Active adult communities
Active adult communities are neighborhoods made for older adults. They can be made up of houses or townhouses. Or they may include apartments, condos, or mobile homes. In most communities, adults have to be 55 years of age or older to live there. Residents are fully independent. They have no trouble living on their own. They take care of themselves and manage their homes.
This option allows active and able older adults to live on their own but near each other. Many of these communities offer a range of social, recreational, and educational activities.
Independent living communities
Independent living communities are known as retirement communities or retirement homes. Older adults can rent or buy their own units in one of these places. Meals often are included in retirement homes. Housekeeping, laundry, and transportation may be available, as well. Most residents can take care of themselves. They don’t need help with daily tasks, such as bathing, getting dressed, or taking medicine.
This option may be a good fit for older adults who feel lonely living alone. Residents enjoy community living with others. They are fairly active and independent but enjoy services such as housekeeping and prepared meals.
Assisted living residences
Assisted living residences are similar to independent living communities. However, they also offer personal care services to residents in need. These may include bathing, getting dressed, or taking medicine. Some residences include special units for people who have early- to middle-stage dementia.
This option might be a good fit for older adults who are somewhat active but need help with daily tasks.
Nursing homes are also known as skilled nursing or extended care facilities. They provide services as well as medical care. Nursing homes are staffed with nurses and other health professionals 24 hours a day. Some older adults stay here temporarily. This could be to recover from a fall, health condition, or surgery. Other adults may need to stay long-term.
This option is for people who need 24-hour personal and medical care. This type of care often can’t be provided at home or in another senior living facility. Medicare and/or Medicaid cover some nursing home services.
Continuing care retirement communities
Continuing care retirement communities meet the needs of a lot of older adults. They feature a variety of residences on a large campus. Residents can choose independent living, assisted living, or nursing home services. As their needs change over time, they can move to a residence that offers more assistance or medical care.
This option can work for many older adults. It lets them benefit from services right away while planning for their future. These communities allow older adults to live in one place for the rest of their lives. This is the most expensive of all senior living options. Residents must be able to sign a contract and pay for services now, to be used at a later date.