These communities have, as the name suggests, place restrictions on who can and cannot live there. They are specifically aimed at adults 55 and over and prohibit anyone under the age of 19 from having a permanent residence. This retirement living option is for those who are independent and want to take advantage of amenities like a clubhouse, golf course, or planned activities, for example. These communities do not provide and are not equipped for health-related care.
While these communities target those who are 55 and older, they do not restrict the age of residents. They have many of the same amenities as age-restricted communities, and also do not provide health-related care.
This retirement living choice features resort-style living. While age-restricted and age-targeted communities can feature apartments, townhomes and houses, leisure communities primarily feature well-appointed houses with the amenities of resort living. These communities don’t have age restrictions, but are primarily marketed to empty nesters and are located in warmer climates.
Independent Living Communities
These communities are age-restricted and are primarily rental options like apartments or townhomes. Unlike the previous community options, these facilities offer central dining facilities that provide meals for residents. They may also offer housekeeping services, transportation and social activities.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC)
CCRCs differ from the above options in that they provide longer term housing and care options that can change as your needs do. CCRCs require a contract to join and are often significantly more expensive than other retirement living choices.
Assisted living communities are licensed by the state and are designed for older adults who need help with activities of daily living like bathing, dressing, toileting and walking. This would be a good retirement living choice if you need care, but not the level of care a nursing home provides.
Your Own Home
Commonly known as aging in place, this concept promotes you staying in your home for as long as safely possible as you age. To age in place successfully, though, you have to have a plan in place.
A Note About Nursing Homes
You might think that once you reach a certain age, you must go to a nursing home. Or that your mother, father, spouse or friend went to a nursing home, so you must too. The truth is, most older adults don’t—and won’t—need to go into a nursing home. In fact, several of the issues that result in a nursing home stay, like forgetfulness or medication mismanagement, can be managed with a few modifications at home.
Nursing homes provide either intermediate care or skilled nursing care and are licensed by state and local health agencies. A skilled nursing facility is equipped to provide the highest level of care outside of a hospital and provides 24-hour nursing care under the supervision of a physician. An intermediate facility provides 24-hour basic medical care, which includes rehabilitative and recuperative care.