As we age, we have different requirements for our housing situations. The search for a senior living solution can be complicated, and whether you’re looking for yourself or for a loved one, you might feel overwhelmed with options.

Many Americans prefer to stay in their own homes as they grow older; however, their homes will likely need modifications (read: Aging in Place: What You Need to Know).

In addition, seniors staying in their homes will likely need assistance with personal care or daily activities (read: How Do I Find In-Home Care for My Parents?).

Types of Senior Living Communities

As you start to research senior living options, our care assessment tool to give you an initial idea of what kind of community might be right for you or your loved one. Then you can explore more deeply the communities that seem to fit your profile.

See the brief descriptions below on the different options, and please click on the links for more in-depth coverage of a specific type of senior living community.

Over-55 Communities

These age-qualified communities are much like regular housing communities, but they are designed especially for seniors, with amenities for an active lifestyle.
Read more: What is an over-55 community?

Independent Living Communities

These communities are ideal for seniors who need little assistance with the duties of daily life while seeking the conveniences and social aspects of community.
Read more: What are independent living communities?

Assisted Living Facilities

These facilities provide seniors with their own living space while also offering assistance whenever possible for those who need help with daily activities.
Read more: What is an assisted living facility?

Continuing Care Retirement Community

These residential campuses provide a continuum of care for residents’ changing needs, from independent living for active adults to assisted-living services to on-site skilled nursing care.
Read more: What are continuing care retirement communities?

Memory Care Facilities

These facilities cater to residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, offering specialty services in a secure environment.
Read more: What is a memory care facility?


Read the rest of our 7-Step Guide to Senior Housing:

1. Recognize If Your Parents Need a Change
2. Learn About Types of Senior Living Communities
3. Assess Your Financial Options
4. Tour Senior Living Communities
5. Know These Senior Housing Lease Clauses
6. Make a Senior Housing Community Feel Like Home
7. Manage the Emotional Toll of a Parent’s Move