[Video] What It’s Really Like to Move to Independent Living

Posted on: August 28, 2023

Moving to an independent living community can bring with it a lot of benefits – like more free time and more opportunities to be social. But what is it really like to move in?

Hear from Otterbein resident Cindi R. on her experience moving into an independent living apartment and how her life has changed as a result. 

What is it really like to move into independent living?

You want my real answer? It’s a shock – because it’s a totally different way of living. I do think you have to prepare yourself for that.

Once you’re here, it does take a while. I’ve watched people move in and they just seem to slide right in, business as usual. But for other people, it takes a while. 

And once you’re acclimated, you can get into the things that you enjoy or meet new people, and the people here are wonderful. They come from all over the country, which is even more exciting.

What are some of your hobbies at Otterbein?

I’ve always done some form of art from very early on. I have an arts degree, I taught art, and I have to create in different media. I don’t know, it just comes to me. For probably the last 12-14 years,  I have done quilting.

The art studio here at Otterbein really is state-of-the-art – it’s superb. It gives me extra space to work in, and bouncing off of other people who are also in the creative mode is fun.

I love gardening, and I’m a real advocate of good, healthy food so I’m working to see that I stay healthy with eating good foods. 

And I’m into recycling – I do a class here called Eco Arts. We take materials that would be thrown away and give them a second life by making them into an art piece. That’s one thing that I’m kind of passionate about. 

Related: How one Otterbein resident continues to pursue his calling >>

What are the social opportunities like at Otterbein?

One of the things about living in an outside community – the socialization was limited. It was in a cul-de-sac, and there were 12 neighbors – that was it. 

Here, all I have to do is open the door and I have a whole bunch of playmates. It just – there is something all the time going on with different interests, and that has been a real advantage.

Have your hobbies led to any other opportunities here?

I’m very interested in growing, and I keep something green and blooming all the time in my apartment. I have a whole windowsill with herbs and things that I keep here during the winter. 

And I thought, why couldn’t I share that with more people? There was a space on the first floor that was an entryway with nothing in it, and I did a winter garden. Because I thought, when spring comes, I’ll want to be outside again.

So I’ve taken that space and put plants in it, and I think that’s healthy, just to be connected with nature in that way.

Learn More About Independent Living at Otterbein

Interested in learning more about independent living? See what life is like at one of our continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) and explore your options.

{Learn More About Life at a CCRC