Complete Guide to Independent Living

Not-So-Senior Senior Living at Ivy Knoll

Benefits of Independent Living in Kentucky:

What is Independent Living?

It’s a retirement community intentionally designed for seniors, featuring a full calendar of monthly events and activities for individuals and groups to enjoy. Independent living allows you to maintain your independence without being isolated or alone. Each community is different, offering various amenities, programs, and services. Some have golf courses on or near the premise, natural walking paths, gardening spaces, and other great features. 

Common amenities include:

  • 24/7 Security
  • Movie nights, ice cream socials, and Bingo
  • Book club, gardening club, Bible club, etc. 
  • Travel opportunities and cultural events

Independent Living Services:

  • Spacious Rooms
  • 3 Chef-Prepared Meals Per Day
  • Personal Laundry/Linens
  • Weekly Housekeeping
  • All Utilities Included
  • Safety Checks, Twice Daily
  • 300 Channels of Cable TV
  • Internet Connection
  • Dozens of Activities
  • Maintenance Services

Additional services can be purchased at an affordable rate for residents that need extra assistance.

  • Dressing Assistance
  • Bathing Assistance
  • Meal Reminders
  • Medication Reminders
woman helping senior in a independent living senior home

How much does independent living cost?

The average monthly payment in the U.S. is $2,552. Ranging between $12,000 to $42,000, annual costs can vary greatly depending on the services. Assisted living or nursing homes often cost between $28,800 to $66,000 and $86,000 to $90,000, making independent living a cheaper option. When it comes to value-added, however, Ivy Knoll offers the most competitive pricing for independent living in Northern Kentucky.

Does Medicaid pay for independent living?

Medicaid and most insurance will not pay for it. It’s out-of-pocket and can be paid with social security or various investments.

How do I pay for independent living?

  • Home equity loan or HELOC: tapping into the equity of your home can provide a cheap line of credit to use for your monthly expenses.
  • Personal funds: a great option to use if you have a considerable amount in a savings account or some other investment account (like an HSA).
  • Bridge loan: it’s a short-term loan that’s used until you get secured financing to pay for your monthly costs.
  • Life insurance: Life insurance can be used as a way of giving monthly payments towards your living expenses.

What factors impact the cost of independent living?

  • Location: the cost of living in your city or state impacts your expenses. 
  • Type of residence: studio, townhouse, condo, or one-bedroom living spaces have different prices. 
  • Pricing structure: it might be all-inclusive (one monthly payment) or tiered. 
  • Amenities & services: extensive amenities or nursing care options often come with a higher price tag.
  • Add-on fees: upfront costs can be misleading; always ask about maintenance, entry, or pet fees.

Independent Living vs Other Senior Housing

Independent Living vs Assisted Living

Level of Care: marginally more care options than an independent living center.
Terminology: personal care is close to assisted living care but not as extensive.
Independence: assisted living doesn’t offer the same level of autonomy.

Independent Living vs Skilled Nursing Facility

SNFs are for seniors who require extensive assistance with daily living. This option offers the maximum amount of care but no autonomy in daily living.

Independent Living vs 55+ Senior Community

Level of Care: none offered.
Independence: 55+ age-restricted housing offers the highest levels of autonomy (eg: no medical reminders, meals, or transportation benefits).

What is “Enhanced” Independent Living?

“Enhanced” independent living features more personal care options that are tailored to an individual’s unique medical needs. It’s a crossover between assisted living and independent living that includes a variety of support services: wellness checks, mobility assistance, medication reminders, assistance with ADLs, and more.

What if I need more medical care later on?

We make sure you’re able to experience the same level of security and stability in the place you call home, even if your health declines. The Ivy Knoll staff offers continuing care services for residents who experience additional health complications as time goes by. That way, you or a loved one can continue to enjoy the amenity-rich lifestyle of independent living while meeting your health needs.

