There are many types of senior living communities, each with unique amenities and services. The kind of community you choose will depend on your level of independence and what health care assistance you require. Independent living is great for seniors who prefer an active lifestyle and want maintenance-free housing. Seniors who need daily help with personal care or medication management should consider assisted living.
Seniors needing greater care who cannot live independently can consider living in one of these facilities. They may need help with daily tasks, such as bathing and dressing, or they could suffer from debilitating health problems like dementia. Some communities offer specialized services such as memory care, physical therapy, and respiratory aids. Others provide activities, social programs, and dining services for their residents. Retirement senior communities in Florida that provide continuing care, or CCRCs, incorporate independent living, assisted living, and nursing home care on one site. Seniors who choose this option pay an upfront fee to start living independently, and then they move up or down in level of care as their needs change.
Independent living communities are great for seniors who want to live a maintenance-free lifestyle and enjoy on-site services like housekeeping, meal preparation and transportation. Many of these communities also offer a full calendar of social activities like cooking classes, tennis matches, book clubs and movie nights. Independent living communities do not offer personal care or medical staff access, unlike other senior living options. However, most independent living communities will have a built-in transition plan that allows residents to move into different levels of care (like assisted living and nursing homes) without having to relocate.
Seniors who need assistance with everyday duties but don’t need a high level of care like that offered in nursing homes should consider assisted living, also known as extra-care housing. Residents usually enjoy personal care assistance, simple health services, group leisure activities and other amenities. In addition to housing that resembles apartments, cottages and single-family homes, many active senior communities offer on-site beauty/barber salons, restaurants, and pools. They also provide laundry services, housekeeping, and transportation to appointments and errands. However, this type of housing is generally quite expensive – it can cost into the mid-six figures for entry into an active retirement community and up to $3,000 per month in rent and amenities. That’s why many seniors opt for other options like senior cohousing.
Continuing Care Retirement Community
Life plan communities, often known as continuing care retirement communities, provide a full spectrum of senior living. It means you can start in independent living and move into a separate society licensed for assisted living or skilled nursing when your needs change. They also include services and amenities typically found in 55+ communities, such as dining rooms and event spaces. Some provide housekeeping and laundry service, interior and exterior maintenance, and transportation. However, they’re usually more expensive than other senior living options and require a substantial entrance fee and monthly service fees. Also, they’re often located away from local attractions and amenities, making it difficult for seniors to stay engaged in their communities. And they may offer a different level of caregiver support than other senior living communities.
Cohousing communities provide a combination of residential housing and support services for older adults who are healthy and active. They usually include various social and recreational activities and may offer on-site medical care. These communities consist of homes strategically arranged around common areas and encourage interaction between neighbors. They come in various physical forms, from a group of townhouses to a single-family detached house, and can be urban, suburban, or rural. Cars are kept on the periphery, promoting walking and safety, while gardens and play areas provide opportunities for spontaneity and connection. Residents share responsibility for the community and make decisions by consensus. They can own or rent the properties they live in. Many also use a property method called “lifelong usufruct,” which gives residents the right to remain in their homes and community for life.