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Senior Independent Living

Independent Living Overview

Independent Living communities are senior housing communities designed for independent seniors that desire the conveniences of community living. These communities offer a senior lifestyle filled with recreational, educational and social opportunities. Independent Living Communities may also called "Retirement Communities", "Congregate Living" or "Senior Apartments".

Amenities & Services

There are two main types of independent living communities for seniors these are:

  • Congregate Living or Retirement Communities
  • Congregate Living or Retirement Communities offer an enriched lifestyle with recreational and educational resources.

  • Senior Apartments
  • Senior Apartments provide housing with only a minimal amount of amenities or services.

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Both types of independent living allow seniors more time to themselves in retirement and less time performing home maintenance and yard work.

Some independent living communities offer abundant recreational activities, which may include swimming pool/spas, exercise facilities, clubhouses/lounges and library/reading lounges so seniors can maintain an active and social life.

Senior housing communities may also provide laundry facilities, linen service, meals or access to meals, local transportation, and planned social activities. Maintenance is usually provided by the community.

Healthcare and daily support with medication administration are not commonly provided by an independent living community, but many communities will allow you to receive assistance from a home health aide or nurse to come into your apartment.

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Costs & Fees

Prices for senior retirement communities are generally dependent upon the local market. Most communities that provide services are market rate, but some subsidized senior apartments cater to seniors with low incomes. Floor plans and boarding options may also affect the monthly rate and may be lower for semi-private and shared senior apartments.

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For communities with such amenities and services, prices may include housekeeping, laundry, van or scheduled transportation; however, some communities offer these services "a la carte". Many communities do not charge for a daily group activity; however, some activities may not be covered by costs or fees.

Personal care and healthcare are not typically covered by independent living rates and fees.

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Finding Communities

Finding homes for independent living in your area is easy:

  1. Start a search here . You can either search by location, or browse by state. You can even browse to see nearby cities.

  2. Read local independent living listings . View descriptions, plans, photos and even pricing information on many communities.

  3. Contact a community to learn more . You can request a brochure, schedule a tour or just ask for additional details to make sure the community is a good match.

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Once you schedule a tour, make sure you come prepared with a list of the questions you want to have answered. This Customizable Independent Living Checklist can help.

Also, if you are not sure if independent living is right for you, use the quick Senior Care Assessment Tool to find out which type of care might be right for your needs.

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