Question:Would I qualify for independent living? I'm living alone and need a little help. I've had a hip replacement and I do walk with a cane.
Most likely you would be the ideal resident for an independent living (IL) residency. The basic idea behind IL is a place for older adults who want some assistance with daily living but can live and function on their own.
Each facility has its own guidelines called inclusion criteria. These include being able to care for your personal needs (bathing, dressing, eating) without help. The IL staff does not dispense medication so you must be able to manage your own medical needs. You must be able to move from one area (your room) to another (the dining hall). Having a cane shouldn't be a reason to exclude you from the facility.
Most ILs have someone who takes care of your laundry and prepares at least two meals a day (often three). Light housekeeping is offered, sometimes at an extra charge. The main building(s) and property are all cared for so there's no physical upkeep for the residents.
Visitors are always welcome. If you know of a facility near you or near a family member, call and ask for more information. Set up an appointment to talk with the social worker or director. Even if it doesn't work out now, you can keep that information for future reference.
Some places have quite a waiting list so you may want to get on now. You can always change your mind if an opening comes up and you are no longer interested.Shannon L. Mihalko, PhD, et al. Promoting Physical Activity in Independent Living Communities. In Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. January 2006. Vol. 38. No. 1. Pp.112-115.
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