Friday, November 16, 2012

Do Independent Living communities and 55+ communities cater to the same group of seniors?

By Bob Gregory

Seniors trying to choose the right community for their retirement are often confused by the many choices that are now available.  Both Independent Living communities and 55+ communities may share common groups of seniors but there are some differences that you should consider.

guzman23foundation serves seniors at retiremen...
guzman23foundation serves seniors at retirement home (Photo credit: Ralph Zuranski)
Independent Living communities have been around for a long time and are also referred to as a Congregate Housing or Senior Retirement Home.  These communities usually provide fully functional apartments for seniors who are capable of maintaining a home, living on their own and have their own transportation for shopping, medical appointments and general errands.   They may or may not have common meals and do provide limited social activities.  These communities are meant for seniors in their retirement years to live among other seniors with common lifestyles.  Some Independent Living communities are for low income seniors and even qualify for rent subsidies from HUD, US Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Others are supported by religious charities or other community charities to help with rent.  The living facilities range from high-rise condos to cluster homes.  Independent Living facilities will usually attract a slightly older senior as they typically offer fewer amenities.  They are for adults over 55 years old and generally will not allow family members to live in the community if they are under 55.

Senior couple signing financial contract
Senior couple signing financial contract (Photo credit: s_falkow)
55+ Communities are a new concept that recognize that younger seniors are looking for a county club type setting in which to retire with others in their age group.  Similar to Independent Living facilities, the 55+ communities cater to seniors who are capable of maintaining their own home, do not require on-site medical care and have their own transportation.  There is a wide diversity of building styles and some communities offer units for sale as well as for rent.  These communities offer numerous activities and most have clubhouses, tennis courts, pools and even golf courses. They also have a very active social director to keep the “party” going!  The 55+ communities rarely qualify for any rent subsidies and seek seniors who can afford a “country club” type community.  The typical residents will be in good health and are generally seeking to continue a very active life style with other “young” active seniors.  Like Independent Living communities, the 55+ community is age restrictive and does not allow persons under the age of 55 years old to live in the community.  These communities are sometimes less strict about allowing a teenage child to reside in the home of a qualifying resident but most do not allow anyone under the age of 55 to live in the community.

While there are some distinct differences between an Independent Living community and a 55+ community, both will generally accept any senior who qualifies financially, health wise and  in age.   Be sure and visit the communities to make sure they cater to your lifestyle and that they offer the amenities you seek.  If you are a younger senior and are very active, you should certainly consider the 55+ communities.  If you are older and seek a more serene atmosphere or need some financial assistance with rent, then you may want to investigate the Independent Living facilities. If you would like to obtain a list of Independent Living or 55+ communities in your area that meet your needs, please consider .

If you would like to contribute your thoughts and ideas, please leave them in our comment section. We want to hear them. Helping people care for themselves or their loved ones is what we care about. 
We look forward to reading yours.

Bob Gregory is an advocate for Seniors and is one of the founders of At, we are dedicated to helping families get the Elder Care help they need without having to provide their personal information! If you find you need a Independent Living or 55+ community or other type of senior facility, please consider

Enhanced by Zemanta

1 comment:

  1. Many people over 55 are opting to leave their large family or high maintenance home to move to active adult communities.
    If you want to know more about over 55 community , you can visit over 55 community Massachusetts