Retirement Living Options

There are many different types of retirement living options available for seniors. Over the years, they have evolved into communities that offer different types of care and amenities. Baby boomers are more independent and demand more choices than previous generations.

The wide range of facilities to choose from can be confusing. Before you make a decision, break down the options into manageable chunks. In this article, we’ll review the different retirement living facilities and what they offer today.

Active Adult Living Communities

Active adult living is a community for seniors who want to live independently. The real estate may be in the form of apartments, condos, and townhouses, with hardwood floors and modern furnishings. They bring together people who share the same interests and outlook on life.

They call it active, as opposed to retirement because many seniors continue working while in the community. It is meant for older adults who are healthy enough to take care of themselves with only minimal assistance.

Most communities offer a lifestyle, as opposed to simply providing shelter and care. The facilities are usually located close to metropolitan areas. To keep seniors active, they have holistic services such as meditation, yoga, and pilates.

Seniors pay a fee that covers some of the amenities. The amenities may vary between different communities. Most facilities will include the basics such as garbage disposal, transportation, and a broadband connection from a local internet provider.

One of the advantages is that it offers an environment where seniors can interact and socialize. Due to the low-level care and maintenance provided, it may be relatively more affordable than other retirement living options.

Skilled Nursing Home

A skilled nursing home is a facility that provides medical care usually to people who have just left the hospital. They will always have a nurse, doctor, and other healthcare professionals to watch over the patient.

The facilities are designed for patients with serious health conditions who require 24-hour surveillance. Nurses and doctors provide medical care around the clock. In some places, they may assist with meals and personal hygiene. Once the patient gets better, they are free to leave the facility.

Seniors with conditions such as Parkinson’s disease can receive the therapy they need while under care. Depending on their diagnosis, they may have access to physical, speech, and occupational therapies.

One of the advantages of nursing facilities is that they accept Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements for some procedures. It makes it more accessible to patients who’ve just been to the hospital and are in dire need of professional care.

Assisted Living Facilities

As the name implies, assisted living is meant for older adults who cannot live independently. A senior may opt to move to such a facility due to a disability or a chronic health condition. Their programs provide long-term care while trying to maintain the highest level of independence possible.

The facility offers a wide range of options for medical assistance, round-the-clock supervision, and daily activities. They are seen as a cross between independent communities and skilled nursing facilities. Residents also get assistance with meals, laundry, personal hygiene, and transportation.

Most facilities offer extra support for patients with Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and other mental health conditions. Assisted living communities will usually have activities to stimulate the mind and maintain physical fitness. They also encourage the involvement of the family to boost the residents’ overall well being.

The retirement living options may vary depending on the community. It is important to remember that the level of care is higher than most independent living arrangements. But the assistance is not as high as in a skilled nursing facility. Doctors may visit for checkups, or seniors could arrange to see a dentist for dental implants. But medical oversight around the clock is not available.

Community Care Retirement Community

CCRC provides a wide range of care options that may be required in the course of the stay in the retirement living facility. Residents can receive different levels of assistance within the same location. The campus-like setup may house seniors in several apartment buildings or adjoining houses.

The idea behind CCRC is that adults over the age of 55 want to retain their independence for as long as possible. It follows that, by providing a continuum of care, seniors can get the assistance they need, when they need it.

If the patient has a health problem, they can move to the program that addresses their needs. Other than nursing services and assisted living, some communities may have memory support, end-of-life care, amongst other treatment programs.

The CCRC facilities keep seniors safe while minimizing the risk of sudden interruptions to their living arrangements. Since the houses are located adjacent to each other to form a community, seniors have the opportunity to socialize.

There are different types of CCRC contracts. Most of the policies will include basic care and maintenance tasks, such as mowing the lawn and roof repairs. The most significant part of the terms you should evaluate is probably the provision for care. The type of care will depend on the entrance and monthly fees.

Residential Care Home

Residential Care assists seniors in a home-like setting. Most locations do not have a skilled nurse or caregiver. Healthcare professionals can be called for routine checkups, or in case of an emergency.

Supervised care is provided alongside other basic services. In their package, many facilities will include meals, housekeeping, and laundry. Transportation is available for seniors who need to see a medical professional. For example, seniors may visit a dentist for dental implants or an evaluation.

One of the advantages of residential care is that seniors can continue living in a family-like setting. Most of them have private or semi-private rooms. The facility typically houses less than ten residents. Additionally, there may be social programs to boost mental well-being and encourage socialization.

