What is Independent Living?

If you ask us, it means living your way every day.

Do you find yourself missing dinners with friends or social outings, but making the arrangements and following through is just not as easy as it used to be? What about chores like laundry, caring for the lawn and grocery shopping? Sure, you check these to-dos off the weekly list, but perhaps it’s much more tiring than it used to be. As you enter the next phase of your life, now more than ever you probably recognize that the most valuable asset is time. How do you want to spend your days living out the rest of your years?

If the idea of a traditional independent living environment feels too much about bingo, activities, planned meals and services you don’t want or just aren’t ready for yet, then you’ll appreciate knowing there is an alternative. Upside Independent Living is about customizing amenities, services and supports on your terms. When you live in an Upside apartment, you access a resort-level menu of elevated experiences that allow you to focus on what you enjoy. It’s not the typical setup, and that’s why a lot of older adults transitioning from a home choose Upside. It’s about living how and where you want.

No matter what station of life you’re in and why you’re taking a closer look at independent living vs. aging in place at home, our Upside members tell us all the time, their only regret is not doing it sooner.

Wouldn’t you rather take your time to plan the best next move for you rather than being rushed into a decision because of an unexpected life circumstance?

What to Expect in an Independent Living Community

Also known as active adult communities, independent living gives you a chance to trade out the responsibilities—what often become burdens—of home ownership for an environment that give you a private apartment wrapped with services and amenities. Those can include social events, dining services, transportation, support and concierge services, and more. You can participate in as many or few of planned activities as you choose. The point is, when you want to offload worries like maintenance, shopping and driving to appointments, the independent living community has plug-and-play services. The advantage of choosing Upside vs. traditional independent living is you choose your own adventure. You select the service and amenities you want and only pay for those options. And you can scale up or back whenever you choose. Flexibility is the key.

While the average age of adults moving into independent living is 74 to 75 years old, many are choosing to move sooner so they can focus their time on travel, hobbies, socializing, dining and enjoying life rather than caring for a household. Independent living is designed for self-reliant seniors who want conveniences but do not yet require ongoing care.

Independent Living Services and Amenities

Traditional independent living includes amenities and services that give you the freedom to spend time as you choose. You should not have to sacrifice the fine points in life you embrace, whether that’s a special meal and appealing dining environment, access to the arts or fitness resources. The approach to independent living services depends on the apartment and can range from more utilitarian to top-shelf. Naturally, the cost of independent living escalates based on levels of services. Much like selecting a hotel, you’ll have 3-star and 5-star accommodations.

Here are some independent living services and amenities to expect:

Meals & Dining

Whether you’re leaving a gourmet kitchen at your home and want to continue preparing fine meals or love nothing more than convenient take-out or a reservation at a nearby bistro, independent living environments can usually check those boxes. Usually, you’ll get the option of a dining package, and some senior living communities offer flexibility to eat in a restaurant atmosphere, café or more basic cafeteria. You can expect food to be prepared by chefs and reviewed by registered dietitians. Not everyone wants a cafeteria or group dining experience, and we get that at Upside. We do provide meal and grocery delivery, and you can connect with other Upside members for dining out if you choose. We find this appeals to self-reliant older adults.

Learn about Dining & Cuisine Options

Maintenance & Housekeeping

If you’re ready to leave the housework, laundry and dishes behind to spend free time doing what you love, independent living affords you this opportunity. You can take advantage of weekly apartment cleanings, and if you have an issue with utilities or an appliance, a maintenance department is a phone call away. You can enjoy the grounds without caring for them.

Learn about Maintenance & Housekeeping Options

Recreation, Education & Social Activities

Ready to try something new or return to an old pastime you haven’t had time to enjoy because of other responsibilities? Independent living communities offer a wide range of life-enriching activities that are designed to keep you healthy, balanced, sharp—mentally and physically fit. Above all, the point is to take in the experiences because you have the freedom to spend your time as you choose. Exercise offerings can range from yoga and swimming to walking clubs and water aerobics.Beyond this, at Upside we partner with educational institutions to offer classes. From movie nights to book clubs, wine tastings, excursions and more, many older adults appreciate the ability to just have fun and let go of the baggage that comes with running a household. It’s a new stage and age of life, and there are options to make the most of it.

Learn about Social Activites

Convenience & Concierge Service

Independent living with Upside is all about community. You’ll want it to feel like home for your friends and family who visit. Many apartments offer living rooms, game rooms, community gardens, dog parks, outdoor patios and a range of gathering spaces so you can entertain without the “overhead” of setup and cleanup. It all depends on the Upside apartment you choose, and an Upside Advisor will guide you through the process. Rather than moving into traditional independent living with typical community spaces, you can decide what amenities are most important to you.

Learn how We Connect You To What You Need

What’s the Difference Between Independent and Assisted Living?

Independent living is different than assisted living, which includes personal and medical care and is designed for those who need more support with activities of daily living like bathing and dressing. Assisted living offers access to nursing staff and personal care support. All the amenities independent living residents enjoy are generally available to those in assisted living. Some older adult communities include both options as a way of providing a continuum of care.

Who Is a Fit for Independent Living?

Here are some questions to ask as you consider whether independent living in a community for older adults is the right move for you. And remember, you’re not retiring from life—you’re re-energizing your days by alleviating the burdens of housekeeping, cooking and perhaps even errands.

If you answered yes to any number of these questions, now might be the time to make a move. Wouldn’t you rather be at the helm of your next chapter than waiting for a “must move” scenario? Older adults living of all ages living in active communities agree, the best decision they made—they could have made even sooner.

If I’m downsizing to an apartment, how much space can I get?

Independent living communities offer a range of apartment floor plans and sizes, so you can select the option that suits you.

I’m overwhelmed by downsizing and moving into an independent living apartment? Is there moving help?

Ask for help. We will coordinate third-party vendors to assist with planning and moving services can include helping you sort through your existing belongings, organize for packers, stage the move and then unpack. You’re in control but have the assistance of an experienced team that will ease the transition for you and family.

Can I bring a pet?

Talk to your Upside Advisor about your pet. Our four-legged friends are loyal companions—they’re family. If you have a pet, your Upside Advisor will help you find the right home for everyone. Most of our apartments are pet-friendly and some even include dedicated dog wash stations and play areas.

Do I have to participate in all of the activities?

Of course not! The events, activities—the entire social calendar—is there for your choosing. There’s no obligation.

An Independent Living Community that Works for You

It’s important to understand, there are a range of independent living environments, and the ideal community will offer the flexibility, concierge service, activities, a la carte options and ability to scale up or down service at your request. You don’t want to pay for more than you desire. And, because life is fluid and ever-changing, you may decide later to access more services than you initially desired. Customization is key.

Just Ask

How can we help you live life to the fullest? Our Upside Managers offer a gateway to independence by coordinating services and connecting you to the conveniences and experiences that mean the most so you can thrive. How can we help?

Upside Corporate Headquarters

6365 NW 6TH Way, Suite 200

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309