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Retirement Senior Living Options

As you research your retirement living options, you will find there are several types of retirement communities available to you. Active senior communities, 55+ communities, independent living communities and continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), focus on providing an energetic and engaging lifestyle for older adults. Health care may or may not be available at some of these types of retirement communities should you ever require it. Other senior living community options specialize in supportive living care, such as assisted living and skilled nursing facilities.

Types of Retirement Communities & Senior Living Options

Here is a general overview of the most common types of senior living options available:

1. Age-Restricted Communities

Age-restricted communities require at least one resident be of a certain age. A typical example of age restricted communities is 55+ communities. Health care services are not provided to residents in this type of community.

2. Independent Living

Independent living senior communities are designed to enable healthy, independent older adults to enjoy a lifestyle filled with recreational, educational and social activities with others around the same age. These communities are often age restricted with no health care services provided on campus.

3. Continuing Care Retirement Communities

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) are a different type of retirement community that provides seniors with the full spectrum of lifestyle and health care options - from independent living, assisted living to skilled nursing care, all on one campus. CCRC contract types vary, with some providing all-inclusive "Life Care" guarantee of health care services to residents and others providing health care and other services a la carte or "fee for service."

4. Assisted Living

Assisted living facilities provide a special combination of residential housing and supportive health care services to adults for whom living alone or independently is no longer safe. Residents of assisted living facilities typically need additional, but limited assistance with meals, bathing and medication.

5. Nursing Homes and Skilled Nursing Facilities

Skilled Nursing Facilities, commonly referred to as nursing homes, are a senior living option that provides 24-hour nursing care for those who need more direct daily care than is provided in a supportive, assisted living-type of arrangement. Typically, these facilities also have specialized care and housing tailored to the special needs of individuals with Alzheimer's, dementia or related diseases.

What Retirement Living Options is Right for You?

Everyone’s retirement situation is different—which means there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to living options. If you’re in the early stages of your golden years, you probably won’t require as much attention or assistance as some retirees. If that’s the case, then independent living is a great option. However, if you want someone around for extra support, assisted living might be appealing to do.

The best way to decide on the best retirement living option is to evaluate your Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). These are basic self-care tasks that you should be able to do without assistance. They include bathing, personal hygiene, dressing, and feeding yourself. If you can do all these things, then you’re probably not in need of more intensive support from an outside source. However, if you’re starting to notice that you or your spouse’s ADLs are getting more difficult, it’s probably a good time to take that into consideration as you make your retirement decision.

How Much Do These Senior Living Options Cost?

Depending on your level of need, pricing options will often vary when you make a retirement decision. Different types of retirement communities that offer more in-depth care usually come with a bit of a higher price tag as well—but the trade-off is worth it for your peace of mind.

Another factor is cost. The larger the housing option, the higher the cost. This is why the best retirement value is often a one-bedroom apartment in a CCRC. Residents receive the same level of amenities in addition to as-needed health services, but for the lowest possible price at that community. 

At Acts Retirement-Life Communities, our residents’ fees include the potential cost of increased care—which means we never raise our prices solely based on assistance needs. To learn more about Acts communities and find one that might be right for you, take a look at our communities.

Read Our Senior Living Community Resources Below

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Retirement Resources

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