Understanding the Difference Between Senior Apartments and Independent Retirement Communities

Perhaps you or a loved one is considering moving into an apartment that caters to seniors and trying to weigh the many options available.  An understanding of the difference between independent living communities compared to senior apartment complexes will help you to make the right decision for both the short and long term.

Senior Apartments

Senior apartments are designed for the older adult in terms of convenience such as limited amount of stairs, in-unit laundry, and other physical characteristics.  Apartment living offers an easier lifestyle for an older adult since there is no more yard work and household repairs.  And because senior apartments are age restricted, older adults are surrounded by people of similar age and interests. Typically senior apartment complexes offer limited organized social activities and very few additional services. 

Independent Living Apartments Offer Additional Services

Independent retirement communities on the other hand, begin by offering all the same advantages of a senior apartment, but then build upon that.  They start by offering services that will enhance quality of life and allow an individual to remain independent for a longer period of time. These services typically include meals, transportation, housekeeping, laundry service, social and educational activities, a 24-hour emergency help call system and most often, access to additional care in case there is a health change.

Independent retirement communities offer a variety of apartments ranging from cozy, cost-effective studios to one and two-bedrooms. This style of living is designed for someone who is independent, but would enjoy easy access to dining, and to lifestyle programming that allows them to stay involved and connected.  And should they face a health set back in the future, they could benefit from a community with more support and access to more comprehensive services. An independent senior retirement community is the right choice for someone who wants to avoid another move.

Peace of mind and active lifestyle

Because of all the additional services and conveniences available, independent living communities will be staffed at much higher levels than apartment complexes. And as a result of the additional services and amenities, you will find the monthly cost of an independent living community will be more than the rent in a senior apartment complex where there are no services. 

Residents in an independent living community choose to be as involved as they wish to be. I’ve often heard people comment that they wished that they had made this move a lot sooner.  For many seniors, the benefits of peace of mind, an active lifestyle and easily accessible services result in freedom from worry and enhanced independence. The right setting can provide an exciting opportunity to continue enjoying retirement to the fullest.