Retirement Communities Offer Independent Living Options

Denver, CO –  Some older adults want to age in place with the goal of living in their own home or the apartment in which they have lived for many years.  

But some older adults decide to move to an independent living apartment in a retirement community.  Retirement communities often feature assisted living residences to allow individuals to move from one level of care to a higher level of care as more assistance is needed.

Independent living residences offer basic services including a meal plan, usually three meals per day; cleaning services; linen services; transportation for medical appointments; and activity programs such as educational programs, exercise equipment and classes, and entertainment.  

The independent living residences do offer security services such as staff on duty 24-hours a day, emergency response systems to help with fall management and emergencies; security lighting, fencing, and cameras; and fire sprinkler systems. They are usually staffed with a resident service coordinator and activities staff. Sometimes they have a wellness director who is a nurse.

Independent living residences are not licensed by the state. They do not offer support with activities of daily living such as medication management, bathing, personal care, reminders, and cueing.

Most Independent living residences have a month-to-month lease with a few offering continuing care retirement community purchase agreements.  You can expect to pay a deposit and oftentimes a community fee to cover programming and activity fees. These apartments are less costly than assisted living since fewer services are provided.  

To talk with a counselor, order the print copy of the 2022-23 Colorado Senior Resource Guidebook which includes independent living communities and copies of the pre-printed advance care planning forms, or for help in navigating the website at, call 303-333-3482 or 1-855-293-6911 (toll free) or 1-866-880-4777 (Spanish). 

Eileen Doherty

Eileen Doherty

Eileen Doherty, MS is the Executive Director of the Colorado Gerontological Society.  Her areas of expertise include management and administration of nonprofit organizations, education and training on issues related to older adults, advocacy and policy development on senior issues, and clinical practice in working with seniors and families to manage their lives in the later years. She has been the Director of the Society since 1982.  She teaches Nonprofit Management for Fort Hays State University.

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