What is a Senior Living Community?

by Robert Borges on November 30, 2020

Senior living communities offer housing for adults who are 55 years of age and older. 

That’s the straightforward definition, but there are a variety of options when researching and deciding on the right senior living community for you or a loved one. 

And it all comes down to preference and/or specific needs. If you’re a spry and healthy “active 55+ adult,” your ideal senior living community will be different from those who may have health issues that require a certain level of care. 

Ultimately, a senior living community is a place that provides peace of mind to aging adults and their families with the knowledge that their golden years can be spent living comfortably and to the best of their abilities—regardless of where they are physically, mentally, or otherwise. 

Here’s a breakdown of the different types of senior living communities.


1. Age-Restricted Senior Living Communities

Geared toward active adults who are over the age of 55, these senior community real estate developments offer relaxed and autonomous living to residents. Often centered around golf, tennis, pickleball, and other recreational activities, they provide extremely low-maintenance living for seniors who simply want to relax while still living life to the fullest. If you're looking to live among people of your generation while maintaining a social and dynamic lifestyle, there are many benefits to living in a senior living community for active adult retirees. 


2. Independent Senior Living Communities 

Independent living communities are a great option for seniors who are capable of living on their own, but choose not to. These communities offer services like meal planning/preparation, laundry, and housekeeping to ease the burden and allow retirees to enjoy life without the responsibilities and upkeep of maintaining a home. Housing in independent senior living communities vary and include condos, townhomes, and apartments—each privately set up for residents to live freely and host gatherings with friends and family, while also providing a communal area for dining and other activities.


3. Assisted Senior Living Communities 

When it comes to types of senior housing, many think independent and assisted living facilities are one in the same—but there are many key differences. Residents at assisted living communities have the freedom to live an independent lifestyle while still receiving regular support with daily activities like laundry, meal prep, transportation, meals, cleaning, and so on. Assisted living is a popular option for seniors who may be experiencing physical or cognitive decline and are unable to live on their own, but still looking to maintain a sense of freedom. With their own living space in what often resembles an upscale apartment complex, residents of assisted living communities have the ability to participate in recreational activities and social events with those who share similar interests. This is a senior living option that encourages seniors to be as independent as possible, but understands the limitations and unique needs of their residents. 


4. Skilled Nursing Senior Living Communities 

Skilled nursing facilities, aka nursing homes, are senior living communities with 24-hour nursing care. With specialized care often for those with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or similar diseases, round-the-clock supervision and medication management is provided at all skilled nursing facilities. Licensed and regulated by state agencies to ensure proper care, they also provide all meals, transportation, housekeeping, laundry services and other help with basic activities. These senior living facilities are similar to assisted living, but with far more specialized and dedicated medical care. 


5. Continuing Care Senior Living Communities 

Continuing care retirement communities (CCRC) are facilities that offer lifestyle and healthcare options from each of the senior living communities mentioned above. From independent to assisted to skilled nursing care, continuing care retirement communities, these all-encompassing “life plan communities” provide all senior housing options on one campus and are ideal for those who only want to move once and gracefully transition through their later years in one place. 

At their core, facilities that offer options for seniors are all about health, wellness, and next-level hospitality. To learn more and explore specific options based on lifestyle and geographic region, visit PCR.