Another reason for choosing a residential home is that it is usually more affordable than assisted or independent living. It is an ideal option for seniors who do not need specialized care but require assistance at a reasonable cost.

How to Choose the Best Option

There is a wide range of retirement living options and communities for seniors. You should also keep in mind that many facilities offer a blend of the programs described here. For that reason, it can be challenging to strike the right balance between their budget, preferences, and health care needs.

However, there are a few tips to help you speed up the process of finding an ideal retirement living home:

Level of Care and Services

One of the most important aspects of retirement planning is the level of care you choose. Your living arrangement ought to be sufficient to address any pre-existing health conditions you may have. Developments that cause disruptions to your lifestyle can be distressful and costly.

On the other hand, the level of care must not entirely determine your choice of a retirement living residence. Some seniors opt to move to an assisted living community for the extra assistance they offer. That way, in case of a fall, immediate help will be available on request.

Consider the Community

The community is another important factor to consider when evaluating retirement living options. For the sake of your well-being, you may want to choose a community that is in line with your values. Ideally, it should support your interests and hobbies.

Also, the location of the facility is important, as it may define the nature of the community. It could be close to a religious center, or a geographical feature. Access to libraries, cinemas, and gyms can create opportunities for socialization. Seniors get the chance to interact with people with similar interests and hobbies.

Exercise and Social Activities

Exercise is beneficial, particularly for older adults. Most facilities recognize that seniors require professional help with physical therapy. Consider retirement living options that provide expert assistance with activities and continuous evaluation.

The best option will be a facility that offers a holistic program, including the hobbies you enjoy. The activities may range from music, gardening, outings, and art classes. By choosing a hobby you have passion for, you’ll be making it easier for yourself even as you gain the health benefits.

Limitations on Family and Pets

If you have grandchildren, you may want them to see them from time to time. However, some retirement living communities have restrictions on children and minors.

Some seniors choose to move from their apartments to get away from the commotion of kids running around. Older adults may have a condition that could cause distress from the noise. For those reasons, facilities may have varying rules depending on their policy.

If your situation is such that you want your grandchildren to visit you, choose a family-focused community. Also, review if they have limitations on pets. Facilities may restrict the size, type, or the number of animals you can bring. You ought to have a clear understanding of the policies, as you evaluate the different retirement living options.

Amenities and Transportation

You may want the independence of visiting a physician for checkups or for visiting the dentist for dentures. That means the residence you choose should have parking arranged for its tenants. Some facilities can allow you to use your vehicle.

It will be even more convenient if the facility is close to essential amenities. Some communities are conveniently located close to beauty salons, gyms, hospitals, and fitness centers.

Transportation could also be part of the package and may involve shuttling seniors to their destination. You may also want to evaluate how convenient it would be to access other types of public transportation.

Meals and Private Spaces

A well-balanced diet is necessary to support the health of seniors. You may prefer a community that has a menu of the meals you love. Some places will have a qualified chef to prepare the most sumptuous and nutritional meals.

You may visit the location to sample what they offer on the menu. As you consider different retirement living options, take the opportunity to evaluate the rooms and houses. Some have private spaces, or they could have an arrangement where residents share some rooms and amenities. Your choice will depend on the level of privacy that is most comfortable for you.

Home Care Pros and Cons

Rather than move to a senior community, some people opt to receive care from home. Home care, like other retirement living options, has several advantages and disadvantages.

The main disadvantage is that you’ll have to organize how you’ll be responsible for the house. Seniors may organize with the family to call plumbers and technicians for roofing repairs and maintenance. Having to organize everything may feel overwhelming for some older adults.

On the other hand, there are many advantages to getting the assistance you require while you are at home. First, you can tailor the environment to fit your needs, which may be harder to achieve with other retirement living options.

For example, you may find a community that has the level of care and the kind of activities you like. But their policies may prevent you from having a pet or may limit visits from grandchildren. Staying at home lets, you enjoy the freedom to create an atmosphere that is most comfortable for your needs.

Additionally, caregivers may visit seniors routinely as their needs demand. It is usually less expensive than independent or assisted living communities. But it is important to also consider the initial costs of renovations.

In some cases, a house might need to be remodeled substantially in order to make it functionally comfortable for a senior. These additions may include ramps, support bars, simple to operate garage door installations, among others.

If the house needs extensive modifications, you may want to consider other retirement living options.


When reviewing retirement, living options keep in mind that some terms may have different meanings. Terms such as personal care are used by businesses in the sector. What they refer to is not always in line with the requirements from the state and federal regulations. Take time to review the certification and license before you move to a facility. You can visit our website for more information.