your individual personality and needs.

Canyon Winds Is An Upscale Retirement Community Located In Mesa, Arizona

If you are doing research about retirement communities in Mesa, Arizona, Canyon Winds Retirement Home should definitely be on your list. Canyon Winds offers retirement living at its finest. We have a rich calendar of activities, meals prepared by a Chef and caregivers on staff 24 hours a day for your health and safety. We offer award winning independent living, assisted living and memory care services. Come tour our community to see how we are a step above the rest and how easy it is to Make Yourself at Home! Canyon Winds is surrounded by amazing views and our resort style property will be sure to impress!
Cited Sources

  1. Data, US Climate. “Temperature – Precipitation – Sunshine – Snowfall.” Climate Mesa – Arizona and Weather Averages Mesa, www.usclimatedata.com/climate/mesa/arizona/united-states/usaz0136.
  2. “Finding Retirement Living Communities.” Retiredbrains.com, www.retiredbrains.com/retirement-communities.html.
  3. “15 Helpful Tips in Choosing the Best Retirement Community” Seniorliving.org. , https://www.seniorliving.org/retirement/best-retirement-community/.
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