It is often very challenging to go from having a life in the private home you have lived in for decades, to moving to an independent living community. Some of the changes may take some getting used to, while others are a tremendous improvement.
Leaving behind a lifestyle your enjoyed may be difficult, but it’s important to remember the reasons that you and your family chose an independent living community. Even if you live alone, being part of a community can provide a new social lifestyle that you may not have had in your previous home.
Most communities offer a lot of activities to their residents, and once you get settled in, you should go out and meet people and take advantage of everything the community offers.
Probably one of the first opportunities you will have to get acquainted with your neighbors is at a “new resident” event – usually a brunch or dinner. Introduce yourself and smile warmly. Ask other residents how long they have lived there and what they love most about the community. Some of the benefits you may hear about are:
- No cooking – meals are cooked and served, so if you don’t like to cook, you don’t have to cook, or wash dishes!
- Activities such as golf or fitness classes. You are fortunate to live a life of leisure in a lovely independent living community. Participate in some of the activities and at the same time make new friends, get some fresh air and exercise.
- Classes. Look at the activity schedule for scheduled classes. These may be technology courses, cooking classes, or classes in art, pottery, or flower arranging. You may find that you enjoy the class so much that you now have a new hobby to enjoy.
- Field trips. Your community may plan bus trips to nearest town, or to a nearby nature preserve. Or perhaps there is a guided trip to Europe or a cruise that you can take with your new neighbors.
- Games such as Bingo or Bocci. Try something new and have fun. You don’t have to be good to have fun.
- Book clubs. Even if your community does not offer a book club, if you are an avid reader, you may want to organize your own book club. Assign a fun book to read, and schedule weekly meetings to discuss the best parts!
Most of all, enjoy your new community, and get to know your new neighbors!