Independent living is simply any housing arrangement designed exclusively for older adults, generally those aged 55 and over. Housing varies widely, from apartment-style living to freestanding homes. In general, the housing is friendlier to aging adults, often being more compact, with easier navigation and no maintenance or yard work to worry about. While residents live independently, most communities offer amenities, activities, and services. Often, recreational centers or clubhouses are available on site to give you the opportunity to connect with peers and participate in community activities, such as arts and crafts, holiday gatherings, continuing education classes, or movie nights. Independent living facilities may also offer facilities such as a swimming pool, fitness center, tennis courts, even a golf course or other clubs and interest groups.
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Note: There are other types of age-qualified communities for seniors as well, among them continuing care retirement communities [also called CCRCs or life plan communities] and rental retirement communities. These communities can be comprised of single-family houses, as well as multi-family patio homes, condominiums, or townhomes, with units that are owned by the resident as opposed to a rental community. Often, this type of 55 and over community will be built near shopping, restaurants, parks, and other attractions, since residents are still eager to live an active lifestyle into their retirement years. Residents are able to enjoy other aspects of their retirement years, without the burden of maintaining a yard or dealing with other exterior home maintenance chores or repairs. Other than the HOA dues and a mortgage payment, if applicable , there are no other monthly fees required for residents in an active adult community.
Active Adult Communities
Active Adult Communities include single-family homes, town homes, cluster homes, manufactured housing and multifamily housing. There are two types: age-restricted and age-targeted. Age-Restricted Communities are specifically aimed at persons age 55 and older.
As you explore senior living options, you may run across the term active adult communities. What are they and how do they differ from other types of senior living communities? These are communities that offer relatively maintenance-free independent living residences to those age 55 and over.