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Top Services and Amenities to Look for in an Independent Living Community

Senior living amenities

Moving to an independent living community is more than a change of address. It’s an opportunity to make new friends, try new things, and have more time to do what brings you joy and fulfillment. Plus, you’ll have the security of knowing help is always available if ever needed.


As you consider your options, it helps to know what independent living amenities and services are included. Senior living communities come in all shapes and sizes, and a Life Plan Community where residents plan to live the rest of their lives may offer more amenities than a 55+ community. Here’s what’s typically included at a Life Plan Community offering independent living.

Maintenance-Free Lifestyle

Not having to worry about mowing the lawn, shoveling the walk, or repairing a dripping faucet is one of the main attractions of independent living. All maintenance inside and out, along with weekly housekeeping services, is included in your monthly service fee at a Life Plan Community. If you’re considering a 55+ or rental community, ask what maintenance services are included in your HOA or monthly fees.

Dining Services

Dining is a big deal at most independent living communities. Of course, you can cook for yourself in your apartment or villa, but your contract will likely include one meal a day in your monthly service fee. Meals can range from restaurant-style three-course dinners served at your table in a more formal dining room to casual fare in a bistro or café. There may also be a private dining room that you can reserve for family get-togethers or special occasions. When touring communities on your list, be sure to have a meal in one of the main dining venues. You might be surprised at the quality of the food and the variety of dishes on the menu.

Fitness Center

A well-equipped fitness center that offers a variety of classes is a sign of a healthy community. At Laurel Circle, for example, our certified instructors offer classes for improving balance, cardio fitness, strength, and flexibility. Residents also have free membership at the nearby Jewish Community Center, where there are more classes, including aquatics.

Outdoor Activities

When the weather’s nice, it’s good to get some fresh air and sunshine. Are there walking trails available at the independent living communities on your list? (Asking for a four-legged friend.) If you like to garden, is there an area where residents can grow a few plants? If you enjoy outdoor sports, is there a putting green, bocce or pickleball court on campus?

Salon and Spa

Looking your best can do wonders for your self-esteem. A full-service salon that offers manicures, pedicures, massages, and skin care, in addition to hair styling, is an essential component of a wellness program at a senior living community. At Laurel Circle, we offer the full salon spa treatment to help residents look and feel great.

Creative Spaces

Practicing the arts can improve your health and quality of life. So whether you’re an accomplished artist or just starting out, look for a community that offers ways to stretch your creative muscles. Is there an on-site art studio or woodworking shop? Are there opportunities to sing or play an instrument? Are there workshops for creative writing? Now’s the time to pick up an old hobby or try something new.


Many independent living communities include a movie theater, and most include a billiards or game room. Movie nights, trivia nights, bridge, and mah-jongg, along with live entertainment and guest performances, bring residents together and keep spirits high. To see what’s happening at communities on your list, look for an   activities calendar on their website.


Poor vision and mobility issues can make driving a challenge for many seniors. Transportation services help maintain their independence. Ask about shuttle service at the communities you’re considering. At Laurel Circle, we offer free transportation for residents within 10 miles of the community. We also go on group trips and outings to local restaurants and cultural attractions.

Continued Growth

Staying intellectually engaged is good for your mind and spirit. At an independent living community, you can take classes and learn new things on a wide range of subjects. Brain games, book clubs, duplicate bridge, volunteer opportunities, and lifelong learning classes are just some of the ways Laurel Circle residents stay sharp.

Explore Independent Living at Laurel Circle

We’d love to show you around our 28-acre campus and point out the many amenities and services that make life easier and more enjoyable for residents.

To learn more or schedule an appointment, contact us. We’re always ready to answer your questions.