Choosing a Senior Living Apartment or Independent Living

In understanding your overall needs and the differences between a senior apartment or an independent living community will give you the freedom of choice.
Choosing a Senior Living Apartment or Independent Living

A senior living apartment is a type of senior housing for independent older adults generally over the age of 55. Many of these communities typically enforce a minimum age requirement of somewhere between 55-62 years of age (or older).

Additionally, eligibility may also depend on credit checks and whether or not you are able to pay rent each month.

Luckily, the cost to live in a senior unit is usually lower than the cost of regular apartments.

The apartments themselves are usually equipped with features that cater to seniors facing the common challenges of aging, such as step-in showers, grab bars, and other safety items.
Meanwhile, the apartment complex buildings that house these units are usually designed with fewer floors and equipped with elevators to allow for better accessibility. They are also located on campuses that are near many senior-friendly amenities and conveniences.

Overall, a resident in a senior living community apartment is active and independent enough to support themselves in all aspects of daily living. They have complete freedom over what they can do with their time and living space while also coming and going as they please.

What is the Difference Between Independent Living and Senior Apartments?

Senior apartments and independent living are very similar in that residents of each are usually healthy, active, and able to perform many activities of daily living on their own.
The main difference is that senior apartments are focused on providing affordable senior housing to individuals seeking more of a social environment. Meanwhile, independent living is a retirement community with a slightly higher level of senior care that may have the added benefit of easy access to healthcare.

For example, these independent living communities are usually positioned closer to other senior living options—such as nursing homes or assisted living apartments— that offer skilled nursing and other medical services. This allows independent living residents to have peace of mind knowing that medical care is within reach if the need ever arises.

Overall, senior apartments are for individuals looking to downsize from a house to an affordable apartment and still be able to do all of the cooking, driving, and housekeeping entirely on your own.

On the other hand, independent living may be more hands-on by offering senior-friendly services that you can opt into with a monthly fee. Options to choose from include access to skilled nursing, personal assistance, dining, transportation, housekeeping, laundry, and more.

How Much Does it Cost to Live in Senior Housing?

The cost to live in a senior housing community is based upon factors such as the size of the accommodations (one or two-bedroom apartment), the location of the community, and more.

The three main pricing categories typically include:

  • Low-income housing: These housing communities are meant for low-income older adults—but what is considered low-income for a senior? This varies depending on local, state, and federal government guidelines, but generally, there are housing solutions for seniors with incomes between $20 – $30,000/year or less. Additionally, there are also affordable housing options for seniors with slightly higher incomes up to $38 – $40,000/year, but when taking into account rising healthcare costs, they may still need financial assistance to cover everything.
  • Market-rate apartments: Compared to normal-priced apartments for people of all ages, market-rate apartments are typically cheaper, making them ideal for older adults who are not considered low-income but still want to live in a community of adults in a similar age group.
  • Luxury senior living: These high-end senior apartments are usually bigger, located in highly desirable locations, and offer many different amenities.

How To Afford Senior Living

You can pay for senior housing in a variety of ways. For example, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) contributes to the funding of certain senior housing complexes; therefore, many low-income senior citizens become eligible for senior apartments at relatively lower costs or they may be eligible to receive funding from HUD.

Other options to help offset the cost of a senior apartment include:

  • Private pay
  • Selling off a home or piece of real estate
  • Reverse mortgage
  • 401(K), IRAs, or stocks
  • Bridge loans
  • Annuities
  • Tax Deductions

The more care a senior needs, the more you can expect to pay; however, since senior apartments are meant for independent older adults that need little care, they are a competitively-priced first step for people of many different incomes and backgrounds.

Benefits of Apartment Living for Seniors

In the past, many people have waited for a crisis to drive the decision to move into senior living, but that is changing as new developments create a resort-like environment that people are excited to call home!

Quality senior apartments put seniors in the midst of active, bustling communities that offer access to fitness classes, exercise, and the great outdoors.

A senior living apartment can help a senior expand their relationships, reconnect with favorite activities that had been given up, master new hobbies, and introduce new adventures into their lives.

Is apartment living good for seniors?

Senior apartment living is GREAT for anyone who wants to take the first step into senior living.

Some of the benefits include:

  • You are perfectly positioned to easily transition into the next lifestyle option once your level of care changes, whether that’s independent living or assisted living.
  • You can live in the company of other accomplished people who have an infinite array of personal histories and interests, all gathering together to challenge the assumptions of what it means to retire.
  • You can meet new friends through a variety of social activities and clubs
  • You can usually access senior-friendly conveniences on-campus or nearby, such as fitness centers, golf courses, swimming pools, computer rooms, libraries, etc.
  • You can bring your furry friends along with a variety of pet-friendly options
  • You can select how big or small you want to go with many different floor plans available
  • You can choose options with washer/dryers, heating/air conditioning, elevators/handicap accessibility, and more
  • You no longer have to do yard maintenance and home upkeep!

Is A Senior Apartment Right For You?

Considering a move but still have the capability to meet your activities of daily living without much assistance, you have a few options.

In understanding your overall needs and the differences between a senior apartment or an independent living community you have the freedom of choice.

What new opportunities might be waiting for you in a senior living community?

Find a community near you
that perfectly fits your needs.