4 Living Arrangements All Senior Communities Should Consider

If your parent is getting older and you're concerned they need to be around other older adults, or in a place where they can get help with daily activities, there are many options available. Aging can be difficult, and it's important that seniors are around others who understand what they're going through, and people who can help with activities they may no longer be able to do on their own.

Senior Communities

Seniors-Only Communities

They cater to older adults who want to interact with others their age. There are usually different types of housing, including single-family housing, townhouses or apartments connected with sidewalks or paths. The focus of a 55+ community is on staying active, so many of them are designed to encourage more activity. They might have tennis courts or golf courses, or the clubhouse might have gym equipment. They're best healthy, independent adults who want to live around other people their age. If your parent is considering one of these communities, encourage them to find out about the requirements for different communities in their area.

Apartments for Seniors

If your parent doesn't necessarily need something that caters to an active lifestyle, you might consider looking at senior apartments. They can be pricey, but many also match market rates or may be cheaper. Some senior apartments are even built for seniors with lower incomes. Because these apartments are designed with older adults in mind, they're more accessible and include transportation services. Many senior apartment communities also provide recreation and social activities.

Senior Cohousing

In this type of community, residents have a say in how the community is designed and how it operates. They own their homes and share certain common facilities every day. All the community members make decisions together, instead of one person or a small group of people having a say in how the community operates. These types of communities offer opportunities for multi-generational interactions or socialization. In cohousing arrangements for seniors, the community is for older people. Homes and facilities are designed to meet seniors' needs, and residents pay a portion of the cost for home health aides or on-site home health care.

Living Arrangements All Senior Communities

Assisted Living

Assisted living communities allow seniors to stay as independent as possible while offering any help they need. They provide help with personal care such as dressing, bathing or managing medications. Most of these types of facilities offer apartment-style living, though there are also some "board and care homes" or personal living group homes. They provide meals, activities, transportation, housekeeping and some level of security.

Which housing option is best for your parent?

The type of housing option that's best for your parent is going to depend on their needs. If they want to live in a place where they can be around other active seniors, you might want to consider an age-restricted community for them. If they're not looking for a place that necessarily caters to an active lifestyle but they don't need help with daily activities just yet, a senior apartment might be better for them. If they want to have a say the operation of the community you live in, you might consider a senior cohousing option. And finally, if they need help with some of their personal care activities, an assisted living facility might a better option.

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