Fri. Dec 1st, 2023

Senior Living Options And Types Of Retirement Communities

Each senior housing option provides a different level of care and assistance, but all focus on providing a sense of community within the facilities. Below is a comprehensive list with information on the types of options available. Use this guide to help you make an informed decision about your senior living options.

1. Independent Living Communities

Independent living is an option for older adults who don’t require daily assistance but are ready to move into a senior living community.

Independent living communities generally don’t provide emergency medical care or assistance with personal care. They may provide housekeeping, fitness classes, activities and on-site dining facilities.

  • How to pay: Long-term care insurance, Medicaid and veteran benefits
  • Average cost of living: $12,000 – $42,000 per year3
  • Average age: 65+
  • Independence level: Highly independent

2. Continuing Care Retirement Community 

This is a great option for those who wish to stay in the same community while their need for assistance progresses. Services will depend on how much care is required. These communities typically have buildings that provide different levels of care, which makes it an easy transition for those moving from independent to assisted living.

  • How to pay: Medicaid, Medicare or personal funds
  • Average cost of living: Ranges from $2,000 – $6,000 per month4
  • Average age: 60+
  • Independence level: Ranges from highly independent to requiring medical and personal care

3. Nursing Homes

Nursing homes or skilled nursing facilities are for those who require around-the-clock care from trained care professionals. Nursing homes are focused on maintaining the health of the residents, rather than supporting an active lifestyle.

  • How to pay: Medicare, Medicaid or personal funds
  • Average cost of living: $7,756 per month3
  • Average age: 85+
  • Independence level: Requires medical and personal care

4. Assisted Living Residences

An assisted living residence is a good option for older adults who need daily assistance but don’t require medical care. There’s on-site emergency medical assistance available and daily assistance with personal care tasks, such as bathing and dressing.

Assisted living residences will often provide amenities for residents like common areas, fitness centers and an arts space. 

  • How to pay: Medicaid, Home and Community Based Services waivers or personal funds
  • Average cost of living: $4,300 per month3
  • Average age: 75+
  • Independence level: Requires personal care

5. In-Home Senior Care

In-home senior care can include a range of services, depending on how much aid you require. These services can be customized for your specific needs, but don’t include serious medical care.

  • How to pay: Medicare, veteran benefits program, state non-Medicaid program or personal funds
  • Average cost of living: $2,037 per month3
  • Average age: 75+
  • Independence level: Requires personal care

6. 55 And Older Community

55 and older communities are for those who enjoy an active lifestyle. These areas, also known as active adult communities, are designed with this age range in mind and provide amenities that are appealing to this age group, including dining, shopping and leisure activities.

  • How to pay: Personal funds, Social Security pensions or supplemental security income
  • Average cost of living: Ranges from $1,500 – $4,000 per month3
  • Average age: 55+
  • Independence level: Highly independent

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