Independent Senior Communities: What Are Your Options?

May 7th 2016

With so many independent senior housing and community options to choose between, deciding on the most appropriate living arrangement can be a frustrating and overwhelming process. However, knowing more about the various choices and their benefits can lead to a more informed decision and happier end result. Analyzing an individual's budget, lifestyle and potential health concerns often helps narrow down the best selection of senior housing and community opportunities to consider.

Affordable Seniors Housing

Affordable housing for seniors can be an ideal way to bridge the gap between making the leap to senior housing and maintaining a comfortable lifestyle and way of living in the process. There are a number of high-quality affordable housing options that specifically cater to the unique lifestyle and budget demands of most seniors. Some affordable housing opportunities are situated in the city, while others offer a bit more peace and relaxation in a suburban setting.

Independent Living Communities

These communities, which may also be referred to as retirement communities, retirement villages, or 55-and-over communities, cater to older adults with minimal medical problems. Adults looking into independent living communities are often fully able to live on their own. Most residents will reside in fully-equipped private apartments that provide everything from custom-designed meal packages to opportunities for social outings and events.

Congregate Housing

Congregate housing is very similar to traditional independent living for older adults. However, adults in congregate housing often have access to housekeeping and meals. In some instances, there is also transportation available along with rental housing opportunities. Many congregate housing living spaces consist of separate apartments with numerous activities for residents to do together if they desire.

Assisted Living

While there's typically more care involved in an assisted living community, older adults may still be able to live independently in this type of care facility. In general, adults who are unable to safely live on their own without requiring the level of care frequently provided in a nursing home or similar setting should consider assisted living. Depending on individual needs, the amount and level of care provided in such a community may include housekeeping, assistance with medications and meals, and help with daily living activities if necessary. While most residents live in private apartments, they often eat meals in a central dining room.

Continuing Care Retirement Community

Residents in continuing care retirement communities have access to a wide range of assistance. For example, some live fully independent lives while others receive levels of care often provided in assisted living facilities or nursing homes. Unlike most senior care or housing options, continuing care retirement communities frequently involve a written agreement or long-term contract between residents and the community. In turn, the communities offer housing, nursing or other types of health care, as well as various services for the senior residents on a single campus or site.

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