Choosing a senior living community is a big decision.
When you’re looking for senior housing, there are certain things to keep in mind to help you find the right community.
Remember not all senior housing is the same. There are different types of senior care living and some of the available options are:
- Assisted living
- Independent living
- Senior housing
- Respite care
- Short-term stays
- Continued care communities
The right one for you, will depend on the level of care needed and preferred amenities.
Before signing any contracts make sure to ask for a complete monthly fee, which includes all services. Consider the way you are currently living and keep your health in mind.
This is a big, important decision to make and we highly recommend taking a tour to check out some of the following things:
- Observe the level of cleanliness
- Staff friendliness
- Visit the outdoor areas (is it safe & secure)
- Visit during a group activity
- Sample the cuisine
- Ask some of the residents if they’re happy living there
- Last but not least always remember to trust your instincts.
As you get older you may find that maintaining your home is becoming more difficult. If you’re interested in the possibility of downsizing, you may want to consider moving into a senior apartment complex. Not only will you be able to leave the building maintenance to someone else, but you’ll also be surrounded by your peers, which can help you maintain close relationships as you age.
Qualifying for Residency
Seniors interested in choosing apartments specifically for seniors should be aware that different complexes have different requirements for residency. The most common requirement is an age restriction. Most senior apartments require that residents be at least 50 years old, though the minimum may be as high as 55 or 62 in areas where there is a greater demand for such apartments. Furthermore, most apartments have restrictions on the size, number and type of pets allowed. Some apartments may even restrict the age of all the residents living in a unit, meaning that grandparents may not be able to provide long-term care for their grandchildren if necessary. Contact individual apartment complexes in your region for specific residency requirements.
Many senior apartments are also designed to provide affordable housing to retired, low-income or disabled individuals. Some communities are partially funded by the government and have income restrictions in order to ensure that housing is truly being provided to low-income seniors.
Benefits of Senior Apartments
There are numerous benefits associated with living in a senior apartment community:
- Lower interior and exterior maintenance costs (and no time spent on maintenance)
- Greater security
- Lower cost of living compared to a mortgage plus cost of maintenance and taxes
- The ability to free up any equity you’ve built in your home, providing you with more financial freedom
- Camaraderie and active social environment
- Various amenities may be available in the building and on the grounds
In addition to the overall benefits of apartment living, most complexes include various amenities for residents and their guests. While the precise features vary for each individual complex, typical amenities include:
- Clubhouse facilities for group meetings
- Pools or whirlpools
- Fitness centers with various exercise machines
- Tennis, volleyball or basketball courts
- Outdoor areas for barbecues and picnics
- On-site laundry facilities
- Planned activities for residents, such as seasonal parties, book clubs and scheduled outings
Before choosing a specific apartment complex, potential residents should investigate these amenities to see if they meet their personal preferences and social habits. The more amenities a complex offers, the more expensive the rent will typically be; if you only will participate in one type of activity, look for a facility that doesn’t offer a whole lot more than that one.