Available Floor Plans


One Bedroom

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Independent Living

  • Identify your preferred location.
  • Decide whether you should join a faith-affiliated community or not.
  • See if the community has 24/7 security features.
  • View a copy of last year’s activities calendar and see if they offer the right amenities and programs.

Here are some additional questions to ask before joining a senior community.

  • Do your research online and ask others to learn by word of mouth.
  • Speak to a family advisor in your area.
  • Determine the level of care you need by talking with a care specialist.
  • Choose a price point based on your budget. 
  • Create a list of good matches in your area, take a tour of those communities, and ask the right questions.

It’s a great fit if you need minimal assistance while enjoying the freedom to schedule your day how you want in a community-conscious environment.

Here are some reasons to consider moving:

  • You no longer want to manage the duties of homeownership.
  • You want to spend retirement around peers, not loud neighbors, be it college students or crying infants.
  • You want a built-in social support network.
  • You are self-sufficient but need help with meals, laundry, and chores.
  • You want to live close to family but don’t want to buy a home.
  • You want social and fitness activities without having to drive to and from places.

If you answer “yes” to the following questions, it might be time to downsize and move into a retirement community:

  • Are you having difficulty keeping up with mundane daily tasks?  
  • Do you feel increasingly isolated when at home?  
  • Do you need meals made for you?  
  • Are you largely self-sufficient, yet require minimal assistance with medications and daily living tasks?

Yes. We have parking available. We also offer a shuttle bus for residents. 

Yes. Some independent living centers cater to the unique needs that vets may have. At Ivy Knoll, a special VA doctor stops by weekly to provide hands-on medical help. We also offer free VA legal and application assistance to help veterans get the benefits they need.

Benefits of Independent Living Facilities

Community-centered senior housing meets several core human needs that lead to a purposeful and well-lived life, from meaningful social connections, formed through field days and clubs, to physical fitness and nutritious meals

#1. Community & Belonging

Loneliness is an epidemic in the U.S. — especially among seniors. It’s linked to a higher mortality rate, depression, and an increased risk of cognitive decline. Designed with the idea of fostering community at its very core, independent living facilities feature plenty of common areas and extra amenities, making it easy to connect with people and meet new friends. You’ll get opportunities to talk about a book over a cup of coffee, go fishing, play cards, or take a trip to a local museum, restaurant, or movie theatre with your peers.

#2. Activities, Gatherings & Entertainment

Independent living centers are known for calendars chock full of weekly events to pick and choose from. Residents build their own schedules around the activities that inspire them. Gardening, painting, cooking, outdoor walking, and weekend excursions on a shuttle bus are among the numerous fun things residents can do. The choices are nearly endless, and some are seasonal, like events centered around Halloween, Christmas, or Easter. Seniors can choose to go it alone or partake in something with a group.

#3. Quality Meal Services

Nutritious, great-tasting chef-inspired meals are cooked three times a day. Dietary adjustments can be made to accommodate your health needs. You can share a great conversation over a chef-inspired meal or choose to eat in the privacy and comfort of your apartment. Snack and drink options are made available throughout the day at no extra cost. Ivy Knoll residents are deeply engaged when it comes to meals, many use vegetables grown in our community garden as cooking ingredients and can learn to cook their own inspired recipes with our professionally-trained, on-site chef, Megan.  

#4. Maintenance Free Lifestyle & All-Inclusive Cost

Aging can make keeping up with household chores, repairs, car maintenance tasks, utility bills, or taxes more difficult. With one monthly payment, it’s all taken care of: housekeeping, trash pickup, household maintenance, and transportation services. You have the peace of mind and freedom to pursue your interests and hobbies in a soothing, comfortable environment without the burdens of homeownership. Independent living apartments are designed to be senior-safe, private, and comfortable to live in. 

Aging in Place
Independent living

Should I stay in my home or move to a senior community?
Learn More

Nursing Home
Independent Living

Should I choose a skilled nursing facility or an independent living community?
Learn More

Assisted Living
Personal Care

Independent living offers personal care. But how does it differ from assisted living care?
Learn More