What Is Independent Living ~ Options in Denver, Colorado

Click here for a list of independent living communities in the Denver metro area.

There are dozens of independent living communities located throughout the Denver metro area, designed for seniors who are able to live independently and perform most or all of their daily activities without assistance.

What Is Independent Living
Independent living varies by community, but in general, these are age-restricted complexes that have apartments (or sometimes houses) for seniors. Each senior (or couple) lives in a private apartment and pays a monthly rent. The apartments have kitchens – often full-size kitchens – but there’s also a community dining area where you can join other seniors for meals. In independent living, you furnish your own space, and you can live in your apartment for as long as you’re able to meet the health and independence criteria of the community you’ve chosen.

There is no “buy-in” fee required with independent living, but there can be a move-in fee, community fee, or deposit.

Amenities And Activities In Independent Living
The primary advantages of independent living are the amenities and activities that are provided by the community. It’s nice to have meal options, so that you don’t have to cook for yourself every day. And the social activities in the complex can be a great way to connect with other like-minded seniors, thus avoiding the isolation that can sometimes come with aging.

Nothing To Worry About In Independent Living
Most independent living communities provide group transportation to shopping and other activities, which is a nice feature if you don’t like to drive or can’t drive.

Being a part of an independent community can also provide a sense of safety, knowing that there’s always someone there, 24/7, if you need help. Many independent living communities have emergency call systems in each apartment, and also have formal or informal “check-in” systems.

How To Compare Independent Living Communities In Denver
When choosing an independent living community (for yourself or someone you love), here are some of the criteria you can compare:

  • cost
  • location in the Denver metro area
  • types and sizes of apartments
  • views and outdoor spaces
  • lengths and terms of the lease
  • dining options and meal plans
  • on-site amenities (such as a hair salon or movie theater)
  • types of activities for residents
  • transportation (group and/or individual)
  • pet policies
  • smoking policies
  • assisted living and/or memory care options

Assistance In Independent Living In Denver
Some independent living communities in the Denver metro area offer “assisted living” services for seniors in their apartments, while others have separate living quarters that are designed for assisted living and/or memory care. Examples of assisted living services that could be provided within an independent living environment include:

  • assistance with medications
  • assistance with bathing
  • meals delivered to your apartment

If the independent living community doesn’t provide these additional services, you can always work out an arrangement with an in-home agency (such as Visiting Angels) to provide caregivers.

Independent Living vs Senior Apartments In Denver
Independent living is different than senior apartments. Senior apartments are simply age-restricted buildings. In senior apartments, renters have to be over a certain age (typically age 55 or age 60), but otherwise these apartment complexes are just like other apartment buildings in the Denver metro area. Independent living communities, on the other hand, offer an array of services and amenities for seniors.

Independent Living vs Retirement Communities In Denver
Independent living is often confused with retirement communities. Retirement communities in the Denver metro area are typically housing communities with age restrictions. Homeowners have to be over a certain age (typically age 55 or age 60), but there are no support services provided in retirement communities.

Other Resources For Senior Living In Denver
Below are resources that describe other senior living options:
What Is Assisted Living
What Are Residential Care Facilities
What Are Nursing Homes
What Is Memory Care
What Are Multi-Level Care Communities
What Are Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)
What Is Hospice Care
What Are In-Home Care Agencies
What Are Senior Advisors